We’ve already talked about performance, compensation and succession. Adding learning to the equation is fairly simple, but again, it’s a two way street (perhaps more circular than linear). And once again, it all starts with jobs and the competencies that are attached to those jobs.
All competencies should drive a set of learning activities. How the integration path actually comes to fruition doesn’t really matter. A short route might be that jobs and competencies exist in a single data point and are simply sent to the recipient learning system. A longer route could be employee job data being sent to the talent management competency framework which is then sent to the recipient learning system. However it works is unimportant – what is important is that these data transactions are simple compared to the others we’ve discussed lately.
Returning data from talent modules like performance back to the learning system is more tricky. It’s not the data exchange that is difficult, it’s the interpretation of the data and the automation of what learning activities are now important. Take for example a employee review that identifies a lack of skill soldering widgets. A gap in this competency would need to trigger exact learning activities for the employee, or require employee/manager intervention to get it right.
One of the negatives about learning systems is they are generally separate applications rather than cohesive modules in a suite of products. That said, learning systems are among the most advanced when it comes to exposing web services for the consumption of other systems. Since learning administration has been interfacing with learning content for quite some time, they’ve become very good at passing data.
Again, we return to the point, the better the integration, the easier it will be for users to simplify process and clearly define forward career progress for an employee.