Canadian HR Reporter

5-Star Learning & Development

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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www.hrreporter.com 3 sophisticated offerings "to support a better learning experience … so it's really been an accelerant for change," he says. The other major challenge has been the sheer disruption created in the workforce as people learned how to adapt to either a remote or a hybrid setup, or a combin- ation of these, says Baker. "[It's about] being able to put in place better learning technologies and support all those wide varieties of learning experi- ences," he says. "The digitization of the learning environ- ment for the workplace has happened at an unprecedented pace. And while we got a 'new now,' the next step is to go beyond just simply digitizing to teach well, to provide a more optimized learning experi- ence for those employees, give them a better opportunity to be successful." The pandemic accelerated everything that the L&D function had to do in responding to development needs, says Clarey. "We see it more as an evolution, so it was a fast-forward moment. It was, 'OK, now we're really going to do this. We've been talking about things for a number of years, and we're actually going to move that forward.'" Long before the pandemic, L&D needed to get closer to the actual work that people were doing and shift away from thinking about courses and classes as a way to solve problems or get people into a learning management system (LMS) to take a course, she says. "We see this in our 2022 trends research that enabling continuous learning through a really strategic approach is associated with better organization performance, higher HR effectiveness, and the ability to quickly change at scale." And now, there's a focused approach from employers on assessing what they need to be doing in person, says Clarey, because they don't need to go back and do what they were doing before, even if the pandemic is over. Those in the security business are busier today than they were prior to the pandemic because so many people have been working from home, shopping online and creating online accounts, making them vulnerable to hackers, says Jim Kootnekoff, president, CEO and founder of SecuSolutions in Calgary, AB. "They're using weak passwords, they're not patching their systems, they're not utilizing the security protocol or features and products that are available to them, because they don't know of them." Skills in demand Previously, security software and policies were largely an afterthought for some companies. But now, the issues that appear daily in the news have led to an under- standing that security is a serious matter, says Kootnekoff. "The corporations that we deal with are now realizing that a corporate [or] company handbook or employee hand- book that tells you when your lunch breaks are and when your holidays are, and that type of thing, they should also be empow- ered by some type of formal training," he says. "So, the trend is towards HR providing training as an onboarding product. Effect- ively, right out of the gate: 'Here's your cubicle, here's your company and employee handbook, and here's your username and password to log on to the security training that you're going to take before you touch a computer of ours.'" Companies are realizing that there is no silver bullet approach, and that security is ever evolving, says Kootnekoff. "There are new issues, new challenges, new phishing [and] hacking techniques. All of this stuff changes like the weather, so [companies are] looking more towards the long term, 'slow and steady wins the race,' rather than 'one and done' … They are looking at long-term strategy, continuous training." There's also the continued demand for strong technical skills, with cloud tech- nologies and different certifications, along with growing interest in leadership development and personal development in areas such as allyship, and diversity and inclusion, says Baker. To select the best learning and development service providers for 2021, Canadian HR Reporter enlisted some of the industry's leading professionals. During a 15-week process, the CHHR research team conducted one-on-one interviews and surveyed thousands more within its network to gain a keen understanding of what HR professionals think of current market offerings. Participants were first asked about which features of L&D platforms and training providers they thought were most important, and how the L&D service providers they dealt with rated based on those attributes. Across the criteria for the LMS provider category, the winners scored highly on factors such as ease of use, ease of integration, technical support, platform features, management reporting, and value for money. In the L&D training provider category, the nominees were ranked on the basis of quality and breadth of content, learner engagement, user experience, value for money, and learner outcomes. At the end of the research period, the providers that received the highest rankings were named 5-Star L&D winners. Based on company size, the voters consisted of the following: METHODOLOGY 43% small firms (1-99 employees) 22% medium-sized fims (100-999 employees) 35% large firms (over 1,000 employees) "Continuous learning is associated with better organization performance and the ability to quickly change at scale" Janet Clarey, McLean & Company

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