Top Six Mistakes to Avoid as a First-Time Manager

Although getting your first promotion into a managerial role is something every high-performing individual looks towards, the challenges that come with this change make it an almost dreadful experience. Often, first-time managers get into the role with minimal training or no training at all, so much so that the odds become stacked against them in a way that makes the role a roller coaster ride without the safety belts.

In fact, research from CEB Global shows that a staggering 60% of new managers fail within their first 24 months. A recent survey also shows that 43% of managers who have been in their role for less than a year say they’ve had no training, further contributing to the high failure rate.

So, how do you overcome this trap? We have compiled for you a list of the top mistakes to avoid to make your first-time manager role a much more fulfilling experience.

Mistake 1: Doing It All Yourself

First-time managers often are excellent individual contributors who have been promoted into managerial roles. As fair and motivating as this is, often first-time managers overlook the fact that what got them to be excellent professionals is not what will get them to be excellent managers.

Your role as a manager is not to get the work done yourself but to lead your team to get the job done. With that in mind, a managerial role requires an entirely different skillset than what made you an excellent individual contributor. So, next time you feel the urge to jump in, roll your sleeves up, and do it yourself, remember to relax, step back, and delegate.

Mistake 2: Shying Away from Difficult Conversations

First-time managers often shy away from difficult conversations. That is motivated by an innate human desire to be ‘liked’. But remember that your goal, as a manager, is not to be liked as much as it is to be a good leader. And although your team may like a nice manager, they will not like a manager who leads the team to underperformance, layoffs, and stagnation.

Therefore, there is no escape from the necessity of being able to take tough conversations head-on. If a team member is underperforming or there is a conflict in the team, as the leader, you must prioritize talking about it to ensure feedback is given, roadblocks are removed, and conflicts are resolved.

Tough conversations also go both ways. Your team may find it difficult to give you feedback on your management style and practices. And, as a first-time manager, this is the time when you need it the most. So, encourage your team to give you direct feedback by scheduling one-on-one check-ins with them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, or sharing a survey with them regularly, and simply directly asking, ‘How can I be a better manager for you?’.

Mistake 3: Managing Down Only

As an individual contributor, you may have had an easy time only managing yourself and perhaps, occasionally, managing your relationships with your peers. However, as a first-time manager, you will be making a grave mistake if you miss out on how multi-stakeholder the role is.

Your role as a first-time manager often includes making commitments to your team, middle management, and other leaders in the organization at your managerial level. With such a multi-constituency, you’ll likely have a hard time if you manage by authority alone. You will need to develop influencing skills to be able to influence middle management to make decisions that help your team, to influence your peers to cooperate with your team, and even to influence your team members to give their best.

Mistake 4: Changing Too Much Too Fast

It is common political science wisdom never to attempt to change too much too fast, even if one is a great leader. People like constancy and a sense of certainty. As impossible as this is to achieve in the modern world, still it is sensible for a leader to try to approach change with more empathy towards this human tendency.

Moreover, there may be good reasons why things are the way they are. Instead of attempting to make drastic changes from day one to bring about the dawn of a new day, start with keeping the status quo, learning the ropes, developing a deeper understanding of why things work the way they do, deciding on what could need a change, and, only then, attempting to make the right changes at the right time. This will ensure you get your team’s appropriate buy-in and support and proof-checks your decisions.

Mistake 5: Not Giving Credit

As an individual contributor, a lot of your work was likely the result of solo work. However, as a team leader, any results the team achieves are likely the fruit of the work of many team members. You will go a long way if you keep this fact in mind and always remember to give credit when it is due.

Take the time always to say ‘thank you’ to your team members in private and in company meetings. Point out their contributions when you are thanked for their work. And, always use the word ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ when talking about the team’s achievements. When it comes to team leadership, you can never overuse the word ‘we.

Mistake 6: Using One Brain

One of the biggest misconceptions a newbie manager may have is believing that they are the ‘brain’ of the team or that it is their responsibility to ‘think’ and ‘make decisions’ while the team is responsible to ‘do’ and ‘implement the decisions’. When approaching matters with this mindset, you make the grave mistake of alienating the entire team, depriving yourself and your company of the value of the great calibers you have, and, more importantly, risking solely owning a solution without the buy-in of your team.

Instead, make efforts to leverage the collective intelligence of your team. Start by making the time to see the unique value and perspective everyone brings. Use effective brainstorming and design thinking methods to arrive together at the best solutions and use group voting systems to make the best decisions.

Enhance your Leadership Skills

So these were the top six mistakes that every newbie manager must avoid. If you’re interested in developing your leadership or managerial skills, check out our wide array of leadership courses here, personalized to your needs and powered by our partner, Skillsoft.



Revolutionizing HR: The Impact of AI on Talent Management

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute, the adoption of AI has more than doubled since 2017, with 50% of respondents reporting adopting AI in at least one business area. Additionally, 60% of respondents in another research said their organizations already currently use AI to manage talent.

By now, it is already clear that AI has a significant impact on every aspect of talent management. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how AI can transform talent management, and we’ll take a quick look into how one of the world’s leading talent experience platforms, Cornerstone OnDemand, is already incorporating AI into its solution to help you manage your talent more efficiently and effectively.


The Impact of AI on Acquiring Talent

It all starts with acquiring the right talent, and AI has the potential to transform talent acquisition in several ways. According to a report by Morgan McKinley, AI can automate repetitive tasks, improve candidate matching, enhance the candidate experience, and promote diversity and inclusion. Here are some of the ways AI is streamlining talent acquisition today.

  1. Sourcing and engaging candidates: AI helps recruiters find potential candidates faster and more accurately by automating resume screening, ranking candidates based on criteria such as job experience, skills, and qualifications, and performing sentiment analysis on candidates’ CVs.
  2. Assessing applicants: AI helps recruiters assess job suitability and identify the best candidates by using data-driven insights to measure performance.
  3. Onboarding and engaging employees: AI helps organizations personalize the candidate experience and guide job seekers to the role that best matches their capabilities.
  4. Reducing bias: AI helps organizations promote diversity and inclusion by reducing bias in recruitment processes.

Developing Talent

The Impact of AI on Developing Talent

The impact of AI goes well beyond simply helping you to acquire the right talent. It also helps you maximize the outcome and potential of your talent force by enhancing your performance management, succession planning, and learning and development processes. Here are some ways by which AI does that.

  1. Complete, AI-generated performance analysis: AI can help organizations automate performance reviews and measure performance by considering far more factors than a simple rating or score.
  2. Quick, agile, and continuous performance feedback: It analyzes past performance data and provides predictive analysis for succession planning.
  3. Linking areas of development with learning: By using AI, you can better identify areas where an employee might need improvement and uncover strengths they might not even realize they have. These areas of strength or improvement can be automatically linked to learning resources.
  4. Enhanced succession planning: By providing data-driven insights into employee performance, AI can help more accurately and speedily identify potential successors.
  5. Personalized learning: AI can help organizations personalize the learning experiences for their employees by analyzing their learning needs, styles, preferences, and performance data.
  6. AI-powered digital coaches: AI-powered digital coaches can provide personalized feedback and guidance to learners.
  7. Real-time assessment and feedback: AI can provide real-time feedback on learner performance, enabling organizations to identify areas for improvement and adjust their learning programs accordingly.
  8. Global learning: AI can help organizations create global learning programs that are tailored to the needs of learners in different regions with features such as automated translation, voice-over, and subtitling.


The Impact of AI on Rewarding Talent

It does not stop here. AI helps you retain your best talent and keep them motivated by streamlining and optimizing rewards processes. After all, AI can recognize patterns, predict performance, and understand drivers and influencers leading to the optimization of compensation models and programs. Here are some of the ways AI is transforming employee rewards:

  1. Optimizing compensation models: AI can help organizations optimize their compensation models by analyzing data on employee performance, market trends, and other factors.
  2. Improving employee retention: AI can help organizations identify employees who are at risk of leaving and take proactive steps to retain them.
  3. Reducing bias: AI can help organizations reduce bias in compensation decisions by analyzing data on employee performance, skills, and qualifications and ensuring employees are rewarded fairly and equitably.


Cornerstone OnDemand Leading the Way

If this all seems to you like a futuristic far away dream, you’re mistaken. According to a recent survey conducted by SHRM, 88% of companies globally already use AI in some way for HR, with 100% of Chinese firms and 83% of U.S. employers relying on some form of artificial intelligence.

This is why it is unsurprising to discover that one of the world’s leading talent experience platforms, Cornerstone OnDemand, already has AI incorporated into its solution, offering us Cornerstone AI.


What can Cornerstone AI do for you?

There are many things that Cornerstone AI can do for you, but here are the highlights.

1. Connect your employees with opportunities in the organization to accelerate their growth

cornerstone AI

With Cornerstone Opportunity Marketplace, your employees can set their career aspirations and receive automated recommendations about the jobs or projects open in the organization that align with their goals. Cornerstone AI can, further, help them identify what skills they have and what skills they need to develop to get where they want.

2. Identify areas for skill development to achieve career goals 

Career Growth

From its comprehensive repository of over 50,000 unique skills, Cornerstone Skills Graph uses AI and machine learning to automatically detect skills and recommend development opportunities and learning content to your employees. This helps create personalized learning experiences for your employees, empowers them to own their growth and development, and increases internal talent mobility in your organization. Cornerstone Skills Graph also gives you a complete picture of your workforce skills at any time to help you identify and address your organizational overall skills gap.

3. Curate more personalized learning experiences and do it better and faster

By connecting learning content to your employees’ skills and career aspirations, Cornerstone AI ensures all the content your people see is relevant to their goals, interests, needs, and preferences because it understands what topics, skills, modalities, and even tones each person connects with best. Not only that but also by leveraging deep content intelligence and AI, you can more easily and quickly curate and deliver the right learning content to the right people in a way that moves your organization forward.


Upgrade Your Talent Management System Today

It is undeniable that AI can hugely transform the impact of your talent management. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can enhance your talent management efforts with Cornerstone AI or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can contact us at



What a Talent Management System Can Do for You

Talent management is the art and science of strategically identifying, acquiring, developing, and retaining the right talent to drive your organization’s success. It’s not just about filling positions; it’s about cultivating a culture that values and nurtures individual abilities and potential. It is a deliberate and strategic endeavor that aligns your organization’s objectives with the skills and aspirations of your employees, creating a harmonious synergy that propels both your organization and your employees forward.

Managing your organizational talent plays a great role in enhancing employee engagement, increasing productivity, reducing turnover rates, and ensuring you have the right people at the right place at all times. Companies that excel in talent management produce nearly 50% higher revenue per employee than those that don’t. And the results get even better when you employ a talent management system.

So, what is a Talent Management System?

A talent management system is a suite of tools, usually composed of modules, together designed to streamline and automate various aspects of talent management. These modules enable you to streamline your HR processes, increase efficiency, and make data-driven talent decisions. By doing less of what does not matter, talent management systems help you focus more on strategic initiatives and putting the human touch to human resources.

components of Talent Management

Components of a Talent Management System

Talent management systems are composed of several modules, each usually responsible for one stage in the employee experience journey. You can always choose to opt for a single module, all modules, or anything in between.

Here are the main modules you would usually find in a talent management system:

1. Recruitment:

The recruitment module in a talent management system usually offers features such as applicant tracking, candidate sourcing, and collaborative hiring. These tools simplify the recruitment workflow, making it easier for you to manage job postings, track applicants, and evaluate candidates more efficiently by providing tools for resume screening, skills assessments, and interview scheduling. Not only do recruitment modules help organizations attract top talent by simplifying the recruitment process, but they also provide candidates with a better candidate experience. They provide them with a centralized platform to apply for jobs, submit their resumes, and track their application status, thus, reducing communication gaps between candidates and recruiters.

The recruitment module in a talent management system also provides you with valuable insights into recruitment metrics such as time-to-fill, cost-per-hire, and source of hire. These analytics help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your recruitment strategies and improve overall hiring outcomes.

2. Onboarding:

Including an onboarding module in your talent management system helps you improve new hire engagement and retention. An onboarding module offers features such as digital onboarding checklists, automated workflows, self-service portals, new hire paperwork automation, and compliance training. These features simplify the onboarding workflow, make it easier for you to track the new hires’ progress, ensure your compliance with legal requirements, and provide an overall superior employee experience. Knowing that effective employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%, these onboarding journey enhancements cannot be underestimated.

An onboarding module also enables you to evaluate new hires more efficiently by providing tools for skills assessments, performance reviews, and feedback collection. It also provides you with valuable insights into onboarding metrics such as time-to-productivity, engagement levels, and retention rates. These analytics help you design your onboarding journeys more efficiently and effectively.

3. Performance Management:

Performance management is one of the central modules in any talent management system. As the name implies, it helps you improve your overall organizational performance by aligning employee goals with business objectives.

A performance management module provides a singular platform for managing performance, that comes with handy features such as goal setting, performance reviews, feedback tools, skills assessments, 360-degree feedback, and performance analytics. These features simplify the performance management workflow, making it easier for everybody in your organization, managers and employees alike, to manage goals, evaluate performance, and track progress.

Using such a data-based, accessible platform helps maintain a fair and transparent performance management process and provides you with valuable insights into performance metrics such as goal attainment, skill development, and engagement levels.

4. Learning and Development:

Including a learning and development module in your talent management suite is a great plus. L&D modules simplify the learning and development workflow, making it easier for you to manage training programs, track employee progress, and more efficiently develop employees’ skills and knowledge.

It all starts with skills assessments that help you identify skills gaps within your workforce, thus enabling you to design personalized, targeted learning experiences for your employees based on their skills, interests, and career goals. Moreover, many L&D modules come with a wide library of online learning resources, such as e-learning courses, webinars, and virtual classrooms, that help your employees learn at their own pace anytime, anywhere.

5. Compensation Management:

A compensation management module in your talent management suite helps you ensure that your organizational compensation schemes are competitive and transparent. With features such as salary benchmarking, bonus planning, and equity management, compensation modules streamline compensation processes around your organization, thereby ensuring that employees are fairly compensated for their work. By accurately and fairly allocating bonuses, awards, and merit-based compensation, these modules help you retain top talent.

The cherry on top of the cake is that by automating manual compensation processes such as salary calculations, bonus allocations, benefits administration, and report generation, you save time and reduce your administrative costs. Knowing that HR managers lose 14 hours per week on tasks that can be automated, the time-saving benefits of using a compensation module cannot be underestimated.

6. Succession Planning:

Succession planning in a talent management system automates your succession planning process, helping you objectively assess and identify high-potential employees to develop them for future leadership and key position roles. This ensures a smooth transition when key employees leave or retire and improves employee retention as employees enjoy clear growth paths within your organization. Unsurprisingly, some of the features to expect in a succession planning module are career pathing, talent mapping, and leadership development.

Perhaps, the key advantage of succession planning modules is that by providing objective insights into employee performance, potential, and readiness for advancement, they help you base these critical succession decisions on data and evidence, instead of gut feeling and bias.


How to Select the Right Talent Management System for You

Now that you know the value a talent management system can bring to your organization, it is crucial that you select the right one that works for you. We have compiled these steps to help you make this decision wisely:

  1. Assess Your Organization’s Needs: When you want to make change, it may seem tempting to try to do a lot at once. However, that would be counterproductive and would deprive you of many lessons learned along the way. Instead, start by evaluating your organization’s talent management requirements, identify the key areas where you need support, and invest in relevant modules first.
  2. Define Your Objectives: Clearly define what you want to achieve with the new talent management system to evaluate your options based on clear criteria.
  3. Research Available Solutions: Conduct thorough research on available talent management suites. Read reviews and ratings from trusted sources and consider factors such as functionality, ease of use, customization options, integration capabilities, scalability, and vendor reputation. One of the best ways to check for reputation is to ask for references and recommendations from other organizations that have implemented the talent management system you are considering to gain insights into their experience.
  4. Evaluate Vendor Expertise: Assess the expertise and experience of potential vendors. You want a vendor with a proven track record in talent management systems development and implementation, relevant industry knowledge, good customer support, and the ability to meet your organization’s unique requirements.
  5. Request Demos and Trials: Request demos or trials from shortlisted vendors to get hands-on experience with their systems. Evaluate the user interface, features, and overall user experience. Don’t make this decision alone; involve key stakeholders from other relevant departments in the evaluation process.
  6. Consider Integration Capabilities: Ensure that the talent management system you are considering can seamlessly integrate with your current systems, such as HRIS (Human Resources Information System), payroll software, or learning management systems.
  7. Check Data Security and Compliance: Verify that the talent management system you are considering complies with data security regulations and industry standards. Consider factors such as data encryption, access controls, backup and recovery mechanisms, and compliance with local or global privacy laws.
  8. Evaluate Total Cost of Ownership: Consider the total cost of ownership for the talent management system. Evaluate factors such as licensing fees, implementation costs, ongoing maintenance fees, training expenses, and potential customization or integration costs.
  9. Make an Informed Decision: Based on your evaluation and analysis, select the talent management system that best aligns with your organization’s needs and objectives.


Choose the Right Talent Management System for You

Remember that choosing the right talent management system is a critical decision that can impact your organization’s talent management effectiveness. Take your time to evaluate different options and involve key stakeholders in the decision-making process.

At XpertLearning, we’re experts in talent management systems. If you’re interested in knowing more about our talent management solutions or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can visit our talent management solutions page.



Guide to Well-Being at Work

While employee health and safety programs have been conducted in organizations for as long as one can remember, ‘well-being’ programs are new to the show. By 2016, The Global Wellness Institute reported that 52% of organizations in North America and 23% of organizations in Europe were starting to have well-being programs in place. Today, 87% of employees consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer, and even some governments worldwide, such as the UAEian government, are pioneering having national well-being and happiness agendas.

But what exactly is well-being? And how can it be achieved at work?

In this blog post, we’ll explore what well-being is, why it’s important, and what organizations can do to guarantee creating work environments that support employee well-being.

What is Well-Being?

According to Psychology Today, well-being is ‘the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress.’ Well-being is vital because it is a measure of people’s quality of life. People who have high well-being simply enjoy life more.

Since well-being is centered around how people perceive their lives, it is crucial to realize the subjectivity of the experience. In other words, people attribute their well-being or lack thereof to different factors, depending on what they consider of intrinsic value to them. This means that there is no one-sure-way to well-being nor any one-size-fits-all solution.


What is well-being

The Elements of Well-Being

Well-being is the combination of a mix of feeling good and functioning well. This is because it is the composite result of four different aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Traditional organizational health and safety programs were focused on the physical aspect of well-being, to the detriment of the other factors.

Organizations and employees today know better. This can be attributed to many factors such as the mental health awareness resulting from the 2020 pandemic, the demographic shifts of more millennials in executive roles and more Gen Z joining the labor force, and the global focus on sustainable development rather than the myopic focus on economic development.

The Current Status of Well-Being

With this in mind, what is the status of employee well-being in the workplace today? In the Middle East and the world?

Research by Deloitte that covered 2,100 employees and C-level executives across four countries, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia shows disappointing results but increased awareness. According to this research, around one out of three employees and executives struggle with some form of fatigue or poor mental health. On the flip side, however, the tides are changing and increased awareness about the importance of well-being is leading the way. In fact, 68% of employees and 81% of the C-suite say that improving their well-being is more important than advancing their careers.

The results are not significantly different in the Middle East either. Research by McKinsey that covered four Middle Eastern GCC countries— Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Qatar— shows that one in three GCC employees report burnout symptoms.


Well-being matters

Why Well-Being Matters?

Organizations may wonder what should make them responsible for protecting and promoting their employees’ well-being. Well, the answer is simple! Employee well-being affects almost every aspect of organizational performance that organizations care about.

1. Increased Employee Retention

Globally, employees reporting high levels of toxic behavior at work are more likely to experience burnout, leading to an increased intention to quit. When organizations focus on creating work environments that promote employee well-being, including their psychological health, they benefit from increased employee loyalty and less talent shortage.

2. Increased Employee Productivity

Research by the International Labor Organization (ILO) shows that there is a considerable link between well-being and productivity. ‘The “happy worker” hypothesis provides evidence that higher levels of job satisfaction promote productivity. On the other hand, if well-being in the workplace or in general is low as a result of high levels of stress, productivity may be negatively affected.’

3. Increased Organizational Competitiveness

Happy employees are not only more productive, but also more engaged, creative, and innovative. When employees are highly engaged, this gives their organizations access to their discretionary efforts, which leads to increased performance, affecting product development, revenue generation, and, ultimately, profitability.

What Organizations Can Do to Promote Well-Being

For organizations to thrive today, they should include well-being programs in their cultural agendas. Here is a list of some best practices that can help.

1. Measure your organizational health

 You cannot manage what you cannot measure. Organizations like McKinsey provide tools like the Organizational Health Index (OHI) Survey to measure your organizational well-being and benchmark it to other organizations. This kind of measurement tells you what your organizational baseline is and what areas of well-being you need to improve on.

2. Start with a few areas of focus

A common mistake that organizations can make is to jump on the well-being wave with unbridled enthusiasm, which may lead to increased disappointment and frustrations when initiatives fail and can stretch your resources too thin. Instead, after identifying your organizational well-being areas of improvement, choose 1-2 areas of focus, succeed there, and then grow into other areas. Cultural changes take time and resistance is not unlikely.

3. Start change at the top

Regardless of what organization-wide internal communication campaigns say, it is the decisions that executives make every day that, ultimately, impact what priorities managers and employees shall have and how work shall be done. If organizations want to prioritize well-being, executives must create well-being agendas, develop well-being learning strategies, and, most importantly, model positive well-being practices themselves.

4. Make change possible from below

 Empower employees by making the organizational conversation around well-being public, encouraging employees to take action against toxic behavior using well-being hotlines, and creating employee well-being resource groups. Moreover, 63% of employees expect you to challenge what is normal by encouraging flexible working hours, introducing 4-day work weeks, and creating no-zoom meeting days, to name a few.

5. Promote transparency around well-being

It has been a tradition for large organizations to announce their annual results to customers, employees, and shareholders. However, for so long, these announcements were limited to financial results, which is commonly known as the single bottom line. Instead, it is better for organizations now to measure and announce their triple bottom line. ‘What is the triple bottom line?’, you may ask. It is a sustainability framework that measures a business’ success in three key areas: profit, people, and the planet. By using the triple bottom line, it would be easier for stakeholders to track if organizations are prioritizing their own employees’ well-being on their path to profitability.

6. Follow a holistic approach to well-being

Remember that well-being is the combination of four aspects of health: physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Therefore, ensure your well-being strategy gives every aspect its due focus. Good hiring and promoting decisions, great teamwork environments, and recognition programs all support the emotional well-being of employees. Investing in health and safety equipment and training protects employees’ physical well-being. Good pay, child care, and healthy leave policies all promote employees’ social health. Flexible work arrangements and opportunities for growth and development support employee mental well-being and help them achieve their full potential. There is no one way of doing things. Well-being is a subjective experience, so it is better to provide a wide variety of programs and give employees the freedom to use what serves their definition of it.

Become a Happier Organization Today

If you’re interested in knowing more about how we can help you with your well-being goals or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can check out our corporate solutions here.


The Rise of Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs)

Although learning experience platforms (LXPs) have been in the e-learning market for more than ten years now, interest in them has only greatly risen over the past four or five years. Perhaps, the ultimate proof of the rise of LXPs was Gartner’s listing of LXPs as a separate vendor category from the LMS in their 2018 Market Guide for Corporate Learning Suites. Since then, LXPs have been on the rise and the world’s biggest organizations have been showing greater interest in adopting their solutions.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring what LXPs really are and what makes them unique, and we’ll look into Skillsoft’s Percipio as a good example of LXPs.

What is an LXP?

A learning experience platform (LXP) is a learning software solution, commonly used by corporate L&D functions, to provide personalized and intuitive learning experiences to their workforce. LXPs are commonly confused with learning management systems (LMSs). However, the two are quite different and there are some distinctive features that can help you draw the line between LXPs and LMSs.

LXP features

The Defining Features of an LXP

There is a set of defining features that distinguish learning experience platforms (LXPs) from LMSs. LXP providers, of course, vary in the feature mix they provide, but they all inevitably provide some mix of the below distinctive features.

  • Content Libraries

 Often referred to as the ‘Netflix’ of learning, LXPs feature a wide array of content. The content could be platform-created, user-generated, or even curated by a third party. As such, LXPs capitalize on the current trends of on-demand viewing that learners are used to in their other forms of content consumption. By riding these trends, LXPs provide learners with many content options that they can choose from.

  • User-Led Experiences

Not only do learners get access to a wide array of content through their LXPs, but they also get full control. In other words, while learning & development functions can still assign courses on an LXP, more often than not, users are invited to take up the courses that match their interests from the course libraries. They can even curate their own learning paths and set their own learning goals. LXPs capitalize on the de-centralization of learning where the learner, not the L&D department, is in the driver’s seat.

  • Skill-Based Learning

LXPs allow for content tagging by which content in the course library can be linked to particular skills. When such content tagging is used in integration with an organization’s skill taxonomy, competency model, or Learning Records System (LRS), the LXP can make content recommendations to the learners to bridge their skill gaps to better equip them for their current or future roles. This skill tagging feature also allows for higher-value search results which enables learners to get the learning they need from the platform at the time they need it, without the need for prolonged extensive searching. This convenient search feature also mimics the way learners are currently accustomed to getting access to information when they use search engines.

  • Personalized Learning

Rightfully dubbed the ‘Netflix’ of learning, LXPs present learners with user-friendly interfaces that are intuitive and personalized. An LXP’s user interface is not a one-size-fits-all home page but rather leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to present users with their own personalized course recommendations, learning goals, reminders, triggers, etc. The recommendations are based on several predictors which may include the learner’s job role, department, work location, search history, content usage history, skill gaps, areas of interest, and similarities with other users. This guarantees the higher relevance of the content which boosts learner engagement.

An Example of a World-Leading LXP

Skillsoft Percipio


Skillsoft’s flagship product, Percipio, is one of the major LXPs in the market today. It is an LXP that features curated, immersive, and engaging skill-building content delivered when and where learners need it — almost like the Netflix of L&D!

It helps organizations identify and measure skill proficiencies to ensure their workforce stays relevant. The platform makes skilling personalized and accessible, offering a blend of self-paced online courses, hands-on practice, virtual live online classes, and coaching to close skill gaps. And it’s available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Here are some of the distinctive features that you can enjoy with an LXP like Percipio.

  • Establish a fact-based current state of your talent

Percipio enables you to assess, index, and track in-house skills with Skillsoft Skill Benchmarks. Skill Benchmarks are short, diagnostic assessments that provide a score and level to measure individuals’ proficiency and offer personalized skilling pathways to close skills gaps across your organization. This helps you get a complete picture of your organization’s skills and measure improvement over time.


Skills benchmark

  • Provide expertly curated, high-quality learning paths

With Percipio, you can present learners with learning journeys that clearly guide them from point A to point B, organizing outcomes by skill, role, and certification. You can customize these expertly curated, role and skill-based learning paths to help meet the demands of your organization. Learners can also have access to a wide array of certification courses in tech, quality, etc. In addition to Percipio’s content, L&D administrators can also design and assign live and on-demand skilling experiences with their organizational content or from other providers.

  • Provide content in a wide variety of formats

Percipio provides content in almost all forms that learners prefer — videos, books, audiobooks, interactive practice labs, coding sandboxes, and more. With Percipio, learners can also attend live events, tech boot camps, and instructor-led courses. By providing several blended learning options, Percipio boosts engagement and guarantees learning completion and knowledge retention.

  • Personalize the learning experience with AI

Percipio leverages AI to deliver personalized recommendations and offer relevant skilling pathways based on each learner’s role, interests, and behavior. Even more, the learners can set weekly skilling goals as AI-driven automated reminders encourage them to stay on track.

  • Drive engagement with badges & leaderboards

To promote engagement, Percipio enables learners to record and promote their learning accomplishments with digital badges. Skillsoft Digital Badges are secured and verified through a blockchain, making them easy to share. Moreover, the platform increases engagement by featuring leaderboards that can create a healthy sense of learning competition.

  • Offer learning in the flow of work

Percipio creates transformative learning experiences by seamlessly integrating with your current technologies and organizational software tools, such as:

– LMSs and LXPs

– Identity and Access Management

– Learning Record Stores

– Human Resources Information Systems

This enables learners to get personalized content recommendations in the flow of work, while using a particular system or tool. This helps them get the learning they need exactly when they need it.

Upgrade Your Organizational Learning Experience

With the learner front and center in modern L&D, there can never be a better time for you to focus on your employees’ learning experience. If you’re interested in knowing more about Skillsoft’s Percipio or would like to view a live demo, you can contact us at



Six Benefits of Blockchain for Higher Education

Since the emergence of Blockchain in 2008, the technology has gained adoption in several sectors, such as finance, supply chain, and tech. The situation is different in the higher education sector, though, where it has taken Blockchain significantly more time to gain adoption, for reasons not entirely unjustified. Despite the slow start, Blockchain adoption has been recently gaining momentum in the higher education sector.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what Blockchain is, its different use cases in higher education, its current adoption, and the challenges facing its wider-scale implementation.

what is blockchain technology

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is a technology that is used to securely store and track transactions. The Blockchain starts with a transaction that is sent to a decentralized network of computers, which verify the authenticity and validity of the transaction based on agreed-upon rules. Accordingly, the transaction gets securely stored in the network with a clear time stamp.

A list of successive transactions creates a block, and a list of successive verified blocks creates the Blockchain. One of the greatest benefits of this mode of verifying and storing data is that it is decentralized and immutable. In other words, once the transaction is stored in the Blockchain, there is no deleting or tampering with it.

use of blockchain technology

The Uses of Blockchain in Higher Education

The decentralization, security, and immutability of data stored in the Blockchain help it present the higher education sector with many benefits that can promise to usher in the age of University 2.0. Here are some of the top uses of Blockchain in higher education.

1. Tamper-Free Credentials

The process of issuing and verifying university credentials is often time-consuming and comes with high overhead to both universities and employers. Even worse, they sometimes find themselves presented with forged credentials which may sometimes go unnoticed, risking giving opportunities to undeserving individuals. With Blockchain, the immutability of the recorded transactions makes the digital credentials stored in the chain tamper-free and saves employers and universities a huge administrative hassle.

2. Life-Long Learning Support

One of the key benefits of Blockchain is the multi-user experience that the platform enables. By alternating between public and private keys, students can choose who can simply view their credentials and who can add to them. This makes possible the creation of a digital repository that stores all of the student’s credentials, obtained from different institutions, in one place and enables the tracking of the student’s learning journey long after their university graduation. For example, in the United States, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has pioneered the use of blockchain-based credentialing. Working with a company called Learning Machine, MIT has developed “Blockcerts,” a technology for creating, issuing, viewing, and verifying blockchain-based certificates along the student’s lifelong learning journey.

3. Smart Contracts

The decentralization and the immutability of the chain also enable the automatic enforcement of contracts. By leveraging smart contracts, higher educational institutions can automate the tuition payment and financial aid processes. This would not only save universities time but also guarantee transparency and eliminate any fraud opportunities. According to a paper published by Oracle, a few higher education institutions worldwide have already started accepting Bitcoin in their campus stores such as MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

4. Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

One of the key challenges that the higher education sector is facing in the Web 2.0 world is the possibility of intellectual property infringement. With users being able to post and share research, papers, and books anywhere at any time, Blockchain technology offers a viable solution to intellectual property disputes. Since all data stored is time-stamped and can be clearly tracked to its original user, the intellectual property generated by higher educational institutions can be protected and secured.

5. Scientific Research Integrity

Higher educational institutions continue to find their job of guaranteeing the integrity of research work presented to them challenged as more information-sharing technologies emerge. Blockchain, on the other hand, is one of those technologies that can greatly assist university faculty in verifying the source of research and the authenticity of its origin, thus, ensuring scientific research integrity.

6. New Studies & Research Frontiers

With Blockchain deemed by Holon IQ as one of the four breakthrough technologies in the system of education, Blockchain is now the subject of many courses and research projects in higher education institutions. In fact, a recent study found that 42% of the world’s top 50 universities now offer at least one course on cryptocurrency or Blockchain. Moreover, as the importance of Blockchain as an emerging technology rises, it is expected that full university majors will be dedicated to the study of Blockchain and its applications.

Challenges to Blockchain Adoption in Higher Education

Despite the huge positive impact the technology presents, there are still few challenges that continue to make it hard for Blockchain to go mainstream in the higher education sector.

– Legal & Regulatory Challenges

The international nature of Blockchain transactions makes them impossible to be governed by the laws and regulations of one jurisdiction alone. This gives rise to the need for a better, more internationally coordinated effort to regulate the technology.

– Training Challenges

Due to its multiple uses and access keys, users expected to gain the most benefit from the technology still require some level of training to be able to fully realize its benefits. This prerequisite poses a challenge to its wider-spread adoption. Moreover, there is still not sufficient awareness about the technology and its uses among many key players in the higher education sector. In fact, research published in the European Journal of Contemporary Education shows that when asked if they know about Blockchain technology, 43% of Russian higher educational institutions’ representatives did not know what it was.

Transition to Blockchain in Your Higher Education Institution

Despite these challenges, Blockchain is still expected to be centerstage in the technological infrastructure of the university of the future. If you’re interested in knowing more about how you can make the transition to Blockchain or are interested in viewing a live demo, you can check out the Blockchain solutions for education by our partner, Educhain.

Educhain has been the Blockchain platform of choice for 5 out of the 6 universities selected as part of Phase I of the UAE’s University E-Attestation Service roll-out. If anyone can help you understand how Blockchain can benefit your institution, it is them. Start your journey with Blockchain now.


Learning Technology Made Easier: LMS Vs. LXP

If you work in the learning industry, you must have come across the terms LMS and LXP. While the term LMS has been in use in the L&D industry since 1990, LXP, on the other hand, is a relatively new term, surfacing only in 2012. But what is the difference between the two? And which is better for your organization?

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring just that and presenting you with a shortlist of the top commercially-available applications of both.

What is the main difference between an LMS & an LXP?

An LMS is a learning management system focused primarily on allowing organizations to upload and assign learning courses to employees. Learning management systems allow organizations, also, to track the completion of courses. An LXP, on the other hand, is a learning experience platform. As the name implies, it is less focused on ‘managing’ learning, and more focused on upgrading the users’ experience of learning. LXPs provide learners with more flexibility allowing them to explore learning options and make learning decisions for themselves, all the way while collaborating and engaging with other learners.


Key Differences between LMSs & LXPs

There are main differences between LMSs and LXPs, which make each have its own distinctive applications. 

1. Who’s in Control?

LMSs usually give more control to L&D admins, enabling them to assign courses to learners, set completion dates, track completion, and generate completion reports. On the other hand, LXPs give more control to learners. In an LXP, learners can explore a wide array of content in several formats, select the ones they like, and may, even, curate their own learning paths. In an LXP, the learner takes the wheel.


2. What type of learning courses are covered?

Although not a rule, LMSs have traditionally been used to deliver content that is more focused on mandatory or compliance training. Being administered by L&D admins, for the most part, who may not necessarily be fully familiar with the specific skillsets required for the individual roles in their companies.

LXPs, on the other hand, are more often used to drive reskilling and upskilling programs. Due to their excellent use of user data analytics, LXPs can create skill taxonomies for every role in any company and can make content recommendations for users, accordingly, based on their roles. Moreover, since most learning on an LXP is learner-initiated, most learners tend to focus their learning efforts on acquiring skills rather than checking company boxes.


3. What Type of Content is Featured?

An LMS usually features content in a SCORM format, which means that content is usually presented in very limited modalities since SCORM is by nature a rigid set of guidelines. Contrary to this, LXPs use an xAPI technology that allows content upload and curation from all different sources and modalities. In other words, in an LXP, learners can enjoy a wide array of content. They can hop from taking a micro-learning video to answering a quiz, then to reading a publicly-available blog post.


4. How is Data Analytics Used?

Both LMSs and LXPs provide powerful data-based solutions. An LMS provides powerful analytics regarding learning tracking and completion. LMSs are also powerful in assigning the right mandatory programs to each employee level in the company. LXPs, likewise, provide powerful analytics but center more on content rating, content use, and skill or competency rating per employee. An LXP, also, uses learner data, coupled with the power of artificial intelligence (AI), to provide more accurate content recommendations, personalized paths, and, most importantly, company-wide and individual-level skill mapping and level reports.


5. What Learning Methodologies are Utilized?

LMSs are suitable for structured, formal learning, that are formally and expert-generated. LXPs, on the other hand, are more suitable for self-learning, supported by social learning. This is because LXPs enable user-generated content and enable social collaboration through forums, content sharing, and posting of likes and comments on consumed content. LXPs are also ideal for microlearning formats, making them perfect for ‘learning in the flow of work’.


So which is better: an LMS or an LXP?

There is no option that is fundamentally better than the other. It all boils down to your organizational needs. If your L&D objectives are focused on mandatory and compliance training and you would prefer a more centralized approach, an LMS would do the job for you. If you are building a decentralized learning strategy where employees take ownership of their own learning and you are more geared towards skilling programs, then an LXP could be the better choice for you. 

Needless to say that you can, definitely, have both an LMS and an LXP since they are, inherently, integrative, not mutually exclusive. In fact, some of the top companies in the world  opt for such integrated solutions.


Our Top LMS and LXP Partners in the Market

If you work in L&D, you probably know that the options are huge. So, to make things easy, we have compiled a shortlist of the top LMSs and LXPs for you.

Cornerstone OnDemand

Founded in 1999, Cornerstone OnDemand, popularly known as CSOD, is one of the world’s leading LMS & LXP providers. 

  • LMS: The company’s LMS is a unified platform that helps you govern, assign, automate, and track all required training. With Cornerstone LMS, you can boost productivity with version management and seamless inline content workflows. The LMS also features its own application, enabling employees to learn anywhere anytime. 


  • LXP: CSOD’s LXP EdCast, is an AI-powered Learning Experience Platform (LXP) that helps you democratize learning and skill-building for your organization by giving employees access to hyper-personalized expert content in the flow of work. With EdCast, you can embed learning in the moment of need inside the apps you already use in your organization.


Skillsoft Percipio 

With more than 36 million learners and counting, Skillsoft democratizes learning through an intelligent learning experience and a customized, learner-centric approach to skills development with resources for Leadership Development, Business Skills, Technology & Development, Digital Transformation, and Compliance. 

Their flagship product, Percipio, is an LXP that features curated, immersive, and engaging skill-building content delivered when and where you need it — almost like the Netflix of L&D!



Dubbed a talent experience platform, Totara features an LMS, an LXP, and a talent management platform, that, when combined, unleash a world of amazing data-based opportunities for employee growth. As such, Totara combines skills and performance development to create lasting employee success and personalized learning paths.

Totara offers three main products:

  • Totara Learn– an LMS that enables you to assign and monitor learning progress 
  • Totara Engage– an LXP that provides formal and social learning environments, uniquely branded and personalized to enable a distinct user experience for different departments, teams, and organizations.
  • Totara Perform– a talent management system that enables you to set performance objectives, track employee performance, identify your company’s top talent, and create succession plans. 


Open LMS

As the name implies, Open LMS is an open-source LMS designed to deliver an effective and engaging learning experience. As the largest commercial Moodle provider in the world, they help organizations deliver great learning experiences without complexities that allow administrators and L&D managers to focus on creating a quality, robust learning culture.


Get the Solution that Works for You

This was the difference between LMSs and LXPs in a nutshell. If you’re interested in knowing more about these solutions or would like to view a live demo, you can contact us at


The New Tech Face of Higher Education

Technology has had and continues to have a great impact on almost all economic sectors. And the higher education sector is no outlier. Although long considered to be one of the most traditional sectors of the economy, the higher education sector has rapidly developed in recent years to adapt to the rise in technology use.

In this article, we explore the key technologies affecting higher education, their impact, and how educational institutions can best maximize their benefits.

The Key Technological Trends in Higher Education

The trends affecting higher education are as many as the emerging technologies themselves. However, to make things simple, the 2023 EDUCAUSE Horizon report has made a concise list of the technological trends that are expected to have a significant impact on the sector.

Predictive Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Predictive artificial intelligence is the technology that enables machines to employ learning processes, as humans, and, thereby, employ decision-making. Examples of predictive AI are recommendations in video streaming platforms such as NetFlix or social networking platforms such as Facebook. You may think, ‘What does predictive AI have to do with education?’ A lot! By using predictive AI, educational institutions can use learning analytics to recommend the suitable type of learning content, exercises, and activities to learners, thereby, providing learners with unique, personalized learning experiences.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This is not your standard AI; this type of artificial intelligence enables the generation of near-authentic text, images, and audio, almost similar to the outcome of human creation. Think ChatGPT, for example! This technology is expected to have a great impact on higher education as generative AI can help learners and faculty translate material instantly, get ideas when they feel ‘stuck’, and generate manuscripts, proposals, assessments, etc. fast. By using generative AI, learners and teaching faculty can spend the time saved on mundane tasks to focus on more cognitively challenging learning activities.

Mixed Learning Modalities

Higher educational institutions started adopting different learning modalities for more than a decade now. The learning modalities used have been face-to-face, on-site, in-person, blended, hybrid, online, remote, distance, and more. What’s new now is that universities are offering a combination of these modalities within the same course. In other words, a single course could have some sessions on-site, others one-on-one in-person, and others online, with exercises submitted through the learning management system (LMS). This helps increase access to learning for students from various locations and students with disabilities, and, most importantly, broadens the students’ learning environment as they learn to access knowledge from a wide variety of sources.


HyFlex stands for hybrid and flexible. And although it may seem just the same as mixed learning modalities, it is actually different. HyFlex means that for the same course, students get the flexibility of attending it all online, on-site, or blended. The rise of HyFlex in the higher education sector has a great impact on accommodating a larger student population that has to balance between studies and work or family responsibilities. It also helps increase efficiency in the learning process as students prefer to use commute time in maximizing learning time.

The Technological Trends Still In Infancy

Although technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and 3D Printing are no new advancements, these technologies are rendered still hard to adopt in the higher education sector. This latency for adoption may be attributed to the relatively high cost of the deployment of these solutions. 

Nevertheless, it is estimated that these technologies can play a huge role in improving STEM education by enabling the creation of virtual or remote labs and creating virtual tours and study props in almost an instant. In fact, a study by McKinsey shows that 37% of higher-ed students are “most excited” about the technology’s potential in the classroom and 88% of them believe AR/VR will make learning more entertaining. And while the impact of these technologies on learning is still not proven, some data looks promising. For example, in a recent pilot study cited by McKinsey, students who used a VR tool to complete coursework for a STEM subject improved their subject mastery by an average of two letter grades.  

Capitalizing on Technological Trends in Higher Education

It is clear that these technological trends are broadening students’ learning environments, opening ways for students’ collaboration, freeing faculty time to build more authentic connections with students, increasing higher educational institutions’ efficiency, and reducing admin expenses. However, for institutions to make the best use of these technologies, there are some factors they must bear in mind.

Building Students’ Metacognitive Skills

With the wide variety of content that students can access inside and outside the classroom — instructor-provided or peer-shared— students must develop the skills to learn how to select information, organize it, critically analyze it, and put it to good use. Teaching faculty, on the other hand, must re-imagine ways of assessing students’ skills. Rote memorization and basic knowledge of concepts are skills no longer valued in the age of generative AI. This requires teaching faculty to develop new ways of assessing the skills that will actually matter in the future such as critical thinking and application.

Adding Sense, Ethical Judgement & Cultural Meaning

Similarly, in the age of generative AI, information will be much easier to access than ever before. The well-educated student’s task becomes adjusting knowledge to meet their contextual and cultural demands. Therefore, universities that wish to make the best use of these current technologies must develop their students’ skills in these contexts. Moreover, these technologies also give rise to questions on intellectual integrity and AI bias. Universities should also ensure to include relevant guidance in their courses to students on these matters.

Teacher & Student Training

Although both learners and teaching faculty are enthusiastic about adopting new technologies in the learning experience, technology adoption can sometimes be a strain, especially on less technically adept lecturers or students with no or minimal access to internet-connected devices. Moreover, even the tech-savviest of students need encouragement and motivation to make the time to access and use university platforms. Therefore, if you wish to make the best use of these technologies, your university must create programs for student and teacher orientation and assistance. 

Transform Your Educational Institution With High Tech

These were the main key technological trends affecting the higher-ed sector and how you can best capitalize on them. If you’re interested in knowing more about how tech can transform your educational institution, you can check out our academic solutions here.



A Blueprint for Workforce Transformation

The rapid evolution of technologies, demographic shifts, and ever-changing macroenvironmental factors are giving rise to a multitude of disruptions that are changing the way we work. In response to these shifts, organizations need to equip their people with the tools and skills necessary to navigate this evolving landscape.  Continue reading “A Blueprint for Workforce Transformation”

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