By: Peter Kokkinos
Globalization and technology are rapidly changing how organizations operate. These changes are influencing a distinct shift in the skills needed by organizations to execute on business goals and remain competitive.
Although baby boomers are exiting the workforce in record numbers, governments worldwide are encouraging the organizations to employ mature age workers, and for mature age workers to remain in the workforce for longer. Meanwhile, more Millennials are entering with very different expectations to their predecessors. These factors combined mean that in the future, we are likely to have a more diverse workforce than ever before. The challenge for business leaders will be the timely development of their workforce to prevent skill gaps emerging and taking hold. At the same time, learners will need sufficient support to attain “lift-off” as quickly as the business climate demands.
The talent pipeline
Change can be uncomfortable and disruptive to business. The global financial crisis (GFC) led to large-scale organizational cost-cutting measures for a critical business asset: Human Capital. However, as the economy continues to improve, business decision makers are moving to invest in talent development as a key competitive differentiator and to future-proof their organizations.
Organizations will continue to look to implement best-practice HR systems that have been tried and tested by successful, global companies. SumTotal is in a unique position to help organizations to do this well, and become ‘self-developing’ and ‘self-learning,’ through linking rich talent profile information with Skillsoft’s 60,000 content assets and patented search capabilities. The more users interact with the system, the smarter it becomes about who an employee is and how that employee learns, providing a dynamic, hyper-personalized learning plan that can help employees improve their performance and achieve their maximum potential.
Why are ‘Self-Developing Organizations’ important?
In today’s ever-changing work landscape, organizations are under immense pressure from Boards and stakeholders to perform – and perform fast. As job roles and skill requirements change, an organization has two options: to look outside for new talent and skills, or develop from within.
However, plugging skill gaps is not a sound long-term strategy. To prevent critical skill gaps and talent mismatches in the future, strategic decisions must be made at executive level to ensure employees are supported and nurtured through learning and development frameworks.
How is technology transforming L&D?
Learning and development has evolved rapidly over the last few years to better serve the global marketplace and keep pace with technological change. Technological advancements have had a double-edged effect on organizational L&D. On one hand, they have dramatically changed the way employees like to learn, and have enabled organizations to be more nimble and responsive to the way they deliver learning to employees. On the other hand, technology has enabled organizations to develop more strategic L&D programs by harnessing data analytics, to interpret patterns and behaviors of employees’ – with an ultimate objective to improve the way learning is delivered.
Moving forward, the most successful organizations will adopt a one-size-fits-one approach to learning that harnesses Big Data and talent analytics, to adapt learning to the diverse needs of learners at all levels. A real-time analytics engine can continually correlate and quantify the business impact of each learning interaction, to identify the learning experiences that are having the greatest impact on business performance.
Investment in tailored learning and development initiatives that align to an individuals’ need and career succession path is vital to ride economic peaks and troughs. Business leaders will need to take an active role in providing timely, relevant and bespoke training plans for learners, in order to re-align their skillsets with those required by the organization.
Organizations must embrace the challenge of developing talent for the future if they are to succeed.
To learn more about the ‘Self Developing Organization’ and why organizations need to be learning-centric in their talent expansion strategy, click here.
Peter Kokkinos is Vice President – Asia Pacific Sales, SumTotal, a Skillsoft Company