Few leaders have reached where they are without learning their way to the top. For all employees to grow, leaders need to turn every team and department into a learning organization that’s energized by change and well equipped to adapt. The opportunity to develop skills and knowledge is on the top list of important factors to today's workforce. The most progressive organizations are recognizing learning is as much about recruitment and retention as it is about development. Building a culture of learning in the workplace is vital to retaining talented employees and facilitating meaningful digital transformation within organizations.
Learning and development can be a key differentiator between companies competing for talent. Employees want to work for organizations that provide personal and professional development, and they consider it a deciding factor when looking for new employment or determining if they should stay with their current employer.
According to the survey in the book The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete and Succeed, 62% of CEOs believe that they’ll need to upskill at least a quarter of their employees over the next five years in order to stay competitive. Those employees also seek lifelong learning: 91% of Generation Z employees view professional development and employee engagement as leading factors when they’re picking a company to work for.
Learning and development plays a critical role in engaging and retaining employees. This specially holds true to Millenials employees who are motivated more by the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge than by trendy perks, informal work environments, and even money. A recent Gallup report revealed that 59% of Millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. According to Deloitte, Millennials who are satisfied with their development opportunities are twice as likely to stay with a company than those Millennials who are unsatisfied.
To meet millennial expectation, learning must move beyond its current state, which is too often outdated and irrelevant. For L&D professionals, this means providing the right kind of learning experiences to support their employees’ lifelong pursuit of up-skilling and re-skilling—which differs in some ways from traditional learning.
Unlike college courses or traditional on-the-job training programs, today’s learning isn’t happening in a predetermined time and it doesn’t end on a schedule. In fact, in most cases, formal learning won’t succeed for those who have a general understanding of the topics at hand. By embracing performance-adjacent learning tools, which aim to minimize friction and disruption by making it easy to access information and return to a normal workflow quickly, business leaders can create L&D programs that are both relevant and empowering for employees.
Furthermore it is crucial to apply the tenets of adult learning, such as ensuring that it’s highly relevant to the learner’s needs and provides an opportunity for self-assessment, is a must—regardless of the learners' skills level, title, or where they are on their learning journey. To ensure that employees can succeed at what their employer needs today and tomorrow, L&D leaders must design learning experiences and ecosystems that align with learners' needs.
The reality that L&D teams is facing is that they must free themselves from the notion that formal learning (in-person or online) is the only way to deploy a corporate learning strategy. Here are some of the present key challenges L&D professionals are facing when creating a corporate learning strategy:
In a learning culture, management and HR work together to define the values, processes and practices that employees, departments and the organization can use to increase their performance and competencies. The knowledge and skills acquired and applied by employees is shared freely in a learning culture, creating a sustainable and adaptable organization.
To maintain the continued competitiveness of the company, management must target employees who can take over future leadership roles. For current employees, immediately begin training on leadership development, communication and problem-solving skills. If they aren’t already, HR can target job candidates with leadership potential in all their talent acquisition efforts. Management can help develop future leaders and managers as soon as new employees enter the door by providing mentors and helping them to build professional networks. Improving your leadership development program helps you build teams that are agile and capable of evolving with the times.
HR leaders are uniquely positioned to take up a leadership role in corporate learning and development in several aspects:
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report, by 2020 more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to that job today. AI and automation will have a profound impact on the future of work. With rapid advances in AI however, this is increasingly taking place not just in the physical space but in the cognitive realm. The World Economic Forum further suggests that, “As entire industries adjust, most occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to do them.”
The future of work and learning—and how these interact—permeate all aspects of society. Although this need for a paradigm shift in learning may seem apparent to many, competing viewpoints and approaches to solutions has led too often to isolated pockets of innovation; not the system-wide transformation required for success. Moreover, the current system of education and workforce development, including skills training, is lagging behind the innovations of the 21st century to date and, without intervention, will continue to lag behind the rate of innovation in the future.
As job functions evolve in this new paradigm, skill sets are relevant for shorter and shorter periods of time. The increase in AI and automation requires ongoing up-skilling and re-skilling in order to move humans up the value chain.
The Conference with invited insightful speakers of the topic will share their cases and discuss the following key points:
CLOs, VPs/Heads/Chiefs, CHROs, Presidents, CEOs, Directors, Managers, Professors and other Specialists with the following expertise: