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Workplace Learning: No Tech Left Behind

Standards and automation -- they help us to measure what we do, and they breathe life into efforts that might otherwise remain stuck in limbo as mere figments of our aspirations. We aspire to do a good deal, and much of it is good, but not all of it becomes a reality. For instance, we want our children to learn, but they don't always, and we search for ways to measure that, to determine why they languish educationally. Organizations, too, aspire to measure. The performance of their employees matters, and they want a hand in what their employees learn; they want to know how their employees' on-the-job learning is affecting organizational performance.
 
Technology provides the automation and the standardization that organizations crave and need in order to turn their employees' learning into measurable activity that actually has an impact.
 
Of course a blog about talent management technology would say something like that. But the assertion is true; just go to the research. Forty-eight percent of nearly 300 Aberdeen Group–surveyed enterprises across a wide spectrum of industries believe that both automation and tools for learning and career development are critical to executing business strategy. Ahead of learning and career development are employee performance management (54 percent) and talent acquisition (50 percent), according to Aberdeen's research, compiled in the report titled "Human Capital Management Trends 2012."
 
The inclusion of these technologies, along with the implementation of myriad additional factors outlined in the report, helps HR to become more strategic. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents whose organizations Aberdeen identifies as "best in class" report that they believe their departments have "become more strategic in the past year."
 
That means they actually know what they're doing, and they're accomplishing what they're setting out to do; they're likely measuring the activity, and they're probably sharing the favorable data with the C-suite. After all, more than three-fifths (61 percent) of organizations surveyed by Aberdeen make learning participation data easily accessible to managers. The information is making its way up the chain, and technology is giving HR the flexibility and the platform within which to be more strategic.
 
How does your HR department fare in the eyes of the C-suite? Does your organization's executives see your efforts as strategic or boring? That's the divide, the stark contrast. HR departments that deploy technologies spitting out usable data establishing correlation and causation between talent management's efforts and employees' forward movement and improvements exist on a different plane.
 
Learning technologies, and the data they spit out, play a large role. So employee assessment, performance management, succession management, or several other areas of talent management, and the best organizations use them all in orderly, controlled, conscious ways. These departments transcend the traditional, administrative tedium that holds back their counterparts; they move the entire profession of HR forward, beyond the stubborn perceptions that aren't entirely undeserved.
 
Put differently, technology leaves no HR department behind.