The top four things L&D and HR pros were talking about at the 2019 Axonify Community Conference

It’s not often we get the luxury of spending focused time connecting with the very people we are in business to serve. That’s one of the reasons I look forward to the Axonify Community Conference so much every year. It’s the time where our tribe—our awesome Axonify customers, partners and even future customers—gathers in one place to learn, connect and share their insights freely. And that gives us the privilege of understanding what’s on the minds of L&D and HR professionals when it comes to supporting the performance and growth of their frontline employees. So, with the experience still fresh in my mind, I want to share the top things we heard from our community at this year’s conference.

1 – They’re ready to measure and excited for the data that can make it happen.

The conversation around measuring the impact of training dramatically changed this year. The prevailing mindset has shifted from “Should I do it?” to “How do I do it?” The conference really reinforced for me the importance of making measurement a standard practice so L&D and HR professionals can finally be freed from having to defend their programs to the C-suite. From lunch-table conversations, to LinkedIn and Twitter feeds, to the conference main stage, people were talking about the importance of becoming more data driven and upskilling their teams to be highly proficient with data and analytics. During one of our Innovators’ Spotlight panels, Axonify customer Scott Ryon, Strategy Leader at Merck, shared his belief that data and analytics should be the future driver of L&D. He said that data not only tells you the impact of your learning programs, but how you can get better over time. And he credited Axonify for creating a great learner experience that also provides him with a rich, robust set of data.

2 – They’re feeling the pain of technology overload.

The explosive growth of technology in both the L&D and HR spaces over the past few years is overwhelming. It’s not only causing mass confusion around which platforms do what for whom and when, it has created a skills gap on L&D and HR teams. Our customers made it clear that they need help with integrating their systems so they can pull together learning and business data into a single story. Supporting this “single-view” reality means having access to the people with the right expertise, either on their teams or from other areas within the business, like data or IT.

3 – They want to put employee experience first.

Our Chief Learning Architect, JD Dillon, spoke to a packed room on the topic of how to shape a learning technology ecosystem. During this session, JD emphasized the importance of breaking free from approaching employee learning through the lens of tools and technology first. The collective crackle of excitement was palpable as he urged the audience to lead with considering the experience each employee needs to be both capable in their role today and growing their skills for the future. Once you have considered their workplace realities and clarified business priorities, you can design a continuous right-fit learning experience by exploring the existing tools in your organization’s arsenal and identifying gaps that will require new tools. The importance of pursuing a personalized, continuous learning experience for every frontline employee was echoed by customers at the conference, including Jasha Fletcher, Head of Learning Architecture at British Telecom (BT Consumer), who shared during a main stage panel that making the learning experience highly personal is a big priority for her organization. It’s the future of learning and our customers couldn’t be happier.

4 – They love learning from each other.

We design our Community Conference with purpose to offer actionable content, personal touchpoints and lots of fun. One of the happy by-products of our format is the chance to connect with like-minded peers. So many attendees commented about the significant value they get out of the many conversations they have over a few days. Laila Keith, National Sales Excellence Trainer with Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision summed it up perfectly in a note to us this week. “Thank you again for another fabulous conference! I learned so much from my peers, the panelists and workshops. I left the conference invigorated, focused and feeling supported.”

There were many more amazing moments, big and small, that unfolded during the 2019 Axonify Community Conference. As always, I’m very grateful that so many L&D and HR professionals make time in their busy lives to spend a few days communing with us—learning, celebrating and generously sharing the stories about what’s possible when it comes to the training and growth of their frontline employees. And I appreciate how their insights help us keep making the Axonify platform better and better. But what I love most of all is seeing the power this yearly event has to inspire people to action.

The Axonify Community Conference is an awesome immersive learning experience, but it only comes once a year! Good news: you can keep the learning going by signing up for our Take5 newsletter. It’s an easy way to get key stories, insights and events from the world of L&D and HR delivered right to your inbox each month.

Carol isn’t your typical leader. She’s driving a revolutionary approach to employee knowledge, but she’s also a doors-open, come-see-me-anytime kind of executive. Carol doesn’t just talk the talk—she definitely walks the walk. You can read more from her on Training Industry Magazine, ATD, CLO and as a regular contributor for Fortune.

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.