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Written by Sam Pemberton

The importance of personalized learning journeys

Have you ever sat through a training session where you already knew half the content? Or walked out the room wondering what you’ve learned. If so, you’re not alone.

One recent survey found that half of participants are dissatisfied with their employer’s learning and development (L&D) programs. Another, found that 70% of employees believe they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs.

L&D programs are clearly falling far wide of the mark – and this should be keeping leaders up at night. Not only are employees feeling ill-equipped for their roles, but organizations are spending a significant amount of money on training that’s not fit for purpose. In 2020, enterprises spent over $357 billion on corporate training initiatives, so why are employees not getting the training they need?

The problem with traditional L&D techniques   

One of the big problems with most L&D programs is that they take a blanket approach. All participants are served the same content (virtually or in a classroom).

This approach has clear flaws. It assumes that everyone is starting with the same knowledge base and wants to learn the same thing, but this is hardly ever the case. Even if two individuals join an organization at exactly the same time in exactly the same role, their previous experience will have left them with very different skillsets, and therefore very different training needs. One course simply cannot work for all, but what’s the alternative?

Enter personalized learning

Personalized learning is entirely focused on individuals’ requirements meaning people are only taught material that meets their learning needs and objectives. When applied in a workplace setting, it has several, significant advantages over traditional, blanket learning techniques.

  • It’s more engaging – Learners are more likely to close their email and engage in learning because content is obviously applicable to them.
  • It’s more effective – Learners are more likely to remember relevant content and apply learnings in their day-to-day roles.
  • It’s more efficient – Personalized learning maximizes learners’ time by getting to the heart of what they need to know. Organizations that adopt this approach clearly demonstrate their understanding of the pressures their people are under and show their respect for employees’ time.

The benefits of personalized learning are clear to see, so why isn’t every organization taking this approach? The answer typically lies in resources. Creating personalized learning journeys takes a lot of expertise and can be incredibly time-intensive for all teams involved, which is why organizations turn to us.

Skill Dynamics’ approach

We have developed a unique, scalable personalized learning approach, supported by innovative technology and cognitive science. We believe learning never stops and our training is designed to continually broaden our learners’ knowledge horizons.  

Most professionals that come through our virtual doors start their journey with an individual skills gap assessment. This assesses their current knowledge against a set of established competency benchmarks to understand the gap between their current and desired knowledge. For example, a supply chain planner might be an expert in supply planning but be less experience in demand planning skills and has a goal to improve in this competency. Our technology would identify this gap and automatically generate a personalized learning plan to fill it.

It’s an approach that we’ve honed over a decade, and through our work with over 500 global organizations to train over 300,000 of their supply chain and procurement people. This experience, combined with our flexible technology, enables us to assess learners and set them on a personalized learning journey that meets individual and organizational goals. And, crucially, actively encourages them to come back to keep learning.

Sam Pemberton Chief Executive Officer Skill Dynamics