How methods of learning for professionals changing in digital era

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Published: July 1, 2019 2:13:07 AM

This has resulted in organisations planning training and talent development programmes for their employees and significant efforts and investments being committed as a result.

learning, professionals, digital era, talent development, industry newsSuch learning becomes obsolete and many times is not relevant in practical situations.

In the days of rapid changes in the business and technology environment, the method and relevance of learning are undergoing major changes too. Both professionals and businesses have recognised that academic knowledge alone gained years ago would not be adequate to succeed in the digital world, new skills are required to be acquired on an ongoing basis. This has resulted in organisations planning training and talent development programmes for their employees and significant efforts and investments being committed as a result.

However the concerns raised by most HR heads include how to motivate the employees to attend the training programmes, how to ensure that the employees get real benefit from the training programmes and their managers feel the difference at the workplace. These challenges require new approach for talent development and the answer lies in moving away from ‘just in case’ learning to ‘just in time knowhow’ model to talent development, supported efficiently by digital learning tools.

Most training programmes are traditionally designed to prepare the learners for applying what they have learnt, as the situation demands. Such learning becomes obsolete and many times is not relevant in practical situations. Hence for effective outcomes, the emerging model emphasises on short learning content preferably delivered via videos and additionally making learning multi dimensional – comprising of classroom learning and or predetermined online content supplemented by just in time support provided by mentors, peers and AI tools deployed to plough through the knowledge repository of the business.

These customised inputs make a huge difference to the learners and hence they feel motivated to tap into this knowhow as the employees see value in such a method of learning. Moreover, it is possible with the help of algorithms to determine the gaps between the available skills and the required skills for each role and propose a plan customised for each individual skill and career navigation paths that are meaningful.

AI tools embedded in the learning journey would also monitor the progress and suggest types of content and the styles suited to the learners so L&D managers would be able to fine-tune the content, retire or curate new content as required in a real time mode. Instead of depending solely on the content that has been preordained, L& D mangers have access to tools that would crawl the internet and proactively recommend new content, publishers, new thought leaders and blogs that could be tapped into in order to make the learning content dynamic and up to date.

‘Just in time knowhow’ is peppered with experiences of peers and inputs provided by AI tools and the active collaboration made feasible on the digital platform enables in finding solutions in the shortest possible time. CTOs are also beginning to appreciate the need to move away from the stand alone LMS and consider the digital learning platforms which not only enable employees ‘just in time knowhow’ but also integrate with other stand alone systems in the organisation such as the performance management system, HRMIS and knowledge repositories so that it is feasible to garner meaningful insights on the outcomes through Analytics models through such an approach.

For facilitating the adoption of the new format of talent development and delivering a positive experience to the employees, there has to be a rethink in the management of talent development process. Two major changes required will be – the ownership for defining the knowhow required for different roles and deciphering the channels of knowhow would have to be with the business and L&D function should act as a catalyst for maximising the knowhow for each employee as well as act as the custodian for harnessing the knowhow for the organisation. Are we geared for the changes?

(The writer is chairperson, Global Talent Track, a corporate training solutions company)

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