During the last months, many companies were forced to accelerate their digitalization process. At the beginning of the pandemic, more than a quarter of all employees were working from home. While this development slowed down again during the summer months, many employees continued to alternate between working from home and at the office. Personal meetings, for the most part, were no longer allowed to take place, and so companies had to prepare solutions for ways to continue training their employees. According to a current WEF study, 42% of all employers want to adhere to this digitalized work model and continue promoting digitalization in basic and advanced employee training as well.
Central elements of personnel development are the offer, implementation and evaluation of advanced trainings and courses. The aim is to support employees in their professional and personal development and to prepare them for future requirements. By offering seminars and training courses, a company increases the loyalty of its employees. In addition, the company will benefit from the continued development of its employees' skills. At the same time, advanced training and development can generate competitive advantages, since highly trained employees enrich companies with their subject-specific expertise – especially in times of skills shortages. For this reason, companies should invest into personnel development and afford employees access to learning content and training courses. It's important that these personnel development measures be based on long-term systematic planning.
The importance of employee satisfaction should always be kept in mind. Measures should influence the employees' experiences in a positive way, along the lines of Human Experience Management (HXM). This also requires gearing offers of advanced and other training programs to the employees themselves. According to a trend study from 2020, the demand for modern learning strategies from combined learning formats has increased, especially within HR departments, which has also led to the development of blended learning.
What is blended learning?
Blended learning is an educational concept combining different methods and media as well as mixing together elements of formal and non-formal learning. Through the different use of methods and media, e-learning, for example, can supplement face-to-face events. The concept is also known as integrated and hybrid learning. Through suitable combinations, the goal of a training measure should be achieved as efficiently and effectively as possible. When designing a hybrid learning concept, you need to answer the following questions:
- Who is my target group?
- What are the needs of my target group?
- What is possible within my company in terms of technology and organization?
- What learning targets are to be attained?
One advantage of blended learning is that you can design activities flexibly and individually and allow people to learn at their own pace. Digital learning allows easier creation of a homogeneous learning level for all participants, since they can select learning content according to their learning style and work through that content during a period of time they themselves choose. One disadvantage of this concept is that a high degree of self-discipline and time management is required of participants. Employees also tend to perceive the amount of work involved in such learning concepts as greater compared with strictly face-to-face seminars.
In addition to traditional learning opportunities, employees often want informal ways to acquire knowledge. This includes, for example, the possibility of very easily looking things up or getting to know the systems in a realistic way by simply "clicking through". Each employee has a different learning style, or rather, each person prefers different ways of learning content. The visual learning type of person prefers to learn through pictures, videos, or sketches. The auditory learning type, on the other hand, likes to use podcasts or have oral presentations. The motor-driven learning type prefers to practice what they have learned by means of exercises, while the communicative learning type acquires knowledge through conversations or discussions.
But how can companies establish state-of-the-art, digital learning for their employees?
SAP Enable Now can be used as an efficient tool for personnel development, in order to meet the different needs related to the different learning styles by means of state-of-the-art learning technologies and platforms.
What is SAP Enable Now?
SAP Enable Now can support the formal and non-formal learning opportunities in the company and is available as on-premises or as a cloud version. This solution thus supports, among other things, the creation and implementation of blended learning content. In formal learning, SAP Enable Now can be used to create course content in any form, such as interactive charts, book pages or simulations. Apart from these examples, you can create quizzes or even entire exams. For non-formal learning, you can create learning libraries, wikis, videos and user-specific content. SAP Enable Now can be integrated with both SAP S/4HANA and SAP SuccessFactors, among other solutions. Users then have the possibility of directly receiving assistance whenever and wherever they specifically need it. This significantly increases the acceptance of systems and solutions among employees. SAP also directly provides standard content for the company's own applications, which it can adapt and enrich with its own content. In addition to mixing formal and non-formal learning, SAP Enable Now can also be used for mixing methods. The introduction of face-to-face and online courses increases employees' productivity. Here the knowledge portals also help with exploratory learning and direct support in the applications.
How can SAP Enable Now optimally promote the performance development of employees?
The desktop and web assistants included in SAP Enable Now can support employees in acquiring the required knowledge at the right time. Desktop assistants share knowledge with the users and improve operation and comprehension by means of content categories and direct simulations for current content. The web assistant provides context-dependent help in the SAP S/4HANA environment as well as in SAP SuccessFactors. Guided tours through the system demonstrate in real time what employees must do to carry out a task. You can update the content of the tours or add new elements. These desktop and web assistants help the employees find their way through the system, thereby increasing productivity and reducing the frustration related to working in systems.
How can SAP Enable Now support the knowledge development of my employees?
In addition to the supportive offer in the system, SAP Enable Now can also help with knowledge transformation. The application can be used to develop learning content for employees. There are user-friendly interfaces for the authors to create the learning content. They include features such as automatic hints in simulations and the selection of individual text fragments. Content can also be graphically adapted to the company layout. Several other features further supplement content management, such as the assistant's analysis through graphical reports, a well-organized library and the possibility of integrating the SAP Solution Manager, to add further training material or map processes and structures.
Social competence – more than dry theory
Besides professional training, employees' social skills should also be promoted. Self-management skills, presentation skills, or feedback skills should be further developed, depending on the person's function. SAP Enable Now can also advance the company in these regards. For example, web-based documents for these areas can be prepared. In this way, miniature views can be obtained for a quick overview of content, options, and elements. At the same time, new content can simply be added via the Editor. Should the user prefer to acquire content using a mobile device, you can provide a QR code. The solution also offers a barrier-free option through the text-to-speech function. Moreover, you can offer users individual slide backgrounds and display options, to provide a more positive learning experience in keeping with your company's corporate design. In general, SAP Enable Now serves to provide content in a faster, less complicated, and context-based way and to improve and optimize the learning experience through multifarious impulses.
All in all, on-the-job training is going through changes, and due to the corona virus crisis e-learning has increasingly moved into the focus of personnel developers. Blended learning offers a combination of possibilities, enabling all learning types to benefit from advanced training programs. SAP Enable Now combines formal with non-formal learning, and conveys knowledge in a timely manner and as required. Overall, the solution therefore affords numerous benefits for investing in the professional development of the employees and increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to the company. It's important to create a user-oriented, positive learning experience as part of human experience management.