Speexx Exchange 2016 – digital transformation in 2017

by | Feb 14, 2017 | Articles, Featured | 0 comments

Global HR and L&D professionals across 22 countries discussed digital transformation, making a case for blended and mobile learning, knowledge management best practices and much more at the 7th annual Speexx Exchange 2016.

During the event, hosted by Laura Overton of Towards Maturity, experts and thought leaders from the global HR and L&D community from more than 20 countries were able to network and share latest industry research and best practice on global digital transformation projects.

HR and learning and development professionals participating in the event were asked,

“How do you currently define key performance indicators (KPIs) for learning progress within your organisation?

Six options for response were available and respondents were able to choose more than one. The majority (37.3%) of learning and development professionals use measurements of increased employee and/or customer satisfaction as the main way to measure learning progress within their organisation.

As many as 14.7% of respondents focused on the number of certificates per business unit obtained within a given time as their KPI for learning progress and the same percentage defined learning progress by increased sales. Almost a fifth (18.7%) used the number of training hours as their KPI, while 9.3% focused on decreased employee turnover. A small minority of respondents (5.3%) said they either measured training results infrequently or not at all.

The Speexx Exchange 2016 event included regular ‘reality checks’ where participants were able to share their experiences and opinions on e-learning and talent management practices. The final reality check asked L&D and HR professionals how they planned to take action in their company to get leaders and learners on board with the latest e-learning techniques to address digital transformation trends and to implement blended and mobile learning, and knowledge management best practices.

Reality check: findings from the live poll

Findings from the live poll held at the Speexx Exchange 2016 focused on three main questions:

1. “What do we need to do to get leaders on board? What skills do we need to do that?”

Responses included:

  • Talk their language – as this helps with credibility.
  • Focus on developing effective communication skills, especially listening skills.
  • Give leaders ownership of and responsibility for learning and development.
  • Look at best practices and trends – and don’t forget to look at what competitors are doing too.
  • Implement a system of influencers, change agents and ambassadors to give leaders a role in supporting learning and development.

2. “What do we need to do to support self-directed learners? What skills do we need to do that?”

Responses included:

  • Focus on creating effective content that is fun and engaging.
  • Make sure learners are aware of the learning content and facilities available to them.
  • Make learning content available in easily accessible bite-size chunks.
  • Provide extra support to empower the learner respect different needs and put in place mentorship scheme.
  • Gain a clear commitment to learning from learners.
  • Provide a transparent means of feedback on learning delivery and content.

3. “How do we modernise our approach to building the skills in the learning and development department? How can we facilitate experiential and social learning?”

Responses included:

  • Put the learner at the centre of learning and development delivery.
  • Take a ‘test and learn’ approach that allows people to learn by their mistakes.
  • A modern approach to building skills should not be 100% digital. A blended solution, mixing e-learning with on-the-job learning, coaching and mentoring and formal classroom teaching, works best.
  • Create a network of ambassadors who will champion skills development in the L&D department.
  • Foster peer support.

Interpreting the group feedback

Many of the ideas the global HR and L&D professional community came up at the Speexx Exchange for modernising learning and development share a common theme. Getting buy-in for learning was widely viewed as important and delegates suggested that systems and structures to formalise buy-in could be the way forward. For example, fostering leadership buy-in is seen as key and the way to do this is to provide some sort of ownership so that leaders take responsibility for the contribution of learning and development to the strategic goals they have set for the organisation. One way of achieving this might be to set up an ambassadorship scheme where people from leaders to individual employees have a role to play in fostering a learning and development culture.

Many learning and development professionals are continuing to look at ways of transforming learning from being a top-down experience imposed in a classroom setting on employees, to a situation where employees take responsibility for their own, self-directed learning. The expert audience suggested a number of ways of achieving that, from fostering increased peer support through to providing more easily accessible, bite-size e-learning content that may be combined with on-the-job mentoring.


Speakers at the event, which took place in Berlin, on November 30 2016, included Gilbert Silva on behalf of Santander (Chile), James Ma, Head of HR and Head of the Learning & Development Center at Pharmaceutical MNC (China), Martin Addison, CEO at Video Arts, Brenda Barbour, Manager Knowledge & Communications Department IEG at World Bank Group, Chris Proulx, President & CEO at LINGOs and Steven Atkins, Alliances Manager at Saba.  A full report on the Speexx Exchange audit with additional data points from HR and L&D professionals who took part in the global survey will be available in Spring 2017 on the Speexx website. The 7th Speexx annual invitation-only reality check on e-learning and talent management practices, to be held in December 2017, will enable L&D professionals to check in with each other and find out how they are progressing against these goals.

Watch the video that recaps the highlights of the Speexx Exchange 2016:

About the author

Armin Hopp is the Founder and President of Speexx, provider of award-winning online corporate language training. The company operates in over 80 countries and has a worldwide network of more than 1,500 online tutors. Speexx offers an extensive range of innovative language-learning modules and has delivered award-winning results for more than 8 million users worldwide.

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