Article: Embedding upskilling into the flow of work is vital: Kofax’s SVP, HR

Skilling

Embedding upskilling into the flow of work is vital: Kofax’s SVP, HR

Organisations are rapidly shifting to a digital-first culture as part of the ‘new norm’. This entails enhancing the digital savviness of employees and investing in intelligent, integrated platforms for automation, says Lynne Scheid, Senior Vice President, HR at Kofax, in an exclusive interview with People Matters.
Embedding upskilling into the flow of work is vital: Kofax’s SVP, HR

READ the October 2021 issue of our magazine: The Skills Gap Conundrum

Lynne Scheid is Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Kofax. Before joining the company in 1989, she worked in Human Resources for Century Data Systems, a Xerox company, and Charleston Associates. Today, she is responsible for all human resources functions at Kofax. 

Lynne studied Business Administration at California State University, Fullerton, and holds a certificate in Human Resources Management from University of California, Irvine.

As companies strive to recover from the pandemic and take up the challenges of a digital-first environment, Lynne uncovers the kind of investments that talent leaders are making in a bid to modernise learning & development.

How do you see the larger picture of the world of work today as an experienced talent leader? 

After the pandemic erupted last year, HR leaders faced uncertainty in their function and had to prioritise initiatives that strengthened their organisation’s ability to drive change in leadership, culture, and employee experience.

In response to the pandemic, organisations shifted gears to virtual workplace models and remote working practices to enable business continuity. Offices of all sizes and administrative workspaces from hospitals, courts, and factories had to prepare for this change and adapt to the ‘new’ world of work.  

Along with this shift to how we work, companies realised technology and the adoption of technology was paramount. According to Gartner, even amid the current cost-constrained environment, 90 per cent of HR leaders still plan to maintain or increase their investment in technology. In the end, talent leaders will be looking for technologies that streamline processes in balancing a remote and hybrid workforce to provide employees with digital technologies to deliver business services anywhere and ensure greater productivity for the organisation.

How has the pandemic transformed workplace learning? Can you share the top three shifts that you think are significant?

COVID-19 accelerated large-scale digital adoption and transformation, leading to an increased need for acquiring new skills. The pandemic highlighted the need to invest in digital technologies, such as video conferencing tools, cloud systems, and Learning Management Systems (LMS).

According to Deloitte, 98 per cent of HR leaders utilised virtual learning as the learning landscape transformed dramatically in the ‘new normal’. Learning teams have adapted as 80 per cent focused on creating and communicating detailed learning-related material. 

With automation tools becoming more widespread and affordable, even smaller organisations took advantage of the chance to reduce daily workloads. Collaboration tools with seamless integration and automation enable a more streamlined remote work experience that eliminates time-consuming tasks. This translates into extensive time savings over the course of a workday, freeing up employees to carry on with more important efforts.

The pandemic has shown us the opportunity, strategic value and need for L&D to be put on boardroom agendas. Workplace learning should be a continuous mechanism with connected parts.

As AI, analytics, automation, and digitalisation disrupt industries and transform businesses, they’re reshaping existing jobs, giving rise to completely new roles – and opening up a deep skills gap in the process. What’s your take on how organisations can offer the global workforce a seamless skilling path?

Organisations have to prioritise learning strategies to keep up with the changing environment and preferences of modern learners. Developing a culture of continuous learning – in an environment that embeds upskilling into the flow of work – is vital. A renewed learning strategy makes learning part of the organisation’s mission and adds value.

Organisations are rapidly shifting to a digital-first culture as they position for the new norm. Companies are increasingly investing in digital-first strategies to drive growth, efficiency and resiliency by upskilling the digital savviness of employees. They’re also investing in integrated intelligent automation platforms built for professional and citizen developers. Integrated low-code platforms enable and accelerate collaboration between line-of-business and IT leaders as they work together to digitally transform complex high-value business workflows connecting the enterprise for increased agility.

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What have been some of the latest learning technologies that organisations are embracing at large? How can technology and analytics be leveraged for L&D to power reinvention and make an impact?

Due to the pandemic and the move towards remote working, some of the latest learning technologies organisations need to embrace include those that provide collaborative tools and engaging interactions. Artificial intelligence and automation technologies are changing the learning landscape, and L&D departments need to examine how employees are learning. This is crucial to allow employees to feel engaged and have the best learning experience. 

Multiple touchpoints for training employees enable organisations to scale and offer on-the-job learning. Technology empowers learning departments to measure the data from their current training. They also need to consider measuring the data from their current training programs to determine the effectiveness of the different touchpoints. Being data-driven and analysing the throughput data from current training programmes can help create a persona-based approach for training, or even onboarding, for employees. 

How has the learning landscape changed in Kofax in 2021? How are you bridging the skills gap? What metrics do you follow to track progress?

As organisations continue to embrace digital workflow transformation (DWT), automation becomes increasingly important. In fact, full-scale end-to-end automation has become a matter of survival in the wake of the pandemic.

Keeping up with ‘the new normal’ causes some anxiety around whether the digital shift would widen the skills gap and have the workforce replaced by machine work.

However, automation can also greatly contribute to employees’ satisfaction and mental health because manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks are taken off their hands. For instance, we believe in finding the right balance in utilising technologies that can help automate mundane tasks. Our employees can then spend more time on strategic work that engages them and benefits the organisation. 

One of the most immediate benefits is that it gives them more time in their day. With low-level transactional work taken off their plate, they spend less time at the office and more time with their families.

Kofax also provides professional development programs, tuition reimbursement programs, and onsite training. 

What's your learning mantra? What’s your advice for fellow talent leaders?

Keep learning.

Organisations need to move away from traditional classroom settings, and provide employees with on-demand tools that allow them access to content on their own and create eLearning courses that are personalised and centred on them and their goals.

Organisations also need 24/7 accessibility. Employees want the flexibility to engage/learn in their time of need, not necessarily when the company schedules it.

 

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Topics: Skilling, #TheSkillsConundrum, #HRTech

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