- How do you build your human capital?
- Do you invest for your people in learning?
- How do you help build and develop skills for your workforce?
While trying to answer these top three questions, Todd Tauber -The Vice President of Product Marketing of Degreed, spoke about some interesting facts on data and strategies that are shaping up the business world for building the right skill in this age of technology. In his current journey with Degreed (an Education Technology Company that is engaged in enabling learning), he has observed that employees are motivated to learn new skills when there is a clear link to their current or future role. He further highlightedvarious useful data points that had come out from several researches aimed to understand the learning dynamics that is significantly influencing the workplace of today. In fact, progressive organizations have already set in their journey of re-designing their approach to learning to imbibe emerging skills. Let us explore ‘How the workforce is all set to learn in 2019?’
“54% of India’s workforce will require significant up-skilling and re-skilling within the next 5 years. 80% of both business and learning leaders believe that they need more innovation in learning and development.”Hence, there is a significant need to ‘Refocus learning on skills’. 8 in 10 CEOs say lack of key skills is a serious threat to their company’s growth. Amidst, the unexpected rise in people related cost; companies are not able to innovate effectively due to lack of the right available skill. The traditional L&D led supply chain model is no longer able to justify the skill gap and does not work for the current workforce. Hence it needs a change.The survey result also outlines some prominent areas that need to be reflected in order to bring the much needed transformation in the learning space. Let us focus at the following five important areas that need to be re-looked:
- The workforce on their own are on the path to identify skills gap where majority feels that they are well aware of their skills that are needed versus the skills that needs to be developed for them. However, they want guidance. They want opportunities to work on their learned skills.
- Promoters invest 2+ hours of company’s learning resources per week whereas the detractors just spend 43 minutes per week. 47% of promoters consult their company’s HR and learning team as against mere 12% of distracters.
- Game mechanics like leader-boards, competition, rewards and badges are not seen as a preferred medium of learning. In fact, articles and blogs have been seen emerging as the new self directed mechanism of learning.
- When it comes to learning challenges, workforce feels that time is not the only constraint. They also experience lack of guidance or direction in learning.
- Lot of organizations does not recognize or reward learning in true sense. And managers are the missing link. There is a dearth of regular feedback on performance skills with less of periodic check-ins by their managers.
How do we bring in L&D’s new role?
Couple of learning that was highlighted from the researched data for bringing in L&D’s new role stems from this fundamental concept - Learning in isolation doesn’t drive business! Scale your skill Index using data. Make your workforce feel the investment. The more people think you spend on their development, the more satisfied they are. Secondly, Link learning to business value as the knowledge that is not being shared among team members has a direct impact on the business as a whole. Thirdly, L&D’s new role is more towards creating conditions and not just content. Employees want to share what they know, and the smartest L&D teams are generating real value tapping into that expertise.
To summarize, all individuals are fundamentally responsible for driving their learning. However, it is the organization’s responsibility to create a culture that encourages the element of curiosity to infuse the urge of learning and acquiring skills in them. And in this journey, there is humungous responsibility that’s seen emerging for every manager and leader, who need to be agile and adaptable enough to act as a catalyst in the process of building the right set of skills in the age of AI.
(This article is based on a Masterclass on data and strategies for building human skills in the age of AI by Todd Tauber, VP Product Marketing, Degreed at TechHR 2019.)