Top three takeaways from Fosway webinar on harnessing learning for the frontline

We live in a world where nearly every company calls itself a tech company. It’s also a world where employees need to learn faster to keep up with changing culture, changing pace and changing work. But when it comes to frontline employees who touch your customers – who drive your growth, revenue, reputation, efficiency, performance and customer success – L&D teams still tend to offer the same old, same old.

That needs to change, according to David Perring, Director of Research with Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst.

During a recent webinar, Harnessing Learning for Your Front Line, and the Bottom Line, David talked with Liam O’Meara, Axonify’s VP of Europe, about what organizations can do better.

Here’s what we learned.

Learning is the top reason people want to work for you

Let’s talk data. In their latest research, Fosway found that learning tops the list of what really matters to employees. In fact, half would leave your organization for better training. If you remember nothing else from this webinar, make sure you remember this.

If employers want to attract, retain and engage their employees, simply offering advantages like technology and flexible work environments won’t cut it anymore. Personal and professional development tops the list with 69% of HR professionals saying it’ll be the most important value proposition, followed by career progression at 64%.

Still, there’s a real sense that current approaches aren’t cutting it. Half of their survey respondents said their learning platforms weren’t up to snuff in the era of the modern workforce.

Organizations are taking notice. About 70% are in the middle of giving their learning a digital facelift and 25% are in the planning stages. In other words: there’s a high level of investment in learning.

There’s more than one kind of learning

That learning needs to be effective, though. For that, we need to look at how we deliver it to our frontline employees.

First, it needs to be where the eyeballs are. One of the biggest shifts we’ve seen is moving learning out of the classroom and closer to the workflow. What does that look like? Imagine employees taking a learning moment between calls, when they first join their shift for the day, when they’re traveling or even when they’re picking up their mobile devices.

Learning moments work best when learning content is delivered in micro-form. So rather than running a one-and-done session that covers a lot of ground, microlearning gives your frontline only the most relevant points about the tasks they’re doing on the floor.

Then we need to think about context. David identifies three levels of context that create a well-rounded learning experience:

  • Personal learning: The things that help us grow as individuals and gain mastery over skills we want to achieve, whether they’re work-related or not.
  • Strategic talent development: The capability of your organization as a whole, and how you equip your teams for future readiness.
  • Operational learning: The day-to-day tasks, skills and requirements that make the business run.

Measuring value beyond participation rates

But how do you know your frontline training is effective? In the webinar, David shared a statistic that only 14% of companies measure the impact digital learning makes on their business effectively. Most focus on old-school metrics like participation rather than the outcomes learning has.

The value-add you get from your L&D efforts shouldn’t be, “Hey, we cut costs this year.” It should be, “Hey, we performed better, and here are the results that prove it.”

Examples we’ve seen at Axonify include boosts in customer satisfaction scores, increased sales and reduced safety incidents. Whatever you track, the KPIs need to impact broader business goals.

And with the right combination of technologies, learning platforms like Axonify can actually go a step further. Imagine a system that makes suggestions about what each individual employee needs; that gets everyone to 100%; that even predicts performance into the future.

If there’s one thing you should take away, it’s this: Business is changing, and when you give your frontline workers the right support to keep up, you benefit from an engaged workforce plus a bottom-line boost for your organization.

Missed this webinar? Good news: you can watch it on-demand.

Caily is our resident retail whiz with a passion for CX. She’s spent more than a decade partnering with industry leaders to ensure success in strategic planning and omnichannel execution of national programs—so she knows the deal when it comes to the retail industry.

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