The 5 Seismic Forces Driving The Reinvention of Learning and Talent: A Human Framework for Reskilling with Implications for Australian Enterprises
Boards and CEO’s have long claimed that their people are their ‘most important asset’. A worthy sentiment, but rarely have they acted in concert with this claim.
A new whitepaper has created a reason for change, and a blueprint to do so, now and into the foreseeable future.
It points to the fact that organisations today are caught in a nexus of five seismic forces:
- Increasing complexities in business operations and work.
- The constant—and constantly accelerating—pace of change.
- Unprecedented demographic shifts that are shrinking talent pools and bleeding tacit knowledge out of the organisation.
- An increasing need for sustainable productivity to create a competitive advantage.
- Changing employee expectations around work and the workplace.
Trace these seismic forces to their epicentre and what you find is an urgent need for large organisations to reskill the workforce—and to do so with a tangibly human approach. One that inspires and empowers people to achieve their own goals alongside those of the organisation.
“82% of executives see reskilling as critical to business success.”
Implications for Australia
The whitepaper pinpoints the unique forces that are compelling large organisations to reinvent learning and talent, with an empathetic eye on their people. And it lists strategic actions required to align executive, HR and L&D leaders around the shared goals of reskilling and workforce to close the gap between current and future capability – before it’s too late.
There are numerous implications for the Australian workplace.
There are distinct changes in employee expectations around work and the workplace, particularly amongst a young, Millennial workforce, who seek out development, empowerment, and tend to choose to work for organisations that will support their professional growth.
Notably, data from more than 7,000 employees demonstrated that the most empowered were three times more likely to care about the business they worked for.
So that’s good news for business, if business ‘gets it right’.
However, British and Australian researchers revealed that this is a double edge sword for organisations. While overall, empowering leadership can motivate employees and fuel their creativity, it can cause uncertainty and stress that may affect their routine performance.
Thus, there is a need for a human framework for reskilling which meets employees ‘where they are’ in relation to work. It both enlists and empowers employees in service of organisational goals.
“Reskilling must be woven into the flow of work, and the learning opportunities must be modern and personalised – delivering the most value in the least amount of time.”
According to Gartner, by 2022 nearly 80% of organisational skills will need to be reprioritised or revisited because of digital transformation.
People at all levels of the organisation, regardless of industry or career field, are constantly contending with new technologies, like CRM systems, omni-channel marketing technologies, and all kinds of IoT technology.
The scale of digital change has warranted a new label: The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
And while digital transformation creates an urgent need for learning over the next four years – at an estimated 25 extra days of learning each year – the massive need for learning isn’t confined to learning new systems or technologies.
Employees and other learners are people first. And they want their needs to be acknowledged and met on a personal level.
So the core principle is “follow the people”. And this requires an emotionally intelligent approach to reskilling.
In other words, reskilling initiatives must embody the very critical social, human skills that we aim to instill in employees and leaders so that organisations might succeed at digital transformation.
“Reskilling has tremendous potential to drive productivity.”
Reskilling Drives Productivity
Pressure on organisations and their leaders to improve efficiency and output has never been greater. In the UK for example, labour shortages and an aging population mean that 90% of future growth will need to come from productivity improvements.
The answer resides in the workforce, because even as technology is the ‘grease’ for productivity, people are the engine.
The main factors which influence productivity are multi-dimensional. The human factors include well-being, physical aptitude to carry out a task, mental drive and enthusiasm, job satisfaction and, of course, the qualifications and know-how to carry out a task.
Overlaid on this are the system factors: environment, incentives, organisational structure and management, personal circumstances, and the facilities available to the employee.
This is a perfect demonstration of why all the departments in the HR function, over and above talent and learning, must work in close harmony to improve productivity.
By connecting performance management and other talent processes with learning, several important things that drive productivity can be achieved – such as conveying to people the meaning and purpose of work – and using data to focus relevant learning on people so that employees trust that it will improve their performance and be worth their time.
A New Approach
Reskilling is an entirely new approach to work itself. One that’s always thinking ahead, is mindful and empathetic. One that builds agility into teams.
Through reskilling, organisations can withstand the disruptive pressures mounting today. And by empowering their people, they can flourish in the face of whatever lies ahead.
“A Human Framework for Reskilling” whitepaper was released at the latest LTUK20 conference, by Piers Lea, Chief Strategy Officer at Learning Technologies Group (LTG), global leaders in workplace learning and talent solutions including gomo and Instilled. To obtain your copy of the whitepaper, click the link here.