There’s no disputing the real and continuing problem of our nation’s high unemployment rate. With nearly 13 million Americans out of work and more than 8 million more under-employed, we’re faced with a serious lack of available jobs in this country.
Or are we?
According to the US Department of Labor, companies have been attempting to fill more than 3 million job openings per month since February 2011. So why the disconnect between workers looking to get hired and jobs going unfilled?
In a word… training.
According to a January 2012 survey by ManpowerGroup, almost half of the 1,361 US companies polled reported that they were unable to find workers with the right skills to fill open positions. But with the uncertainty our economy faces, companies are also less willing to invest in training new employees. It has long been the dilemma of corporations; investing in training is expensive, but maintaining employee skill growth is necessary. The solution to this dilemma however, may already be here.
The rise in social learning in the past few years has now begun to catch the eye of corporate learning officers (CLOs) and others who control the budgets for training. Just as social media has changed the landscape of reporting and disseminating news events, social learning is changing the way people are learning new skills.
The appeal of social learning is obvious; it is far cheaper than traditional training methods. Colleges and universities have recognized the cost benefits of social learning for years now. A decade ago it was in the form of online registration and scheduling, virtual classrooms where students could receive instruction and post assignments, even “chatting” directly with instructors. Today, learning institutions are focused on providing access to learning in whatever format is most efficient – from smart phones to tablets to electronic readers. Social learning is moving to the cloud.
See the value of social learning.
When viewed in a historical perspective, the evolution of social learning is an obvious one. Technology is developed in an effort to make tasks easier and more efficient. When a new mode of performing a task proves to deliver superior results, it quickly becomes the standard. This is the point that social learning is approaching now. Through the use of social intranets, job-specific wiki’s, best practice databases and other internal tools, employees can take an active role in updating their skills.
In order for companies to meet the needs of employees and potential employees to become skilled on ever-increasingly complex job tasks, they must consider a new paradigm in their approach to training. Not only do they need to adapt their training techniques to the way today’s employees learn, they also need to adapt their learning management systems (LMS) to newer and more efficient models.
One such LMS to check out is TOPYX® – it was built from the ground up with award-winning social learning tools to enhance the online learning and communication environment. You can see TOPYX for yourself by requesting a free, personal LMS demo.
With a low flat subscription for unlimited users and usage, many companies are seeing the value that TOPYX social LMS can provide to overcome their training and talent issues.
Affordable social learning tools exist to change how companies manage, deploy and expect results from their training programs. These social technologies will contribute to more efficiently training today’s workers, to be ready for tomorrow’s needs.
Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications