Sunday, June 10, 2018

Keeping up with change and the Lack of Support from Leadership Teams

Constant change and new demands continue to pressure societies, organizations, and individuals to do whatever is necessary to survive (Piderit, 2000). Toronto Public Service (TPS) leaders face numerous changes: new strategic business directions, limited fiscal resources, a dynamic, diverse and changing workforce and increased responsibility and authorities (Inside Toronto, 2018).Transformation involves using new technology and technological change requires employees to acquire more skills and human capital (Stauvermann and Kumar, 2018).
E-learning is a domain which covers the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in educational environment (Guri-Rosenblit, 2006). The wide spread take-up of ICT, the coverage and resulting access to the Internet, have enabled the convergence of e-learning to daily practices of educational institutions (Bates, 2005). The digitalization of educational resources and learning materials has enabled the re-use of these resources across countries and scholarly domains (Richter & McPherson, 2012).
Also in the public sector, there is an increasing need and interest to create, enhance and share knowledge (OECD, 2003).
Working in the City presents challenges and opportunities for employees. As the largest municipal government in Canada, TPS needs staff who are skilled, competent and confident, to carry out the work effectively and efficiently and to build relationships with the community, Council and colleagues. The way to meet these challenges is a commitment to provide a range of training and development opportunities through the City’s Human Resources – Corporate Learning and Leadership Development (CLLD) Unit.
In 2015 the Enterprise eLearning Initiative (ELI) was presented. The goal was to establish a corporate Learning Management Program as a foundation for implementing eLearning; to establish a Centre of Shared Excellence in learning to support corporate and divisional learning and to implement standards and guidelines for corporate learning technology and implement a Learning Management System (LMS). Little (2015) concludes that a learner can follow a course as and when it’s convenient – rather than be corralled into a classroom at the whim of someone else’s timetable. Moreover, the learner can learn anywhere that’s convenient – and via any relevant delivery device.
Modern learners expect a more personalized, engaging approach to learning and won't stick around at companies that don't deliver it. In order to meet their evolving needs and expectations, organizations must adopt emerging HR learning technology trends.
Before using LMS City of Toronto was delivering  training and learning approximately to 35 000 internal staff, 7 000 taxi drivers, 3 000 childcare workers (external, non-staff), and elections staff, hundreds of thousands of volunteers using a primary method of instructor led / classroom style approach with little means to provide more effective delivery, tracking and revenue recovery.
All this changed with ELI initiative in 2015. About 40 divisions and units were engaged early on in the ELI project by participating in a survey and face-to-face meetings. Varying degrees of operational/mandated requirements and a wide range of readiness were identified. Some divisions still have limited eLearning technology in place while others have varying degrees of eLearning knowledge or are aware of the long-term benefits of an enterprise-wide learning management system.
Toronto Public Health(TPH) has yet to make the commitment in using the LMS. While many managers are supportive of using new technology in learning and development, supportiveness and actual support are different. Regardless of the nature of support provided, manager or supervisor support is a key factor in workplace learning (Schultz and Correia, 2015).The Senior Management Team at TPH, who makes the decisions is worried about start-up expenses such as purchasing of licenses, changing job classification from Education Coordinators to LMS Administrators and training for Instructional Designers. Professional Development and Education team, which I am a member of is presenting the LMS at the Senior Management Team meeting this month. We are ready for this change.


Bates, A. T. (2005). Technology, E-Learning and distance education. Routledge.
City of Toronto (2018). Inside Toronto. Retrieved from
Guri-Rosenblit, S. (2006). Eight paradoxes in the implementation process of ELearning in higher education. Distances et Saviors, 4(2), 155–179. http://
Little, B. (2015). The purchasing – and practical benefits – of a learning management system. Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 47 Issue: 7, pp.380-385.
OECD (2003). The learning government: Introduction and draft results of the survey of knowledge management practices in ministries/departments/agencies of central government. In 27th Session of the public management committee (pp. 1– 54).
Piderit, S. (2000). Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: a multidimensional view of attitudes towards organizational change. Academy of Management, 783-794.
Richter, T., & McPherson, M. (2012). Open educational resources: Education for the world? Distance Education, 33(2), 201–219.
Schultz, T.L., Correia, A. (2015). Organizational Support in Online Learning Environments: Examination of Support Factors in Corporate Online Learning Implementation. International Jl. on E-Learning. 14(1), 83-95.
Stauvermann, P., Kumar. R. (2018). Adult Learning, Economic Growth and the Distribution of Income. Economies, pp. 6-11

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