Since the time the pandemic caused a pandemonium, L&D professionals have had to revisit their plans to ensure skills take a front seat in the organizational context. LinkedIn gathered inputs from 864 L&D professionals across 21 countries and found out that a whopping 64% of L&D professionals considered reskilling to be a strategic gamechanger in today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, Ambiguous) world. (Reference)
While I am sure your organization would already have taken the necessary steps to ensure that professionals and being upskilled/cross-skilled/reskilled, here are a few pointers that would help your organization to make learning a more organically interesting process for the learners, given the fact that most of the learning is now happening online.
Keep the needs of your audience in mind
With all the training moving to a virtual platform, often the not-so-tech-savvy professionals feel left behind. It is important to make them feel like a part of the organization, by first training them on how to use a virtual LMS or training platform. Your organization may also want to allocate buddies/champions who would be additionally responsible to help bring these people up to speed with the changing technology and help them embrace the change. Also, it’s important to understand who wants to learn how! Maybe Gen Z employees learn better through micro-learnings and podcasts. So, their needs must be taken into consideration while building a virtual training for them. Officials with PwC told HR Dive that the company’s upskilling strategy (Reference), including online resource hubs, podcasts, and trivia games. (Reference)
Build an individual personalized learning plan
Gone are the days when people were forced to attend training only because completing the training was a part of their KRA (Key Responsibility Area). Today, people want more autonomy in choosing their career paths, which in turn means, they want more autonomy in choosing their learning paths as well. In organizations like Deloitte, the professionals have the flexibility to choose from a range of tools/technologies/soft skills that they want to be trained on and then they are given to work on projects in accordance with their acquired skillsets.
Learning is going to be a continuous process
While organizations earlier designed training and refresher courses only on a need-to-know basis, today’s learning has come a long way and must be given its due share right from the onboarding process. Employees will keep learning through onboarding, ‘understand your policies’ sessions, newsletters, project meetings, townhalls, coaching, formal training, etc. While it’s vital to make the employees pick up new skillsets, its equally important to educate the employees about the culture of the organization, time, and again. Continuous learning now has to be a part of corporate DNA. Also, the L&D team has to work in conjunction with HR, business, and leadership to keep coming up with new learning tools and courses. Phillips is one such organization that deeply practices continuous learning by providing employees with a large degree of flexibility, including encouraging them to step outside their own roles every now and then. (Reference)
Learning should be rewarded
While most of the organizations changed their learning strategy owing to the pandemic, there were a few who were already rewarding the learners. In my opinion, though training should not necessarily be linked to KRAs, yet they should be awarded without fail. The rewards can be in the form of faster promotions, increased responsibilities to take up a leadership role, gift vouchers, being praised by leadership in a company-wide email/newsletter, etc. For instance, Amazon prepays 95% of tuition for employees at fulfillment centers to take courses in in-demand fields. (Reference) If your organizations are clueless about how to begin, they may want to just allot points to training and publish a leaderboard on a weekly basis not just with the intent to increase the competition amongst employees, but to motivate them.
To summarize, learning has been existing for ages and it is here to stay forever. Only the mediums keep changing. Now onwards, virtual learning is going to be the most used medium and it’s important that the organizations make the learners feel that they belong in this rapidly changing learning work culture. You may never know there is an intelligent scientist within a marketing professional, who is waiting to be unleashed!
Author – Deepti K.S.
Deepti is a Human Capital Consultant with Deloitte who works on change management and digital enablement projects.