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Learning and development tools—why your employee growth strategy needs them

Enterprise Learning and Development Tools | CYPHER Learning

Executives and human resources (HR) professionals already know the importance of investing personally and professionally in employees. With over $19.2 million in annual corporate spending devoted to training, it’s no wonder that business leaders keep careful tabs on new learning opportunities. Competitive salaries, healthcare benefits, office perks, and opportunities for upward mobility are just the beginning for employee growth.

Equally important are new chances for learning and development, which play a crucial role in longevity and success. With employees able to hop between companies more easily, investing now in internal employee training and development is a necessity.

The benefits of training span multiple industries, end users, educators, and leaders. With up to one-third of companies investing in either in-classroom or hybrid learning, now is the prime time to prioritize employee upskilling.

In this post, we'll explore some of the reasons why corporations should value learning and development for teams, managers, and new hires.

What is an L&D tool?

A learning and development tool is any platform, application, or curriculum that helps learners build new skills or acquire new knowledge. Although traditional “tools” are more likely related to in-person curriculum delivery, digitalization means that L&D options are online, making them more flexible and convenient than classroom training methods.

For example, online learning platforms like CYPHER provide corporate courses on a variety of topics, allowing learners to access instructional material from anywhere in the world.

Where can you implement L&D tools?

Knowledge-sharing tools are useful in almost any context, but they’re instrumental for any organization that wants to help employees reach the following goals:

  • Gain new skills for career or educational advancement
  • Pursue modern training, development, and upskilling in a business context
  • Increase opportunities for hybrid learning, personalized experiences, or class creation in an academic or educational context

Additionally, these tools are essential for course creators who want to design innovative content experiences, track learner progress, and measure competencies more accurately. With new technology and AI-powered features, L&D leaders can even use these platforms to create fully functional virtual classrooms, administer compliance or regulatory assessments, and provide peer or instructor feedback.

The CYPHER difference

When selecting the right learning and development platform, choose a solution that includes the most important features based on specific use cases and success metrics. For example, CYPHER’s out-of-the-box features offer an exceptional, simplified user experience in the worlds of both business and academia.

CYPHER’s ability to identify and measure return on investment (ROI) is one of its most valuable features. In fact, it’s why eLearning Industry has recognized CYPHER as a top 2023 platform for measuring ROI and delivering benefits for learners.

Importance of learning and development in the workplace

Before creating successful learning and development modules, L&D leaders first have to understand employee expectations. That’s because motivation and desire for learning opportunities have never been higher, with up to 57% of employees seeking personal and professional development through workplace training opportunities.

In response to what employees actually want from the world of work, the benefits of learning and development systems are numerous. Below are just a few advantages of integrated training courses.

Employee engagement

With development tools in place, there’s a direct, documented impact on employee engagement within a team. The level of support and education that team members receive directly impacts personal motivation, sense of community support, and positive growth.

Having a highly engaged workforce matters—not simply for sales and revenue but also for the attitudes and experiences of employees as they interact with customers and external parties. And when up to 80% of employees report that learning opportunities drive their internal sense of personal engagement, astute employers have to pay attention.

Employee retention

In the midst of cultural workforce shifts like the Great Resignation, corporations and businesses are responsible for protecting worker retention rates. Undoubtedly, staff members tend to stay longer when there are relevant, on-the-job opportunities to close skill gaps or build upon existing knowledge.

This rule of thumb also applies to new hires and recruits. When reliable onboarding information is available, new employees have the tools, resources, and skills they need to protect their own job performance. In some workplace studies, 50% of hourly new hires quit or are fired in the first six months, and 40-60% of management new hires fail within 18 months.

It’s no secret—better learning and development opportunities prevent these poor outcomes and help employees find footing in one company.

Immersive experiences

When it comes to learning and development, unique experiences make on-the-job training more accessible. This is particularly helpful in corporate environments where hard skills, like coding or web development, are essential to employee and corporate success. Immersive training is also pivotal in hands-on contexts, such as medical care, where physical practice needs to be mixed with curriculum-based training material.

In other contexts, personal training experiences designed around soft skills might be more predictive of long-term job success. The human connection between learners and instructors is one of the most influential predictors of mutual trust and engagement.

Positive cultural shifts

A culture of continuous improvement reshapes the way people perceive their environment. When everyone participates in training based on their starting point, growth becomes cross-departmental and accessible to everyone.

The following positive changes happen when learning and development is comprehensive throughout the organization.

  • Skill Enhancement: New learning programs help employees acquire new skills and knowledge, making them more competent in their roles. The result is more confidence and optimism about a job well done. Increased competence also leads to greater job satisfaction and accomplishment, positively influencing team dynamics.
  • Adaptability: As employees learn and develop, they’re more flexible and open to change. Staying agile is crucial in a business environment and market that’s often unpredictable. When a culture embraces change, employees are more resilient.
  • Inclusivity: Inclusive learning and development programs also cater to the diverse needs and backgrounds of individual employees. This inclusivity sends a powerful message about the organization's commitment to equality, fostering a more welcoming work environment.
  • Open Communication: Dynamic training programs encourage open communication and thoughtful collaboration. Employees have opportunities to discuss, share new ideas, and brainstorm to solve problems. Cultures of transparency often place higher value on new, inventive contributions and ideas.

Identifying potential problems in your current learning and development process

Identifying problems in your current learning and development process is critical. Regularly evaluating frustrations or employee roadblocks helps leaders finetune the process, ensuring a more effective and adaptive learning strategy that benefits individuals and the company.

There are three major problems that organizations often face when trying to accelerate the development or training experience: lack of a suitable LMS, half-hearted diversity initiatives, and missing KPIs metrics.

Lack of Learning Management System (LMS)

One of the most pressing challenges that organizations face when creating an effective training program is not having a modern, adaptable Learning Management Solution (LMS) in place. Without an LMS, there’s no centralization and no process for sharing valuable data, information, or in-depth curriculum.

This lack of centralization can cause issues for HR professionals, training leaders, and executives who have to answer to stakeholders about results. Plus, this problem leads to wasted time, resources, and productivity.

Companies need learning management systems that align with corporate values, budgetary restrictions, and employee goals. Modern LMS options should also provide the highest level of tech advancement and features, including intuitive AI-powered course design and instructional materials.

Missing diversity and inclusivity

As a general rule, development and training programs need to accommodate many types of learners, employees, and other important individuals within the organization. Lack of diversity is a top concern within today’s public spaces, with some learners feeling like there’s no room for growth.

Many common barriers to diversity in the workplace are unconscious, according to Diversity in Tech. Examples might include stereotyping an employee based on their demographic or schooling, or awarding promotions to certain individuals more than others.

This means that while outright discrimination is not the biggest issue in learning programs, failure to acknowledge shortcomings leads to mental, social, and emotional stress. Modern Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives can mitigate some of these workplace issues by educating employees on real-life ways in which intrinsic bias shows up.

Modern LMS platforms often provide customization options for each user, using interactive learning modules that are personalized to specific needs or learning outcomes. These tools help organizations create inclusive and diverse cultures, beginning from the first onboarding or training experience. Features like language translation capabilities and interactive or collaborative lessons make it easier to reach across the table and truly understand colleagues who come from different backgrounds, cultures, or walks of life.

Lack of measurable training results

Regardless of what type of training program an organization implements, ROI and value must be clear. Without plans in place to evaluate, how can course designers and L&D leaders truly understand what’s working?

This is another disadvantage of not having a suitable LMS; the inability to obtain measurable results becomes a major block when companies want to give employees specific goals to obtain or milestones to reach within a certain time.

With an LMS like CYPHER, companies can unlock access to good data such as:

  • Individual employee performance throughout modules
  • Completion rates
  • Trackable feedback (between designers, instructors, and students)

These features make it easier for organizations to use their training programs as unique differentiators, with more potential to stand out in a crowded corporate market. It also allows companies to ensure they’re investing in the right tools that bring measurable positive impacts.

How artificial intelligence reinvents traditional L&D

There’s perhaps no greater transformation in the world of learning and development than the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). New learning outcomes are made possible through the delivery of personalized, efficient, and engaging training experiences.

AI-powered chatbots can often provide immediate user support, enhancing engagement and encouraging deeper levels of motivation. Additionally, AI can be used for data-driven decision-making so institutions can accurately analyze data to allocate resources more effectively and improve the quality of content.

Content creation tools like CYPHER Copilot also automate the creation and development of interactive learning materials, which saves time and resources on manual processes. Perhaps most importantly, CYPHER puts control in the hands of the user. Simply upload your own materials, and control which content AI pulls information from. This crucial distinction puts the power of generative AI into the creator’s hands in a more controlled, predictable learning environment.

Despite rapid changes in the AI landscape, the primary point remains—AI technology must empower human connection, not eliminate it. Without personalized data and interactions, AI integration can feel disjointed and robotic, which is the opposite goal of most healthy training and development initiatives.

Sharpen your training with CYPHER

The world of work must rise to new economic concerns, employee expectations, and corporate stretch goals. But regardless of what happens externally, companies have a responsibility to look internally at learning and development tools that deliver results.

That’s where CYPHER Learning comes into play. As one mid-market leader shares:

“I genuinely like the ease of access with which both instructors and students can navigate courses on CYPHER. I have used other learning management systems before and they tend to be all over the place and overall just clunky. With CYPHER, I can better direct the flow of attention and everything is visible practically from the start screen. Generating a downloadable version of the gradebook easily saves me hours of work.“

Let’s make these results possible on your team and throughout your business. Schedule a free demo now to see our award-winning platform in action!

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