Latest research from Fosway suggests a real problem with digital learning fatigue. Their  2021 Digital Learning Realities Survey report highlights that it is more of an issue now than before the pandemic for over half of all organisations. 

So should we write off digital learning as a failed experiment and head back to the classroom? Of course not, that would be an extreme reaction and would not recognise the huge role that digital learning will need to continue to play in a hybrid working model that many organisations will now adopt.

In fact, just 1% of those in Fosway’s research have stated they expected to return to how things were. But that means it is more important than ever for L&D and HR to acknowledge that incorporating digital learning without a strategy, or worse still just providing access to a self service library, will not support the broader transformation and challenges facing an organisation around skill development.

In order to support the move towards lasting change organisations need to act now to develop a plan to counter digital learning fatigue, whilst closing existing skills gaps.

Digital learning fatigue: the Pandemic effect

For many organisations the pandemic required a fundamental shift from a primarily face-to-face mode of delivery to a wholly digital one. Should we really be surprised therefore that such a binary solution to an inherently complex problem would not be sustainable?

This shift to digital learning also happened at a time when the reality of a digital workplace was thrust into our lives and new norms developed, (did we really have this many meetings before?) And new behaviours became embedded, (are we spending more time working? More time sitting?).

In fact our physical and mental health is now being challenged in ways we had not previously considered and digital fatigue is perhaps inevitable. 

Build or buy? Closing the skills gap 

The need for organisations to develop the skills of their people in order to improve performance or develop new capabilities in the face of increased competition is not a new one. But we are looking to L&D and HR teams to help organisations navigate this transformation, a significant challenge and at a time when underlying problems of talent supply and time in which skills must be updated or new ones acquired has never been greater.

Research from McKinsey suggests that 58% of respondents see closing skills gaps as more important than before the pandemic began. But how are companies tackling such a complex problem? The McKinsey report shines a light on what successful companies are doing to move on from the pandemic and develop a strategy to transform the way they support the development of skills in their organisation.

What McKinsey have identified is that beyond the need to build skills rather than buy them in that success was underpinned by a more purposeful skills transformation, which they have broken into nine practices across three key areas that could be considered as follows.

  • Identifying skills gaps
  • Developing a skill strategy to address them
  • Reimagining how to develop skills at scale

It is in this third area we have always seen 5App Hub at the sharp end of the skills gap problem. In fact, one of the practices McKinsey’s breaks down in that area is to develop a “skilling hub”, although more broadly defined as something that supports organisational structures dedicated to learning.

The need to reimagine the execution and delivery of skill building efforts is critical - we can not rely on command and control models or learning systems and processes required to manage compliance as the approaches that will underpin this fundamental.

This requires a broader approach - one that bridges learning and communications - how do you take the people on that journey, how do you sustain it, whilst having the agility to connect people with what is going on in the organisation or outside in order to change their behaviours and perceptions of how ‘learning is done’. 

Curation. Communications. Context

What we are seeing in our organisations using our 5App Hub as part of the solution to skill development is a shift in thinking to something simpler and more authentic. Using curation as a powerful tool to guide people to what might be relevant to them in their current role, to raise awareness of the resources that are available to develop themselves and to use communications to make people feel more connected to why it matters to the organisation and to them and their careers.

See how this has been put into practice by Hub client, Greystar:

Overcoming digital learning fatigue

If you would like to find out more about how the 5App Hub can help overcome digital learning fatigue and support your organisation’s skills transformation then take a look for yourself at or request a demo and discussion around your needs with one of our team.