Corporate learning and development for the future of work is a moving target. It’s important to learn new strategies and training programs in order to ensure that your employees are learning and developing as they should and that they have all the support that they need in order to grow professionally.
Before the pandemic, most remote workers still went through the hiring, onboarding, and training process in person. That approach hasn’t been possible or desirable over the last year, and may be increasingly rare as companies hire more workers in different states.
Upskilling and Reskilling
Onboarding is tough; so are upskilling and reskilling. The economic turmoil resulting from the pandemic has generated large numbers of laid-off and furloughed workers across almost every industry. However, since most companies can’t afford to hire new talent, it’s critical to invest in a flexible and dynamic workforce.In fact, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), 54% of employees will require “significant re-and upskilling” by 2022. Closing the gap could add $11.5 trillion to the global GDP in 2028.
|Upskilling is the process of learning new skills or of teaching workers new skills.
Reskilling is the process of learning new skills so you can do a different job, or of training people to do a different job.
Source: Cambridge Dictionary
Learning and Development Must be Interesting, and Effective, and Engaging
The challenge of upskilling and reskilling is similar to that of onboarding: making learning interesting, effective, and engaging on a screen. Learning and development professionals have made an amazing pivot and embraced these new challenges by spreading training out over more days and including fun exercises to increase engagement. However, what is often still lacking is the connection between colleagues that comes so naturally in a face-to-face setting.
Leadership Development is Harder Than Ever with Remote and Hybrid Workers
Identifying high-potential leaders is a third factor that learning and development teams struggle with when teams are remote. Virtual work makes it much more difficult to identify servant leadership attributes; it’s harder to observe which team members exhibit leadership skills, and which existing leaders are struggling.
It’s easy to see how identifying and developing future leaders could take lower priority during a global pandemic and recession. However, it’s arguably more important than ever to invest in future leaders who can manage all the changes your business is likely to encounter in the coming months and years.
Moving Forward: Knowledge Collaboration Supports Learning and Development
It’s crucial to give learning cohorts a supportive, generous network they can turn to with questions. Making it easy for people to ask for and offer help to one another lets them solve each others’ problems, build trust, and feel connected. Employees that feel a high degree of gratitude, trust, connection, and community during onboarding and training will be more loyal to the organization, not to mention more efficient and productive.
What’s more, these strategies allow companies to identify high-potential leaders who may not otherwise be getting much visibility in a remote environment. When someone is willing to ask for help, they’re putting the needs of the company ahead of their own ego. Also, employees with an aptitude for servant leadership will often stand out as generous, helpful givers.
Give and Take is helping organizations prepare for the future of work.
This is post #4 in a five-part series on the Future of Work:
- Remote Team Collaboration
- Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
- Building Culture
- Learning and Development (this post)
- Knowledge Sharing (coming soon)
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