Transform employee career development with an LMS

Transform employee career development with an LMS


Absorb LMS


The traditional career path of steadily climbing a pre-defined ladder within one company is fading fast. Today's workforce, fueled by constant change and technological disruption, demands a more dynamic approach to employee career development, including traditional career ladders and career advancement strategies. This shift is driven by two key factors: evolving employee expectations and the need for businesses to stay competitive. 

As LinkedIn's 2024 Workplace Learning Report highlights, companies with strong learning cultures reap significant benefits, including higher retention rates, increased internal mobility, and a more robust pipeline of future leaders. This underscores the importance of providing employees with the tools and resources they need to drive their unique skill development. Here's where a learning management system (LMS) comes in. By offering a structured and strategic process for learning, an LMS empowers employees to enhance their skills, knowledge, and experiences, ultimately achieving their career goals. 

Upskilling for the future of work

Technology continues to reshape career paths. A 2023 report by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests that by 2030, activities that account for up to 30 percent of hours currently worked across the US economy could be automated—a trend accelerated by generative AI. This highlights the need for workers to adapt and develop new skillsets. 

Employees themselves recognize this shift. A study by the World Economic Forum found that nearly half (46 percent) of respondents believe they will need to upskill or reskill within the next year. This urgency is driven by the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in workplaces. Additionally, a new Gallup survey shows a significant worry among Fortune 500 HR chiefs: 72 percent believe AI will eliminate jobs within their companies in just 3 years. However, there's a silver lining – 65 percent also see AI as a tool to boost overall employee performance, but these new jobs will require different skillsets than many currently possess. 

To navigate the future of business, continuous learning and development are crucial. A 2023 study by LinkedIn, underscores this point, revealing that learning agility—the ability to learn and adapt quickly—is the top skill companies are looking for in new hires. This reinforces the findings of a 2021 report by the ADP Research Institute, where a significant majority of respondents (84 percent) indicated that continuous learning is essential for career success. 

The future of work demands a commitment to upskilling. By prioritizing learning and development opportunities, both employees and employers can ensure they have the necessary skillsets to thrive in the face of technological advancements. 

Vertical learning vs. horizontal learning

To manage career transformation, many companies are implementing holistic approaches to L&D. To understand how to develop their employees, employers need to understand different educational methodologies, such as vertical and horizontal learning techniques. For example, vertical learning helps to develop soft skills relating to your thoughts, feelings and relationship to the world around you, including emotional intelligence and mental complexity. On the other hand, horizontal learning embodies the development of knowledge and skills, directly contributing to career development. With an LMS, you can map an employee's learning needs and align their coursework to address any identified skill gaps. Course recommendations can flow directly from HR systems, where goals and employee performance are managed, into the LMS through turnkey integrations of existing systems. This makes managing skill development at scale a reality, even across distributed workforces.

The ripple effect of employee skills development

Investing in employee skills development isn't just about checking a box. It's a strategic decision with a demonstrably positive impact on both your employees and your organization. Here's how: 

  • Enhanced skills and knowledge: By providing training opportunities, you equip your workforce with the tools and knowledge they need to excel in their roles. This translates to improved efficiency, problem-solving abilities, and overall performance. 
  • Increased productivity and morale: When employees feel empowered to develop their skills, they become more engaged and motivated. This leads to a boost in productivity, a positive work environment, and a reduction in absenteeism. 
  • Reduced turnover and talent attraction: Employees who feel valued and see opportunities for growth are less likely to seek new opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, a commitment to skills development demonstrates your organization's investment in its people, making it more attractive to top talent in the competitive job market. 
  • Improved customer satisfaction: When your employees possess the necessary skills and knowledge, they can deliver exceptional service to your customers. This translates to higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, increased revenue. 
  • Strategic alignment: Effective skills development programs can be tailored to address your organization's specific needs and goals. This ensures your workforce is equipped with the skills necessary to drive innovation, achieve strategic objectives, and maintain a competitive edge. 

In essence, employee skills development creates a ripple effect of positive outcomes. By investing in your people, you're not just enhancing their capabilities, you're strengthening your entire organization. 

Vertical learning vs. horizontal learning for employee training

Many companies are adopting data-driven L&D strategies that track progress and provide employees with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully navigate career transitions. To understand how to develop their employees, employers need to understand different educational approaches to employee training, such as vertical and horizontal learning techniques.   

Vertical learning  

Vertical learning helps to develop soft skills relating to your thoughts, feelings, and relationship with the world around you, including emotional intelligence and mental complexity.   

Horizontal learning  

Horizontal learning embodies the development of knowledge and skills, directly contributing to career development.   

With an LMS, you can map an employee's learning needs and align their coursework to address any identified skill gaps. Course recommendations can flow directly from HR systems, where goals and employee performance are managed, into the LMS through turnkey integrations of existing systems. This makes managing skill development at scale a reality, even across distributed workforces.

Want to learn how to adapt your LMS to different learning styles? Learn More

Implementing skills-based career progression as part of your learning strategy  

In today's workplace, skills are the currency. Skills-based organizations prioritize developing and deploying talent based on their capabilities, not just their experience in specific roles. This shift shapes employees' career development goals around acquiring the skills needed for future success and autonomous learning. 

Unfortunately, many managers lack the skills to coach employees on this journey, leaving both individuals and companies disadvantaged. Traditional vertical career progression is becoming less common, with Josh Bersin reporting that 65 percent of employees believe it's easier to find new opportunities externally. This highlights the need for a new approach to career development, specifically addressing the lack of career development and advancement opportunities within organizations. 

Redesigning employee career development for the skills-based organization 

Project-based learning aligns perfectly with this skills-based approach. By working on projects, employees can master essential skills in real-world contexts. These skills include adaptation, handling both success and failure, innovation, and communication – all crucial for growth in the modern workplace. 

Project-based learning fosters flexibility, creativity, and problem-solving, encouraging employees to find unique solutions to challenges. This approach goes beyond standardized training, demanding a more dynamic and engaging learning experience. 

Supporting skill advancement through an LMS 

An LMS, stocked with courses focused on both hard and soft skills like communication, can significantly support project-based learning and enhance employees' current roles. Many platforms offer extensive content libraries with courses updated regularly to keep pace with changing regulations and industry needs. By equipping employees with the right skills through training and career development opportunities, companies can proactively meet challenges head on – empowering both businesses and their workforce. 

How does a learning management system shape career development?  

Understanding and anticipating how your employees should reskill themselves while reinventing their professional development is key to an effective learning strategy. An LMS empowers this process by providing a structured framework. Here's how an LMS tackles the crucial questions of: 

  • What is the employee's role in the career development process? An LMS fosters a culture of self-directed learning. Employees can easily access a variety of learning resources, track their progress, and identify skill gaps to target. This empowers them to take ownership of their development journey. 
  • How to support employee career development? An LMS equips you to provide targeted support. You can create personalized learning paths aligned with individual career goals, assign specific courses, and recommend learning materials. By tracking employee progress through the LMS, you can identify areas where additional support, like coaching or mentorship, is needed. 

By providing a centralized platform for delivering and managing training programs, an LMS can significantly shape your employees' career development journey. It empowers both employees and employers to take an active role in the process. 

Why is an LMS essential for employee career and skills development? 

An LMS provides a powerful platform to empower employees to take ownership of their careers and continuously develop the skills they need to succeed. Here's how: 

  • Personalized learning and goal setting: Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all training. An LMS allows you to create customized learning paths for each employee based on their individual needs and career aspirations. This fosters a sense of ownership over their development journey and keeps them engaged in the learning process. Employees can set personal development goals within the LMS and track their progress, maintaining transparency and accountability that motivates them to stay committed to their learning. 
  • Continuous learning culture: The modern work environment demands continuous learning to stay ahead of the curve. An LMS facilitates this by offering bite-sized, on-demand learning modules that cater to busy schedules. This enables microlearning throughout the workday, reinforcing knowledge and ensuring employees stay updated on the latest trends and skills. 
  • Social learning and collaboration: Learning doesn't have to be a solitary experience. An LMS can become a vibrant hub for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Features like discussion forums, peer-to-peer coaching opportunities, and social learning elements create a dynamic environment where employees can learn from each other, share best practices, and support each other's growth. 
  • Data-driven insights and alignment: An LMS is more than just a delivery platform. It provides valuable data and insights into employee learning patterns and the effectiveness of training programs. This allows you to identify skill gaps within your workforce and tailor learning initiatives to address the organization's specific needs. By measuring progress and program effectiveness, you can ensure that employees are developing the exact skills critical for business success. 

Shaping your workforce for the future with Absorb Skills 

The future of work demands a new approach to employee development. Traditional career paths are shifting towards a more dynamic, skills-based approach, driven by the need for adaptable and skilled workforces. Employees crave opportunities to develop their skillsets, and Absorb Skills empowers you to unlock this potential. 

Powered by AI, Absorb Skills personalizes learning experiences for every member of your organization. This means employees gain access to targeted learning paths that align with their individual goals and career aspirations. This not only fosters a culture of continuous learning but strengthens your talent pool and equips your workforce with the skills critical for success. 

Here's how Absorb Skills helps you bridge the skills gap, promote continuous learning, and drive business growth:
  • Bridge the skills gap: Identify individual skill needs and address them with targeted learning paths. Equip your workforce with in-demand skills for their roles and stay competitive. 
  • Foster continuous learning: Cultivate a learning culture with Absorb Skills' microlearning modules, personalized learning paths, and social learning opportunities. 
  • Drive business growth: Align employee development with your organization's goals. Develop a workforce that possesses the skills necessary to achieve strategic objectives. 
  • Measure and optimize: Gain valuable insights into employee learning patterns and program effectiveness to refine your Absorb Skills strategy and maximize its impact. 

Ready to see Absorb in action?

Request a free demo today and discover how Absorb can transform career development within your organization and propel your business forward. 

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