Focus on abilities and other characteristics that contribute to proficient work in A digital world are being prioritized over skills and knowledge training.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way we work, learn, and interact, and has accelerated the need for digital transformation and innovation in every sector and industry. Corporations are facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to adapt and thrive in the new normal, and to do so, they need to invest in the learning and development (L&D) of their workforce. L&D programs are not only essential for enhancing the skills and competencies of employees, but also for fostering a culture of learning, growth, and resilience in the organization.
However, L&D programs cannot remain static or outdated in the face of the changing business environment and customer expectations. L&D programs need to evolve and align with the shifting priorities and needs of the organization and the employees, and focus on developing the abilities and other characteristics that are critical for success in the 21st century. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key trends and priorities that are influencing the design and delivery of L&D programs in corporations, and how L&D professionals can create and implement effective L&D strategies for the new normal.
What are the shifting priorities of L&D programs in corporations?
According to a recent report by Deloitte, L&D programs in corporations are shifting their priorities from content to context, from consumption to connection, and from courses to capabilities. These shifts reflect the changing nature and demands of work and learning in the post-pandemic era, where employees need to be able to access relevant and personalized learning content, connect and collaborate with their peers and mentors, and develop and apply their capabilities in real-world scenarios.
Some of the key priorities that are driving the transformation of L&D programs in corporations are:
- Personalization: L&D programs need to provide customized and tailored learning experiences that match the individual needs, preferences, and goals of each employee, and that take into account their prior knowledge, skills, and performance.
- Engagement: L&D programs need to capture and sustain the attention and interest of the employees, and motivate them to actively participate and complete the learning activities, and apply the learning outcomes to their work.
- Flexibility: L&D programs need to offer flexible and convenient learning options that allow the employees to learn at their own pace, time, and place, and that fit their work schedules and lifestyles.
- Integration: L&D programs need to integrate the learning content and activities with the work context and tasks, and provide opportunities for the employees to practice and apply their learning in real-world situations, and receive feedback and support.
- Measurement: L&D programs need to measure and evaluate the impact and outcomes of the learning interventions, and use the data and insights to improve and optimize the learning design and delivery, and demonstrate the return on investment and value of the L&D programs.
What are the abilities and other characteristics that L&D programs need to develop?
To address these priorities, L&D programs need to focus on developing the abilities and other characteristics that are essential for the employees to perform effectively and efficiently in the new normal. Some of these include:
- Digital skills: The ability to use and understand digital tools, platforms, and data, and apply them to enhance performance and outcomes.
- Critical thinking: The ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information, and make informed and logical decisions and judgments.
- Communication: The ability to express and exchange ideas, information, and opinions clearly and effectively, using various modes and media.
- Collaboration: The ability to work effectively with others, across boundaries and differences, and leverage diverse perspectives and expertise.
- Creativity: The ability to generate novel and useful ideas, solutions, and products.
- Innovation: The ability to implement and execute new and improved processes, products, and services, and adapt to changing customer needs and expectations.
- Agility: The ability to adjust to changing circumstances, learn from feedback, and experiment with new approaches.
- Resilience: The ability to cope with stress, overcome challenges, and bounce back from setbacks.
- Self-management: The ability to plan, organize, and manage one’s own work and learning, and set and achieve personal and professional goals.
- Growth mindset: The ability to embrace challenges, seek feedback, and view failures as opportunities for learning and improvement.
How can L&D professionals design and deliver effective L&D programs?
To develop these abilities and other characteristics in their employees, L&D professionals need to adopt a holistic and integrated approach to L&D that aligns with the organizational strategy and culture, and leverages the best practices and innovations in the field of L&D. Some of the key elements of such an approach are:
- Understanding the learner: L&D professionals need to conduct a thorough analysis of the learner profile, needs, preferences, and goals, and use the data and insights to design and deliver personalized and relevant learning experiences.
- Curating the content: L&D professionals need to curate and create high-quality and engaging learning content that covers the core topics and skills that the employees need to develop, and that is tailored to the specific context and level of the employees.
- Choosing the methods and modalities: L&D professionals need to choose the most appropriate and effective methods and modalities for delivering the learning content and activities, such as instructor-led, self-paced, online, blended, or experiential learning, and ensure that they are engaging, interactive, and accessible.
- Facilitating the learning: L&D professionals need to facilitate and support the learning process and outcomes, by providing guidance, feedback, coaching, mentoring, and recognition to the employees, and creating a culture of learning and growth in the organization.
- Evaluating the learning: L&D professionals need to evaluate and measure the impact and outcomes of the learning interventions, and use the data and feedback to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the L&D programs, and identify the areas for improvement and enhancement.
The shifting priorities of learning and development programs in corporations toward abilities and other characteristics reflect the changing nature and demands of work and learning in the new normal. L&D professionals have a vital role to play in helping their organizations and employees adapt and thrive in the post-pandemic era, by designing and delivering effective L&D programs that address the current and future needs and challenges of the business environment. By doing so, L&D professionals can contribute to the success and sustainability of their organizations, and the growth and development of their employees.
As you consider this shift in priorities, the best place to start to understand how is to create a baseline. CykoMetrix offers a toolset that enables you to assess your organization across all dimensions you deem appropriate. Once the baseline is taken, you can then use a data-driven approach to design a program of interventions that help the organization develop the abilities and other characteristics necessary to compete in the future of work.
About the Author: Jeff Campbell – CEO of CykoMetrix, the human data intelligence platform that can identify the digital hierarchy and measure the development. When used in conjunction with interventions tailored to an individual, team, or cohort the CykoMetric platform help you demonstrate the return on the investments in your people by correlating the human data outcomes with desired business outcomes.