In recent years, skilling has become one of the top priorities for many CEOs, which according to a Wall Street report, had always been among the least of them. This has necessitated CHROs to relook at their overall L&D function and strategy. In order to respond to the market dynamics, changing priorities, and vision of the company and CEOs, CHROs need to accelerate investment in continuous learning and learning technologies to advance talent development across the business.
However, the global pandemic has changed everything. Right now, talent leaders are faced with a three-fold situation:
- Employees are anxious about the future– fewer than four in 10 feel very confident that they will be able to continue to meet the requirements of their job successfully, should the outbreak continue
- For employers, cost-cutting is a ‘moment of truth’ that cannot be avoided
- For talent leaders, delivering an engaging and impactful learning experience in the times of “distributed everything” is a challenge
The coronavirus pandemic has made it even more urgent for companies to double down on their learning budgets and commit to reskilling. Developing this muscle will also strengthen companies for future disruptions.
As we navigate this unprecedented period of workplace disruption, the onus is on HR and L&D leaders to find an opportunity amid the crisis and reinvent their learning interventions by building sustainable remote working strategies, managing remote teams, launching skilling programs to offer newer skills and capabilities to meet the increasing on-the-job demands.
In a recent webcast by People Matters and UpsideLMS, took a deep dive into the topic Rethinking L&D: Building capabilities & augmenting training programs during uncertain times. The session was led by Amit Gautam, Founder, and CEO of UpsideLMS along with Dan Bennett, the Group Learning & Development Manager at ISS Facility Services, a leading global provider of facility services with local operations in 77 countries.
Here are some excerpts from the learning session:
Fostering agility in HR and L&D
With the advent of the new disruptor, the COVID-19, the priorities have changed. We may be seeing a long-term rethink of the traditional workplace. In the last 12 years, remote work growth has increased by 159 percent. This has also created a new demand for HR and L&D leaders as the emergence of a new world of work requires new skills and thus expects them to take an agile approach.
“Leaders, HR Professionals, and Facilitators must adapt, with resilience, flexibility, and willingness to move into unexplored areas and approaches,” shares Dan Bennett, the Group Learning & Development Manager at ISS Facility Services.
Some of the ways presented by Amit Gautam, Founder and CEO of UpsideLMS during the webcast on how organizations can foster agility in L&D and HR:
- Reinventing learning strategies, tools, and overall approach quickly
- Increasing openness and quick reaction to feedback
- Empowering employees with decision-making capabilities and upskilling
- Succession planning for key talent through the right mix of upskilling and cross-skilling
The value and importance of creating an effective learning ecosystem in organizations
“L&D leaders are short on both time and money to implement learning strategies. The only option is to make learning completely digital,” shares Amit.
Here are some elements for designing a digital learning ecosystem which is engaging:
- Quick and short interactive content
- Just-in-time learning and microlearning
- More responsibility for learners to seek and consume learning
- Live training with large groups to reach the wider organization
- Design and engage peer learning interaction
- Effectively communicating the need for each employee to self-learn
- Encourage and promote employee-led activities like content generation and sharing through available tools
Dan further shares, “This year we saw a total overhaul in the way L&D professionals have to operate. The process is becoming increasingly rigorous. The traditional model of learning is dead- we can't get them in large groups, events, etc. We need to go to the drawing board and know our objectives and understand the options available and make sure the experience is not hampered.”
The need for engagement and rapid re-skilling to work more remotely and more safely is higher than ever.
Investing in employees’ development
It’s time for companies and individuals to embrace the upskilling imperative. For companies, upskilling enables them to build a future-ready workforce; for individuals, it’s a way to keep their skills relevant and stay future-ready themselves. Making deliberate, significant investments in learning will ensure organizations and employees alike have the knowledge, skills, and capabilities needed to work effectively in a post COVID world.
While touching upon this segment Amit and Dan were of the view that investing in employees' development will lead to strengthening employer-employee relationships as it reassures employees and alleviating any anxiety they may have for an uncertain future.
Click here to get access to a much more detailed conversation. Also, stay tuned as People Matters and UpsideLMS is coming up with an exclusive research on “Learning in the times of distributed everything,”a research report with actionable insights on effective employee skilling & development.