HR Myth #3: Your LMS does Talent Building

Learn In
4 min readApr 30, 2021
Mt. Everest

Imagine that you have booked a trip to climb Mt. Everest. A company representative meets you at the airport in Nepal, hands you a map, and sends you on your way. “Good luck.”

You’re probably not going to make it.

And that’s how many companies treat employees when it comes to reaching upskilling goals. They point to a learning management system (LMS) and send employees on their way.

“Good luck.”

Self-Directed Learning Doesn’t Work

Alerting employees to the existence of an LMS is not upskilling. In 2018, Gartner found that 70 percent of employees have not mastered the digital skills they need for their jobs today, and 80 percent of employees lack the skills required for their current and future roles.

The Harvard Business Review calls this “unconscious incompetence” — workers don’t know that they don’t have the right skills because there’s no assessment in place to provide benchmarking and guidance.

If they don’t know what they don’t know, how are employees supposed to create their own learning plan?

And only nine percent of HR respondents said they’re confident that employees can guide their own learning journeys effectively (Randstat Risesmart)

It doesn’t help that more than 70 percent of employees don’t even know if their employer offers access to online education platforms.

Leaders Don’t Know How to Upskill

A study of 1400 businesses found that 63 percent have not equipped managers with upskilling resources and 65 percent of participants agreed that their managers and senior leaders need upskilling and reskilling.

To get back to our Mt. Everest exhibition, this is like having an actual guide that has never climbed the mountain.

Upskilling Programs Not Aligned

Workers don’t know what they don’t know. Managers and leaders aren’t much better off. It’s no wonder that few learning and development programs align with a specific businesses’ objectives or skills. An astonishing five percent of organizations do any measurement of the return on their talent investments. Just 36 percent of the companies that initiate learning programs identify business needs or the performance indicators they want to improve.

Upskilling vs. Talent-Building

The digital skills gap has been widening despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in LMS technology and tools. And it’s gotten worse as the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated to race to digitize everything so that the world could access products and services online. Leaving managers and workers to their own devices to formulate upskill plans doesn’t work.

If leaders and workers alike need upskilling and don’t know it, what’s needed is a comprehensive talent-building strategy to enable on-the-job upskilling aligned with business needs and goals. An end-to-end talent-building solution would enable businesses to tackle their skills gap with intelligence and provide the guidance that leaders and workers need to:

  • Set upskilling business goals and measure outcomes
  • Identify the necessary skills and the best programs to teach them
  • Create skills roadmaps for all employees
  • Allocate and manage time to learn for your employees
  • Track costs and ROI to continuously improve

It’s been said that if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re already there.

In other words, you’re lost. That’s not an ideal state for businesses looking to thrive in an era with the shelf life of skills is down to three years. If you’re lost in the woods, you need a guide to lead you out. Don’t just look for an LMS. Look for a comprehensive talent-building solution.

By Deeps Ramanathan

CMO, Learn In

About Learn In

Learn In’s is a new talent-building platform to inclusively uplevel your workforce for tomorrow’s needs. Unlike on-the-fly microlearning, misaligned 4-year degrees, or the revolving door of hiring and firing, organizations use Learn In to identify talent-building goals, manage learning time, access flexible financing, and select skill-based programs, generating measurable outcomes for every dollar spent on upskilling the workforce. Co-founded by the founders of Degreed, Learn In is backed by leading edtech & future-of-work investors, including GSV, Album, Firework Ventures, and Village Global, and has been covered in CNBC, USA Today, EdTechReview, EdSurge, and Techcrunch.



Learn In

Learn In is the first talent-building platform designed for companies to solve every barrier that stands in the way of creating tomorrow’s workforce.