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The three faces of learning

Blog posts | 08.02.2021

Steve Lowenthal

CEO - Kineo US at Kineo US

‘Change is the only constant’ – never has a saying seemed more true than this one in the last year. But the world of L&D has been evolving long before 2020, and we’re seeing two key trends that are really shifting the dynamic in the employer-employee relationship.

Employee expectations are shifting

The first major change is all about employee expectations. For decades, the relationship between employer and employee was a largely employer-centric one. Employers provided a stable, long-term ‘home’ for their employees, and in return, employees expected a paycheck and support to do their job. With increased employee mobility and decreased employer loyalty, these expectations have evolved. Employees expect more. As an employee, I’ll invest my time, energy and emotion into the organisation and in return I expect you to invest in me and my career (as well as other things that are important to me, like social investment).  

The second major trend is the emergence of social content. Google has removed most barriers to accessing unlimited amounts of content, and sites like YouTube have democratized expertise – you no longer need an authoritative platform like a publisher or company to share expertise to a worldwide network. The judge and jury of your content is the consumers of that content themselves. These changes in the way we access content are reflected in an employee’s expectation of learning within an organisation. They see as much, if not more, value in advice and insight from peers as they do in formal training resources.  

From employee training to employee development

In response to these changes, the role of a learning organisation has continued to evolve and grow. Two decades ago, the primary focus for L&D was on providing employees the skills and knowledge they need to do their current job, or what is commonly referred to as “training”. The learning management system (LMS) found a place in almost every organisation to assign and track the resulting courses and curricula.  

Now, in response to the socioeconomic trends described above, two additional paradigms have emerged. These are development and collaboration.

Development responds to expectations about supporting an employee’s career. When we talk about development, we're really talking about the set of activities needed to provide employees the structure and tools to effectively prepare for the future of their current job, a progression in their career or a totally new career track all together. Development comes in many guises and is multi-faceted. It includes planning, discussions with a manager or coach, feedback and access to learning. 

Collaboration is about unlocking access to the insights and expertise of employees across the organisation – employees want to “Google” their peers to find someone with a particular experience or knowledge base. While employers often stress about employees getting “bad” information, the YouTube generation simply sees ferreting out their “likes” and “dislikes” as part of the experience – in fact, they find it empowering.  

Addressing the challenge

At Kineo, we support organisations moving into these new ways of working through our relationship with Totara, in particular through Totara: Kineo Edition, which is made up of a fully integrated suite of learning technologies that better map that employee talent journey for you and your organisation. The recent release of T13, which introduced the full talent experience platform of Learn, Perform and Engage working as a learning ecosystem, has really unleashed the potential of L&D teams to engage with their audiences in a deeper and more meaningful way, addressing some of these macro trends to create some meaningful impact on their employees' development.

A bigger performance picture with Totara Perform

A new module released as part of T13, Perform aims to allow organisations to tailor their performance management processes in a way that suits them. Personalising performance plans helps to engage with employees and align employee’s development plans with organisational goals. You can use Perform to:

  • Provide clear development paths and empower employees to take ownership of their career
  • Create a structure to hold managers accountable for providing the feedback their employees crave
  • Tailor workflows to your support your organisation’s performance management process

Better collaboration with Totara Engage

Engage, another part of the Totara learning suite, allows your employees to share knowledge and tips across the organisation, increasing real-time learning. The social learning element and content curation allows employees to access exactly what they need, in the flow of work.

  • Curate and create content and share with group or the entire organisation
  • Organise content into topics
  • Crowdsource content 
  • Create playlists with your favorites
  • Set up workspaces organised by project, topic or department
  • And it’s all available through an integration with Teams     

Together with Totara Learn, Totara’s LMS solution, these modules are known as the Totara Talent Experience Platform. And Kineo hasn’t stopped there. We’ve integrated a number of other industry-leading technologies across the content, data and learning space to further meet organisation and employee needs. Taken together we call this ecosystem, Totara: Kineo Edition. 

Support to take the next steps

Finally – don’t worry, we understand that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and you don’t have to figure it out on your own.  

  1. We’ve done the hard work of integrating the pieces together so you have a turn-key experience.
  2. We’ll help you set a vision for learning for your organisation, and to create a roadmap to meet those needs.
  3. Finally, we’ll be there to make it all a success.  We’ll guide you through implementation, we’ll train up your team, we’ll provided comprehensive managed services to keep it all up-to-date and running smoothly, and we’ll stay engaged to grow your solution as you grow.  

Get in touch

Steve Lowenthal

CEO - Kineo US at Kineo US


Steve Lowenthal has over 15 years of experience in Learning Technologies in consultancy, sales and management roles. He's a regular speaker at US conferences and events on trends in LMS, elearning and technology.

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