Top Learning Software Tools To Upskill Your Workforce in 2020

January 14, 2020 - Nicola Cronin

With the continuing rise of AI, cloud services, VR and big data – 2020 will see new opportunities for businesses to upskill their workforce.

Many organisations neglect the value of upskilling, or at least struggle to pull it off effectively. In this ever-changing technical working landscape – with automation disrupting traditional forms of working – our skills out-date quicker and organisational loyalty is generally lower. 43% of millennials leave their companies within the first 2 years, and so the need for businesses to be upskilling, training and nurturing their employees is more important than ever.

Identifying the skills your workforce needs, and then offering them an effective training solution, can do wonders for retention, job satisfaction, and morale – not to mention attracting new talent. Luckily for organisations, individuals are also hungry for development in both digital and soft skill areas. According to LinkedIn's Workforce Learning Report, 94% of employees said they would stay at a company longer if they were offered opportunities to learn and grow.

As these technologies become more accessible, organisations have an even wider range of advanced software tools at their fingertips to help with the development of their people. From VR training, to chatbots, to gamification and the ever-increasing use of AI – the options are endless.

But where do you begin?

For large organisations, learning and development software can take a lot of time, money and resources to implement. It's therefore important to know what's out there, as well as what will work best with your employees.

Below is a list of the top software tools to upskill your workforce in 2020 across a range of different development areas...

Mentoring Software – Guider

Running a mentoring program is a highly effective way of upskilling your workforce and fostering community all at once. Those with mentors experience an increase in knowledge, self-confidence, job satisfaction, and more. Not to mention it's a great method of boosting employee engagement and retention.

Mentoring can obviously be executed manually, however, it takes program managers hours of time, admin, and emails. As well as this excessive workload, matching mentors and mentees manually is also susceptible to subconscious bias.

Using Guider, mentoring software powered by AI, allows organisations to execute mentoring programs at scale and easily track progress and success. Users are matched using AI based on what makes a successful mentoring relationship, and can track their progress and goals within the platform. Guider also has integrated video chat so impactful mentoring can also take place even if employees are not based in the same office, an effective feature for global organisations.

Most importantly, program managers can access insightful data to track the success of mentoring, as well as to identify skills gaps that their current mentors can't support with.

Guider Platform

VR Training – VirtualSpeech

Emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (XR) are expected to become a staple in employee training over the coming years. These technologies allow employees to learn through experience and, free from distractions, retention rates with VR learning can be as high as 75% compared to 5-10% from e-learning and traditional workshops.

VirtualSpeech courses have been used by over 300,000 people and focus on soft skills such as public speaking, leadership and interviews. Employees learn tips and techniques online and then practice what they've learnt in VR, as if they were performing the task in real life.

Learners can upload their own slides, custom questions and analyse keywords, as well as receive instant feedback through AI on aspects of their performance such as use of hesitation words, perception and listenability.

This feedback loop is essential in accelerating learning as both employees and managers can track a learner's progress, and therefore easily monitor ROI.

On-The-Go Learning – TalentCards

For workforces that are predominantly deskless, training needs to be delivered in a highly digestible and mobile-friendly way. The lengthy, colourless and limiting design of traditional training platforms is therefore just not equipped for modern working.

TalentCards allows organisations to create highly engaging learning cards on desktop software, which can be accessed by their workforce on mobile. These cards are simple, creative and dynamic – as you can link to articles, videos and other multimedia from them.

This learning software has been designed to be easy to use for those who are not based in front of a desktop computer: it's bite-size, mobile-first and no set up required.

In-keeping with software trend predictions for 2020, TalentCards is also utilising gamification to track progress of skill learning. Program managers are then able to see this data to measure ROI of their training, and edit the cards accordingly.

Talent Cards Platform

E-Learning Library – Coorpacademy

For large organisations with hundreds or thousands of employees, it's hard to cater skills training for many different teams and individuals. Having a go-to platform that employees can use to browse topics and potential areas of improvement, and upskill themselves in their own time, is really valuable.

Coorpacademy is a modern online course provider – think Netflix but for your training needs. With an engaging design and smart personalisation, the platform has a 90% engagement rate with employees across the world.

As well as their catalogue of 1000+ universal training courses, organisations can also add their own. This customisable option allows for company-specific training, while not being limited to internal programmes – meaning employees can upskill themselves in broader topic interests.

Coorpacademy Platform

Task Tracking – Tomato Timer

This is not an eLearning software, but rather a tool to reduce procrastination and encourage productive ways of working amongst your workforce.

It's common for teams to get stuck into an unvaried routine of working, leading to unenthused and unproductive employees. Innovating methods of working can effectively reinvigorate a workforce and increase efficiency.

Following the principles of the Pomodoro technique – a 25 minute interval time management method – Tomato Timer allows users to focus solely on tasks for brief periods of time and then reward themselves with short breaks.

Of course, individuals should be able to take responsibility to change the way they work. However, often – and especially in larger companies – employees don't feel like they can.

That's why it helps to ‘come from the top'. By a manager implementing and encouraging different working techniques through software like Tomato Timer, teams will feel more comfortable figuring out how they best work.

Tomato Timer Platform

Emotional Intelligence – Roche Martin

With employee wellbeing only set to increase as a priority for organisations in 2020, upskilling your workforce on themselves and their emotions is just as important as on technical or leadership skills.

Roche Martin is a software tool to help employees understand and develop their emotional intelligence. When we truly understand our feelings, we gain the ability to control them and our behaviour. Emotional intelligence corresponds to higher self-awareness, regulation and empathy, which is why it's no surprise that emotionally intelligent people make better leaders.

Using ECR to measure your employees' EQ, Roche Martin can then deliver training via their platform to help enhance emotional intelligence across your workforce.

When looking for software tools to support upskilling opportunities in 2020, don't make the mistake of neglecting personal development areas like this.

Roche Martin Platform

Video Training – Panopto

Most of the time, it's quicker and easier to show someone something than explain it verbally. That's why the use of video for upskilling your workforce is so effective.

Panopto is an all in one video tool for screen recording, editing, hosting and sharing. Organisations can centralise their video comms, and create playlists to make content highly accessible.

You can also maximise the reach of in-person training, such as events or seminars, by live streaming them internally directly with Panopto. The software tool will automatically transcribe every version of a video, making it an optimal format for any device or viewer.

For L&D managers, analytics are available to track engagement, as well as viewer drop off rates to understand where to iterate and improve.

If you're looking to make video an integral learning and development medium for 2020, Panopto could be a great software tool to upskill your workforce.

Panopto Platform

Digital Skills – Pluralsight

Software developers are constantly having to keep up with changing technologies and ensuring they stay at the top of their game. But the dev team aside, offering digital and coding training up to a wider audience can be hugely beneficial for both the business and the individuals.

The world needs more coders than ever. By investing in upskilling your existing employees from a digital point of view, you are giving them the opportunity to ‘futureproof' their careers, as well as increase your technical talent pool.

Pluralsight is a technology skills platform for businesses, that allows individuals to embark on specific technical courses, learning paths, and take assessments to track their progress.

For business use, they offer software programs specifically for teams and team projects. With over 6,000 courses, organisations can find a range of programs that can upskill their workforce in areas that are most beneficial to them and their digital set up.

It's really a win win for both employees and employers!

Pluralsight Platform

From the soft skill end: training through virtual reality and developing emotional intelligence, through to practical learning cards and software engineering skills, this list offers a wide range of software tools to upskill your workforce in 2020.

Rather than trying to focus on all areas at once, decide on your top priorities of learning and development for the new year – you might find that some of the software mentioned above can help to achieve more than one objective!

Guest Author: Nicola Cronin – Content Marketing Manager, Guider.

Guider is helping organisations and individuals achieve their goals with impactful mentoring. On a mission to revolutionise the way companies develop their people, Guider's AI-powered mentoring software matches and grows meaningful mentoring relationships inside organisations.