Article: Designing a holistic journey on skills: Things to remember

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Designing a holistic journey on skills: Things to remember

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New science is informing not just the various modes of personalizing the learning strategy , it is also changing how and when employees need to learn.
Designing a holistic journey on skills: Things to remember

When employees want to learn , their number one approach is to turn to a search engine like Google. What happens after that? How do they apply it in their work?

Research indicates that the number one learning trend is helping employees “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Most Learning &Development (L&D)  professionals ask: “How do you help your employees to engage in learning and relearning continuously during the course of everyday work? What kind of daily habits are needed to inculcate a mindset for learning?

“When you’re doing something that isn’t working, it’s difficult to unlearn it because you may have done it that way for years,” says Mike Hendrikson, vice president at Skillsoft, in an exclusive webinar. He also notes that it is difficult to learn something in a different way from what you’re used to.

What’s changing?

-         Skills training is no longer isolated: It needs to be built into foundational skills – including business skills, technology or core skills, and human skills (Communication/ Creativity). Employees need to be supported with a holistic set of skills that would enable their overall development.  .  

-         Career roadmaps need learning alignment: Employees want to be able to pursue their own work preferences and skills. Apart from ensuring that their goals are in line with the business, there’s a need to ensure that their learning priorities are in tune with their employee’s own career development aspirations 

New terms and directions

Despite the increased focus on learning personalization, there’s a need to structure the learning process so that the employee can make the most of it. That means thinking about the skilling priorities and needs to design the right strategy:  

1.       Preskilling – This term is used to indicate learning new skills to enact higher accountabilities associated with a high level role in the same job family. For example: A person working on data analysis could automate parts of their work to ensure higher productivity.

 2.      Upskilling – Learning new skills to perform the duties associated with the current role. For example: As a digital marketer, how can you improve your knowledge of the social channels? 

 3.      Re-skilling – This term is used to indicate learning new skills to perform duties that are associated with a new role in a different job family altogether. For example: An engineer who’s interested to shift to a data related role might be able to do so with adequate training and support.

4. Build in the latest research on cognition  : Finding time to learn is a challenge during an employee’s work day. But there is a need to reflect on the science on when employees are most receptive to learning? Which formats work best and how to best enable the learning curve? This means also researching the latest science on building specialized skills while making the time for learning.

“There’s a need to let your employees try new skills without having the pressure of having them to prove their worth in a short span of time” says Mike. It is an opportunity that needs to be allowed without the burden of fear of having to change career tracks immediately.

Meaningful measurement of growth

Both the employee and the L&D team need to be on the same page when it comes to measuring growth. But it’s also important to remember that measuring growth doesn’t necessarily mean comparing individuals. It can not only undermine the learning process but it can leave an employee feeling demotivated. What’s necessary to measure continuously is the level of learning retention as well as what can be put into practice.

This article is curated from a Skillsoft webinar. Watch the complete conversation here. 


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Topics: Talent Management, Skilling, #GetSetLearn

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