How to keep up with technical training
Outpacing Automation With eLearning
Technological advances have not only changed the way we work but are about to have a huge impact on jobs as well. To survive this disruption, companies need to place learning as a priority to keep up with changing job roles and skills, writes Jerry Cox, President, CEO at Brainier Solutions.
Yet another industrial revolution is heading our way, and, once again technology is to blame. But, unlike previous upheavals, the speed of change is faster than ever. Automation is compromising the employment of an estimated 20% to 30% of the workforce, according to reports from organizations such as Bain, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the McKinsey Global Institute. And it’s not simply manufacturing that is seeing this advancement in technology. The application of modern technology to the workplace has found efficiencies universally. Organizations looking to remain viable must adapt to the changes updated technology brings. Adapting and remaining competitive is easier when organizations foster a culture of learning.
The reach of automation stretches beyond simply disrupting business models but is altering individual job roles and necessary skills. The adage “working smarter, not harder” means integrating new technology to save time and resources. This practice is no longer novel. To remain competitive, it is policy. This adjustment underscores the urgency to upskill and reskill in order to retain their workforce.
Commitment To Learning
Unfortunately, this wave of eLearning is breaking and rolling back on the administrative level. Not all organizations understand how to proceed with providing learning opportunities. An Accenture survey of 1,200 executives said that while nearly half considered skill gaps a major concern for the future of the organization, “…only 3% said they will significantly increase their training budgets over the next 3 years.” There is understandable reluctance to commit resources unless a solid learning and development plan is in place; however, the broader goals of any business should include learning as a conduit to innovation.
Understanding The Need For Learning
Hallmarks of the most sought-after candidates entering the workforce today are the desire to grow, to build out their skill set, and most importantly to apply it to their thinking about the organization. This ability to transform an organization through innovative thinking is found through ongoing learning. This allotted space for learning is a must-have for many Millennials and Gen Z workers. In both taking a position and in leaving one, the “opportunity to learn” (or subsequent lack thereof) was listed as a top reason for a career change, according to the Deloitte 2019 Global Millennial Survey and the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report.
Communicating the need for learning is crucial to help employees understand how they function within the organization as it adapts to changes in the marketplace. The fight for relevance and a competitive edge is won by leveraging learners in the workforce. The dynamic ability of a person to apply knowledge gained to innovate the business is what will win the future.
What Are They Interested In Learning?
Employees are looking for skill development, mainly in a technical field. This makes perfect sense looking through the lens of an employee looking to advance their career. Topics like coding, data analysis, writing, and computer programing topped the list of desired technical skills in a recent report by Randstad. At 43%, most respondents were looking to develop the tech skills that are likely in demand in the near future. Interestingly, almost the same amount (41%) of respondents were looking to refine their “soft skills”, such as communication, problem-solving, conflict resolution, leadership, and time management. Along with the pressure to upskill and stay ahead of the curve, many people are still realizing the importance of refining their skills on how they function in a group to be more of an asset.
Steps to Start Your Workforce Learning
Pathways to learning are all over the internet of varying degrees of engagement. YouTube videos, MOOCs, Wikipedia, or even a simple Google search all fall under the umbrella of learning in the flow of work. To maximize a learning and development program it is essential to cut through the clutter to curate a library of relevant content.
- Segment The Workforce
Not every member of the organization will benefit from the same training or even the same training delivery method. To better understand the audience, create groups that have commonalities like job roles and functions, geography, career stage, and seniority.
- Curate Meaningful Content
Build off of the existing, relevant content to curate a library of materials. Nearly everyone has searched for answers on the internet for how to perform their tasks. Utilize the resources found and tag them with keywords to make them searchable.
- Delivery Methods Matter
Beyond simply gathering content, consider the delivery method that each group prefers. For some groups, short video lessons might be preferable, while others would rather refer to a text document instead of scrolling to find their answers. Engagement is key, as the amount of time devoted to personal development falls slightly year over year. Be conscious of time spent learning versus searching.
These steps help to improve efficiencies in learning by selecting an audience and directing their attention to preferred content. Speaking to an audience with specific commonalities allows for a shorthand that hinders the effectiveness of one-size-fits-all type training.
Learning As A Solution
Automation is coming to nearly every industry, and much quicker than ever before. Creating a culture of learning within an organization is proving to be a powerful recruiting tool to Maintain a competitive edge. To keep ahead of the threat of automation its necessary to find efficiencies, innovate, and continually upskill and reskill to retain a vital workforce.