Article: 4 Learning trends you should embrace to empower your workforce

Learning & Development

4 Learning trends you should embrace to empower your workforce

Here are four stories that will tell you what’s new in learning and why you should embrace them.
4 Learning trends you should embrace to empower your workforce

1. Bite-size and anytime learning

In 2016, MakeMyTrip conducted a company-wide survey to identify the learning expectations of their employees and they came up with a lot of insights. One of the key learnings was bite-sized learning of five to ten minutes. Second was that their employees wanted learning anytime and anywhere so they can learn at their comfort. The survey also found that employees are interested to learn from social interactions with their managers and leaders. Interestingly, all these expectations were very much similar to what their customers expect from them. Their customers want minimum time in their transactions and that they should be able to do this anytime anywhere just like employees want learning anytime and bite-sized.

The insights came from Bhrigu Joshi, Director - Human Resources, MakeMyTrip who shared this in an unconference session at People Matters flagship event TechHR 2019 at Leela where Bhrigu said, “Learning needs to undergo a change in terms of how they are imparted to employees and the role of L&D specialist needs to change”. The L&D specialists in times to come will work as coach to their employees, while L&D will work as a strategic lever for business, Bhrigu adds.

2. Enable a digital mindset

The multinational conglomerate Larsen & Toubro sometime back embarked on a digital transformation journey which they realized was more about digital mindset. The company started to transform its organization digitally which was more about will than skill. For the company, it was not about next-gen technologies alone, it was rather leveraging SMAC as a way of life seamlessly. While the company wanted their employees to be acquainted with digital tools from across the technology stack including AI, RPA, and NLP, they also wanted their employees to be more human at heart and human at will so they could use intuition and judgment and make right choices of technology. The company started human interventions labs to enable them to make right choices of technology and be with their real self. “We wanted our employees to look at new possibilities beyond the existing. We had to push them to be innovative, to be experimentative,” says Sarangi, Head - Capability Development of Larsen & Toubro. 

“We also tried to make them curious by having them take learning goals. We enabled them to take assignments beyond their work scope,” Swatee adds. One important tenet for them was courage. They realized that, if they want to make them do things differently, employees need to be empowered. The company started cross-functional experiments which helped them get new business models which also enhanced customer engagements level. “Overall, our learning initiatives have helped our employees to be courageous and experimentative to try new things and do things differently and more importantly the courage to talk and collaborate, adds Swatee. “This is just the beginning our transformation journey, we have a long way to go,” concludes Swatee.

3. Curate, gamify content for your people

One-size-fit-all no more works, says Tanveen Duggal, Director - Marketing and Sales, Flipick – a corporate learning company, while talking about the evolution of learning. “It’s the rea of mobile learning and we need bite-sized learning which is personalized,” Tanveen adds. She also says, curating learning materials is important today for employees so they get the right materials to study. Employees can collaborate with others to have compelling content and present them to their employees. Tanveen also argues content can at times become boring and it’s important to make them exciting with gamification. However, it’s important to leverage gamification to an extent that does not defeat the whole purpose of the learning. Invisible learning is another trend which does not show up as regular leaning but helps you enable learning on the go. Companies like Aditya Birla are leveraging it, adds Tanveen. The company is trying to make every employee of theirs a salesperson directly or indirectly. They are trying to make every employee know about their products by feeding them bite-sized content which is seamless and does not take much time. Companies are also trying to exploit collaborative learning. With different generations at work today, employees can learn from each other which in turn benefits organizations. Lastly, organizations can bet on legacy content stored in PDF or other formats such as Flash by converting them in animations and 3D effects, and HTML 5.

4. Learn on your own

This is the story of Airbnb. The company, going from three airbeds in a living room to over 150 million users in over 6 million homes and more in 65,000 cities across the globe, has come a long way. 

Amid all Airbnb’s development, learning wasn’t being prioritized by employees, managers were unprepared for their new roles, and skill gaps were turning into chasms.

The company needed change.  The challenges for Airbnb’s learning leaders were three-fold: ensuring that all employees have the right skills to pursue new markets, addressing the company’s challenges, and leading the organization into the future.

They tied up with Degreed which helped them devise a learning platform. The program started with identifying skill levels and sharing personalized feedbacks about each employee on what they are good at and what they are not. It was a 360-degree assessment. From this experience, they went on to identify courses based on responsibilities including managers’.

“Degreed came out with a platform for employees which helped them identify their courses. Some of them were classroom training. The platform from time to time tracked the progress of each employee. More importantly, Degreed helped them learn on their own,” says Todd Tauber, VP Product Marketing, Degreed.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #TechHRIN

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