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CHROs on the task to curate an effective L&D program for Hybrid Workplaces

In the hybrid workplace model, one of the major challenges for CHROs is ensuring high-quality learning and development initiatives for employees.

workplace pic
Gone are the days when it was enough for HR leaders to add a certain number of training hours for employees. (Photo source: Pixabay)

By Sameer Nigam 

Despite its early benefits, the hybrid workplace concept is still in its infancy. CHROs (Chief Human Resource Officers) now have a new strategic role. They are charged with the task of curating, envisioning and shaping a hybrid workplace that meets the specific needs of their company. Having previously worked with organisations that followed a specific workplace model, this responsibility is very different from anything they’ve done before.

L&D challenge at a hybrid workplace

In the hybrid workplace model, one of the major challenges for CHROs is ensuring high-quality learning and development initiatives for employees. These initiatives allow people to gain the necessary skills to perform their current jobs effectively while also anticipating future skill gaps and preparing adequately. Additionally, imbibing high-end skills becomes a significant challenge due to the lack of in-person time availability.

To address this problem, CHROs need to doctor and reimagine the L&D strategy that works for a hybrid environment. I believe that there are two key tools in their aidbox to create an effective L&D program:

Skill matrix

A skills matrix, or competency matrix, is the canvas that CHROs can use to map the skill sets of the existing talent pool and compare the necessary skill sets to deal with the current requirements and build competence for the future. Skill matrix is a simple, tabular visualization that can be made into any digital platform used for L&D management. Oncethe matrix is ready, it becomes a good starting point for CHROs to understand the existing skill gap and craft a data-driven strategic plan to bridge it.

Learning experience platform (LXP)

Gone are the days when it was enough for HR leaders to add a certain number of training hours for employees. The old school framework did just fine in the pre-pandemic era. Today, employees are practically reaping the benefit of a global talent war and seek engagements that provide them learning experiences (and not mandates). Thus, learning has to be a pull and not a push driven activity.

Therefore, CHROs need to look for tech-enabled ways to create unique learning experiences. A learning experience platform (LXP) addresses this challenge by providing an AI-driven peer learning experience. Contrary to the traditional learning management systems (LMS) approach that focuses on delivering basic functional, policy, and compliance training to employees, LXPs spotlight employee needs and peer learning.

For any organization, the skill-gap analysis from the skill matrix becomes the critical input to the LXP. The LXP helps employees develop self-directed learning and development paths and solve pressing business problems. They can discover relevant resources on the platform, such as whitepapers, blog posts, industry articles, videos, podcasts, and massively open online courses. Users can also add or publish their content on the platform that helps their peers. In addition, the AI capabilities allow the LXP platform to offer a highly personalized experience for every learner instead of a ‘one size fits all’ approach for the entire organization.

HR leaders can use the above two to identify needs and inform future plans by combining external resources with internal developmental platforms. CHROs are currently managing organisational culture, retaining, growing the talent pool, and playing a critical role in developing future capabilities against a backdrop of unprecedented scenarios and constantly evolving responsibilities.

This ability to consistently adapt to those complexities is something that HR leaders are keenly aware of, advancing their role as powerful influencers to drive more strategic initiatives across the organization. It’s no surprise that many CHROs have recently been promoted to CEO positions. Being a part of the HR community is exciting in the current context.  


(The author is 
CEO, Stratbeans. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.

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