The year 2020 will go into the history books as the year of COVID-19, but it will also be seen as a year of massive change and reinvention defining the new workforce.
As I walk through my local grocery store, trying to enter aisles going in the correct direction and following new mask-wearing and hand sanitizing instructions, I am struck with the realization that there are new rules of engagement for businesses with their employees as well as their clients. Many employees are setting up home offices or working with new PPE that they’ve never had to use before. This escalates the need for companies to focus on reskilling and workforce transformation.
Massive changes like this have traditionally been managed in large group or face-to-face communication. With today’s social distancing rules, however, this simply can’t be done. Corporations are therefore forced to be creative in their methods of connecting with employees. Technologies such as web conferencing, e-learning, and online collaboration–which have been around for a while–have escalated in regular and ongoing use. A comprehensive solution such as SAP SuccessFactors Learning provides the support and tracking to ensure these technologies are easily accessible and effectively managed.
My book SAP SuccessFactors Learning: The Comprehensive Guide provides the context and setup for integrating these technologies into the platform. They are specifically covered in the following chapters:
- Chapter 5 – section 5.5 on virtual learning
- Chapter 6 – full chapter of online learning and content management
- Chapter 10 – section 10.1 on social learning with SAP Jam integration
Let’s break this down to the impacts of each of these topics.
Virtual instructor-led training (VILT) is a feature that allows web conference solutions to be integrated into scheduled learning sessions. Training that may have been delivered in a physical classroom can be transitioned to a virtual environment. While VILT has its challenges with connectivity and participant usage, a well-facilitated web conference session can have many advantages.
Participant questions are managed through chat or hand-raising features, small group discussions are supported through breakout rooms, and video/audio sharing is controllable. Within SAP SuccessFactors Learning, you can configure the main system administrator credentials for your web conference solution; then, instructor records are able to be updated with their web conference account credentials. This provides the following features:
- Instructors start/launch the web conference sessions from their My Classes tab.
- Participants launch the web conference session from their learning plan.
- Automated completion occurs after a defined percentage of participation has been met.
Self-paced learning is facilitated through the design and delivery of online learning. There are many advantages of the online learning format. Learners can choose to learn at a time and location that is convenient to them. It also removes the coordination and costs associated with hosting a face-to-face session.
With pandemic restrictions, it is not only budget that is limiting in-person sessions; it may not be possible at all. Online learning paired with Assessments (covered in chapter 9 of the book) provides companies with the confidence that important messages about new work processes and policies are delivered and understood. The online content itself could be something as simple as an AICC-wrapped policy document or presentation, or more complex like a fully designed and published SCORM course.
Collaboration in the SAP SuccessFactors suite is facilitated through the SAP Jam module. This module includes features like the ability to participate in group chats, share materials, and record online tutorials, just to name a few. There is a free version of this license that is included with the purchase of any SAP SuccessFactors module, but there are also extended versions of SAP Jam available at a cost—one in particular that integrates SAP Jam collaboration with the Learning module. This integration allows the following functionality:
- Automatically invite participants to an SAP Jam group based on item assignment, registration, or completion.
- Launch an SAP Jam group directly from the item or program details.
- Present social learning results from a keyword search in the Learning catalog.
Online collaboration introduces a more interactive experience to the online learning format, and this will engage learners who are transitioning to a remote work environment.
As the new workforce emerges from challenges faced in 2020, companies need to look for alternative ways to connect with their employees. Solutions like SAP SuccessFactors Learning have long supported virtual, online, and social learning capabilities. You may have considered implementing these solutions in the past, but due to budget or resource restrictions were unable.
Now is the perfect time to reconsider implementing these extended features. You’ll find the configuration and setup details required for these features in SAP SuccessFactors Learning: The Comprehensive Guide. If you are looking for more assistance with your implementation, you can find me on LinkedIn here. For more detailed information about the importance of reskilling the workforce, you can also refer to this SAP Insights article.