The DOTS LMS has been designed to provide a comprehensive suite of tools and reports. Your organisation may be investigating an LMS option for delivering e-learning, compliance management and a host of other outcomes achievable with a solid LMS platform. The DOTS LMS has the capability to extend even further into enterprise management as an excellent support tool for human resource governance. HR governance is strategic and vital for organisations to remain stable, agile and competitive. What is HR Governance? Generally speaking governance includes elements that help to define communications, decision making and business objectives. Linked to these elements are the need to manage and control to manage risks and support business performance with engaged employees.
The DOTS LMS platform has the tools to not only capture vital information in real time, the reporting capability permits visibility to leadership and throughout the organisation. This visibility of key data contributes to risk mitigation in compliance but also provides greater decision making agility to support competitive advantages and control costs. For example, a company can quickly determine its workforce capabilities for current or future requirements and then deliver training to address gaps or allocate resources differently to alleviate any risks from competency/skill gaps.
Knowledge of policies and procedures may be delivered both in online courses as well as available in the online knowledge portal to ensure access and availability at any time. With online delivery you can ensure that the results of this training is tracked and repeated at necessary intervals. Delivery of online training supports more effective communications as well. Senior leadership use the LMS to deliver messages pertaining to company strategy, performance updates and celebrations of success. All of these uses contribute to a more engaged workforce.
Performance monitoring is a key ingredient to HR governance. In DOTS, clients are cascading their strategic plans deeper into the organisation by including key result areas for persons to have line of sight to the overall strategic objectives. The appraisal process is automated to ensure that the appraisals are done and actions are taken to address further development needs and deliver rewards for high performance and commitment.
These are just a few of the ways the DOTS LMS supports human resource governance in an organisation. There are other tools and business processes that contribute to governance success. If you are interested in learning more about using DOTS LMS to support HR governance or would like some ideas on formalising governance in your organisation, please make contact.
There is an excellent info-graphic developed by CertifyMe.net titled ‘The E-Learning Revolution.’ Here are some of the interesting facts that are included on this info-graphic and they really paint an interesting picture of the growth and pervasiveness of e-learning in our organisational environments.
- 77% of American Corporations use online learning. I have not seen any statistics for Australian corporations.
- According to the CertifyMe.net info-graphic, e-Learning started in 1998 and is now 13 years old.
- The United States and Europe utilise 70% of e-Learning and the Asia Pacific region is growing fast.
- e-Learning is a $56.2 Billion business and is likely to double by 2015.
- Corporations save 50-70% when they replace instructor led training with online learning.
- e-Learning classes are typically 25-60% shorter in duration than instructor led sessions.
- 72% of corporations surveyed report that e-learning supports their need to maintain awareness of changes affecting their business.
These are some pretty interesting insights into a major change impacting organisations across the world. e-Learning has impacts that ripple throughout an organisation into areas such as sustainability, talent attraction, retention, resource planning, productivity and competitiveness.
First of all I guess you might wonder why I used the term ‘high performance’ in the headline. What does that mean? I see a few characteristics that distinguish a high performance sales team from others and capability frameworks contribute to the development and sustenance of high performance in any team.
One attribute of high performance is measurement. Each sales person should be measuring themselves against key performance targets and the team is measured collectively. These measurements flow up to management and are linked to the business strategy. High performance sales people strive to nail targets and prefer this to floating in an undefined operating environment.
Collaboration is sometimes a neglected capability in the highly competitive sales profession. However one thing I took away from attending Dreamforce ’12 last year was this is no longer negotiable. Collaboration is imperative both within the business as well as outward to prospects and clients. The range of technology platforms and collaboration tools is staggering. The sales professional must not only understand how to use the technology, she must also be able to leverage its power in a competitive sales cycle.
Collaboration also extends to the capture and sharing of best practices in the sales team. Knowledge capture and sharing somewhat mitigates risks of ‘brain drain’ when high performance sales people move on. This knowledge also facilitates more rapid on-boarding of new hires.
Clear strategy is based on a cascade of goals and objectives from the c-suite to the sales professional. The sale professional must have the capability to translate the business strategy to their operating strategy. The operating strategy is often defined at sales team level but not always in the case of persons managing large territories or working with a small number of clients in high value enterprise sales. The capability framework must include translating strategy to tactics and these tactics incorporated in an operational plan.
Tactical execution is one that capability that is easily identified in our behavioural assessment tools. The best strategy and tactics are worthless without execution and sadly this is one capability that is rare in the world of sales professionals. There are plenty of people out there who work ‘ad-hoc’ and seem to make some sales but these people are not high performance and they tend to be more difficult to manage and measure.
The capabilities around information management usually become obvious when we have a look at a business’s CRM. Information is often old, inaccurate or insufficient. The power that can be leveraged from a well -managed CRM is too great to compromise. The capabilities that support this include personal management and work flow practices.
Each of these attributes and possibly others must be included in the capability framework. The capability framework will greatly enhance recruitment and on-boarding of new sales team members. I use a tool to provides a behavioural analysis against each capability. When a shortlist is determined, each person is assessed against the defined capability framework. This has reciprocal benefits for the candidates and the company. The candidate is clear on the expectations of the position and is provided a scientific assessment of their behavioural match to the framework. The company reduces the risk of bad hires and the huge cost and cultural impacts these have.
When it comes to developing a capability framework it is a huge advantage to have a technology solution to support it. A learning management system is the most compelling platform but others include some performance management systems and some HRIS software. Regardless of what you use to create the capability framework, you need to consider the following;
- Link the framework to job titles.
- Ensure there are learning and development opportunities to support and enhance the capabilities.
- Development plans should have at least some focus on the capability framework if not be totally focused on it.
- The performance management process must be integrated with the capability framework.
Get in touch if you would like to explore developing a capability framework for your sales team or any other part of your organisation.
The difficulty facing many learning and development teams in organisations is the lack visibility in the executive team and board. There are a number of reasons for this and I have spoken with some who have resigned themselves to the ‘this is the way it has always been’ mindset. It is partially true but this should not prevent you from changing this situation if you and your team are working in such an environment.
The tactics to employ are pretty basic; there is no magical formula to change this reality other than coup d’état or your career taking you to the c-suite. Anyway here are some ideas that I have discussed with a few of our clients and the results have usually been positive if not transformative.
The most obvious way to gain some visibility is to approach members of the executive management team directly. Of course you may have met and mingled but have you taken an opportunity to schedule some time and really talked about your learning and development projects? This is not a meeting that is undertaken without preparation. You need to ensure that you link everything to what is important to the executive, for example;
- Reducing risk with better compliance tracking.
- Enhanced productivity.
- Training cost reductions [careful with this one but good if you have recently implemented an LMS!]
- If you have an LMS or similar, take this chance to show the person the types of information you are able to supply with your reporting capability. This one always causes raised eyebrows.
That all sounds ok but what do I do if there is a moat between me and the executive team? I do not know any of them and doubt the gatekeepers would grant a meeting. In this case you need to plan your approach using your network within the organisation. You need to find a person that supports your cause and is well connected. These people are not always obvious; strong connectors can be in any role.
Recently I heard an example of a IT support person with a husband who played tennis with a CFO. The IT person had no hesitation in saying a hello to the CFO and mentioning how impressed she was with the LMS implementation undertaken by the l & d team. Guess what? The CFO responded with, “What LMS?” The rest is happy history that depended on some synchronicity. People are more connected than ever and you will find it easier than you think to get an intro to a senior executive and gain some visibility.
One more tactic that has shown some success uses technology. If you have an LMS consider enrolling the executive management team in a course that demonstrates what you are doing. Corporate induction courses are always good for this as you can justify the enrolments in the interest of gaining valuable feedback and ensuring awareness of the content included in the induction programs. Surveys are also an excellent tool to gain better visibility for your learning and development team. One government agency we work with conducts regular surveys that are designed to communicate the learning and development strategy and gain input on planning future initiatives.
An old adage about advertising says: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Many organisations look at learning and development the same way as some look at traditional advertising. They are often not sure whether money spent is delivering measurable returns. When organisations start tightening budgets or changing their spending priorities, learning and development is commonly a target and made to operate with fewer resources. Despite the evidence we’ve learned on the importance of learning and development and its positive impact across many facets of an organization, including the bottom line, learning and development continues to be a cost cutting target.
One of the key reasons this happens is the lack of strategic linkage. Strategic linkage is lacking in a couple of primary ways. There is often not a strong representative of learning and development in the executive management team and even less so on a board. The second and somewhat related issue is the lack of demonstrable alignment between the strategic objectives of the organization and the learning and development strategy. The latter issue is often a perceptual problem in the executive team and one not shared by the learning and development team.
In a perfect world these two issues would not exist and in our client community I can happily report that these issues are becoming less common. I know from speaking to many learning and development professionals and senior organizational leaders the gap between the two is sometimes quite wide on a couple of fronts. The first is the lack of communication both up and down. This lack of communication is both interpersonal as well as the l & d team not having the tools to provide senior executives the data that would contribute to better decision making.
The second gap is one of return on investment. I am seeing more emphasis from senior executives on compliance and often at the exclusion of other measurable benefits that learning and development can deliver to an organization. One of the most obvious ones is resource planning. In an environment wrought with skills shortages and often a lack of quality candidates in the market, learning and development can deliver improved succession planning, improved productivity and overall risk reduction.
So how do we work to improve the situation? I will look at some ideas in our next posting.