October 3, 2022

7 Things to Look For In Your L&D Platform (+ Why Getting It Right Matters)

Melissa Malec

The best learning and development (L&D) platforms upskill your people so that they can perform better in their roles and progress in their careers, ultimately helping their teams and the business achieve goals.

To make sure the L&D platform you have—or are considering—is capable of doing just that, you’ll need to make sure it:

😎 Enables your people to learn in their own way 

🌟 Encourages meaningful engagement with the right resources

💪 Inspires them to achieve more in their roles

But how can you be sure just by looking at these tools whether they’ll deliver the outcomes you need as a business and as a People professional?

You can start with making sure any solution you consider has the 7 lucrative features outlined in this article.

A Quick Note On Learning Management Systems (LMSs) 

An LMS is software that companies use to host, manage, track and report on internal training in the workplace. 

These systems are some of the most popular for L&D teams and can be accessed online. 

Although LMSs have their place, they’re often inflexible, as well as expensive to adapt to your scaling company. 

Due to a lack of personalisation and limitation on content, these systems have very low engagement levels and usually end up wasting a business’s money rather than providing a strong return on investment. 

LMS’s do have their uses, especially for companies with a lot of top-down compliance based training, but when it comes to enabling professional growth and performance—they usually fall short. 

For meaningful learning to take place, you need a curation-based L&D function with high-quality content that upskills your people so that they can perform to the expectations of their role and push your business forward. 

Already have an LMS in place and loving it? Check out how Learnerbly can sit alongside your LMS and drive upskilling that has a positive impact on the business.

Must-Have Features For a Powerful L&D Solution 

1. Resources That Spans Across Industries and Teams 

A great L&D platform is one that offers personalised development opportunities for every member of your team. 

Whether your engineering team wants to become more productive so that new features get pushed out sooner or your people team wants to elevate their hiring skills—your L&D platform should cater for it all.  

Although resources for improving technical skills are important, the best L&D solutions also have material that encourages personal development. Think: 

🧠 Well-being and mental health content

⏰ Productivity hacks 

💬 Leadership training 

With Learnerbly for example, you can provide your people with high-quality learning content from over 250 providers, regardless of their field, interests or reason for upskilling.

Our learning marketplace is organised in topics and by format so that people can easily learn what and how they want. 

With everyone’s learning needs taken care of, your people will be able to upskill in ways that will bring your entire company up with them. 

New ideas that could elevate your company or improve its performance can come from anyone and at any moment. 

If you only provide L&D resources to a select few, you do your company’s future and people’s development a disservice. 

2. Content That Accounts For Depth Of Industry Knowledge (From Beginner to Expert)

At any given point, you will have people in your organisation that are at different stages of their careers and have varying skill levels. 

That’s why your L&D platform needs to have resources available for the beginners and experts within your teams. 

This ensures that everyone in your company is enabled to perform, irrespective of whether they’re learning something for the first time that will help them deliver on a business critical project or sharpening their existing knowledge so that they’re always ready to hit the ground running. 

An effective L&D platform also needs to provide content that suits different learning styles. 

With Learnerbly, we have something for everyone—whether your people are after physical books, podcasts, courses, coaches or something else entirely.

By allowing your people to learn in the format that works best for them, the more effective their learning will be in driving their growth and performance in their role and the better able they can learn inthe flow of work.

3. A Recommendation Algorithm 

An effective L&D solution is one that combines the best of machine learning and human expertise to provide users with content that’s engaging and hyper-relevant to their performance goals. 

At Learnerbly, every user begins their journey by filling out a questionnaire that aligns the platforms algorithm to their skills, interests and format preferences. From there, the system continuously improves its recommendations based on how the learner interacts with the resources in the marketplace.

By having personalised content recommended to them, users can spend less time searching for quality learning materials. 

Your people can then take that time saved and spend it learning and applying those learnings to their roles.

It’s no secret that it's easier to engage with learning when the employee finds the resources interesting, relevant and accessible. That’s what a recommendation algorithm can help achieve.

4. Allows You to Set Personal Learning Budgets (PLBs)

You’ll also want to find an L&D solution that lets you set personal learning budgets (PLBs) for your people. 

Whether you know them as learning stipends, L&D allowances or development budgets, a PLB can: 

📚 Empower your people to take ownership of their development 

💪 Promote autonomous learning

When people have a say in how they spend their PLBs, they’re more likely to engage with the learning material available to them and as a result, upskill in ways that have a positive impact on their performance within the business. 

This is because PLBs give people the freedom to find materials that are suited to their interests and preferred learning styles. 

Empowering people to manage their L&D also encourages them to think about their future. 

When they know that their company is invested in their development and trusts them to manage the process, they feel more valued and fulfilled—leading to higher retention rates

Learnerbly’s PLBs remove any barriers to employee performance and progression. 

Teams don’t need to worry about out-of-pocket expenses or waiting for their managers to approve their requests.

Instead, everyone has equitable access to learning, as well as the autonomy to invest in what they want to easily keep up with the demands of their industries. 

5. Offers Curated Resources from the Best Learning Providers

As we mentioned earlier, many LMSs and even LXPs don’t provide people with the depth and variety of resources they need to learn effectively. 

If you wanted to achieve this with those systems, it would require time and resources that many People or L&D teams simply don’t have. 

That’s why you need a system that has done the work for you. 

Learnerbly offers a variety of resources that are tailored for your people. This includes:

✨ Curated learning playlists for their skills needs

✨ Personalised recommendations based on their interests and skills gaps

✨ Weekly newsletters curated by skills topics sent to Learnerbly users

This helps keep people invested in learning because the resources they engage with are organised and presented to them in a way that genuinely helps them get better at their jobs. 

It also means that your People team doesn’t have to choose one provider over another, juggle multiple L&D tools or waste money on company-wide subscriptions.

6. Ability to Scale With Your Business

In startups, it’s often easier to train people one-on-one or within their teams. 

As the company grows and processes become more complex, it’s nearly impossible to effectively train each person on an individual basis. Especially when it comes to managing learning requests and reimbursements, organising bespoke training or identifying skills gaps.

That’s why your L&D solution needs to be able to support your teams as they grow and learning needs change. 

If your people’s development is limited because your company’s L&D function can no longer support them, there’s a good chance that they will become unengaged and begin looking for better opportunities.

Just take a look at these statistics

🔍54% of immediate retention is associated with the employee’s belief that their company contributes to their development. 

🔍 People who had access to the L&D they needed were 21% more engaged than those that didn’t. 

To retain your company’s high performers, it’s crucial that your L&D solution can meet their evolving needs and grow alongside them. 

As your company expands, Learnerbly makes it easy to add new users and change approvers because we integrate with the most used HRIS tools like HiBob, BambooHR and Workday.

From day one, our platform and marketplace is seamless to implement into your organisation. Our platform is also quick, responsive and adapts to your culture. 

7. A Social Element

A great L&D solution is also one that leverages social learning and unites teams and colleagues behind topics, skills and goals.

With Learnerbly, your people can see what learning content is trending across the 1000s of learners within the Learnerbly community. 

We also integrate with Slack which gives your people insight into what resources their coworkers are requesting. 

Not only does this spark conversations between different departments and among teams, but it encourages a flurry of similar requests from others. We’ve seen time and time again one person requesting a book or course that then triggers others to do the same.

This can inspire them to use resources they hadn’t thought about previously and even motivate them to engage with more learning. 

Through analytics dashboards, managers can see what their people are learning and discuss these resources during one-to-ones. This can then prompt more productive conversations about the skills your people want to gain or improve to better inform their career development plans

There’s also the ability for colleagues to recommend different resources to each other through Learnerbly and add notes on how it could benefit their development. You can link these recommendations directly to feedback you give through your performance development tools like Leapsome or Lattice.

For example, if a manager gives feedback to a direct report on improving their presentation skills so that they can come across more confident and persuasive in sales calls then the manager can make a resource recommendation through Learnerbly that references that feedback. Peers can do it too.

This is a great way to keep everyone accountable.

Using Learnerbly’s data, managers and admins can track trends and engagement across different departments and team members. 

If you notice that a particular resource and topic is popular among your team, you could encourage them to create workshops around shared interests or learning goals.

Not only will this allow them to share knowledge and stimulate more learning, but it can help foster stronger workplace relationships, leading to higher team engagement and morale. 

Choose an L&D Platform that Helps the Business Grow

As we’ve seen in this article, you need to find an L&D solution with variety and scale to help your people meet their performance expectations and stay engaged in their development. 

If your people aren’t continuously developing, they’re likely to find greener pastures elsewhere. 

This is why a learning marketplace like Learnerbly is the next logical step in workplace training. We provide thousands of quality-controlled learning resources from over 250 providers and we organise them in a way that creates impact on the business. Learning is only impactful when it comes from the best resources and is done with clear intentions. 

Your people will have access to curated content that is personalised to their performance goals, interests, and preferred style of learning. 

Whether it be books, in-person courses, online courses, articles, podcasts or videos, all of your people’s learning needs will be taken care of and all of them will be empowered to perform at their best.

If you would like to find out more about Learnerbly or book a demo, you can get in touch with us here.

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