How to Adapt to the Changing Landscape of Workplace Learning?

The pandemic has disrupted every aspect of the employment sector including workplace learning and skill development. Can traditional skill assessment and training methods survive the hit? Let’s find out. 

Workplace learning is an inevitable part of every successful corporate structure. It is shaped by various real-time factors such as technological advancements and shift in priorities triggered by unpredictable catastrophes.

Take the pandemic for instance,it taught us that to survive and thrive in calamities, we must adapt and evolve. With the boom in remote work culture and rapidly changing work environments, old ways of predicting skills required for a particular role, aren’t valid anymore. Since the skills and responsibilities are changing like nothing before, identifying the requirement must be the agenda while devising a recruitment plan.

Let’s face it, there is never going to be a one-size-fits-all solution to workplace learning woes.
What you can do is adopt a dynamic approach instead of defining skills.

Here’s what we mean.

Identify Exact Skills Required

Emphasize current needs over traditional requirements.

For example, in the traditional setting for a social media executive role, the basic requirements such as content skills and awareness of platform management were the only things that mattered, and skill development for this field was limited to acquiring technical knowledge in social media tools and platforms.

In the current (and future) settings, you can develop a flexible way of understanding the exact skill the employee lacks. For example skill assessment surveys, talent evaluation surveys etc., might do the trick. Also, you can uskill a social media executive on real-time issues like the pandemic-related social media regulations, advertising changes, and legal implications of pages as it will provide tremendous value.

Timely Development of Skills

Timely training and mentoring works wonders if done the right way at the right time. If there is a certain need in the company, which involves a specific project, skill acquisition should be done at least a month before the project starts.

For example, if your company is planning to automate the testing requirements using a programming language, say, Selenium, the testing professionals should develop the code before the product or website is ready for testing. Timely assessments should be made mandatory to understand what your team lacks and how it can be rectified.

For the lack of human skills, the HR team should be involved in the skill development planning and guide the employees to manage the process smoothly.

Dynamic Skills Approach

In this approach, the HRM structures human resource functions, strategies, and decisions to respond dynamically to changing skill requirements with focus on short and long-term goals.

For example, instead of heavily investing in training an entire team of developers for a minor project,a handful of people can be trained for the same while others can be trained in skills which will help in the long run e.g., AI and ML.

Create channels for the employees and the company for exchanging skills information; you can also enable the employees to make skills decisions dynamically. It is always better to persevere with mutually advantageous and adaptable skills development. In that way, dynamic skills development can also improve employee experience and employee discretionary efforts.

Developing Flexible Content

Effective fast pace learning can be achieved, only if the learning material is easy to comprehend and well-curated. The learner should be on top of what is happening in their niche at all times. Understanding this, organizations must fuel the learner’s need for learning quickly and frequently. Provide them with the freedom to decide their learning’s “place and pace”.

While designing or choosing training material, the aim should revolve around building a positive employee experience. Here are a few things HRMs can do.

Keep it fun: Make learning fun by integrating videos, games, podcasts etc. to the study material.
Keep versatility in mind: Leverage versatile tools to let them access the material anytime, anywhere.
Embrace modular training: The learner should be able to complete sections or modules of training according to their own time schedule and pace.

The nature of work and workplace learning is evolving, subject to the real-time changes and events. In these unprecedented times, traditional skill assessment and training methods are becoming invalid so readjusting to the changes and evolving has become a necessity.

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One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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