ACs and fans whirring in a calm office, people hunched over their computers and working on their own or attending meetings – Some of us older lot might remember what work used to be like before mobile phones and Internet took over. It seemed everything still got done without the rush and chaos that seemed to be the hallmark of modern offices. It was an era of reasonable deadlines!
But times have changed, the digital age has made everything faster – you get information faster, you can get things done more quickly, but you also have to produce results more speedily! Naturally, this next-gen workplace also needs different skills. Is HR managing to cope? Well, they certainly understand the changing scenarios and are tweaking training programmes to serve the employees better. However, L&D needs to transform more quickly and completely – there seems to be a tendency to use a band-aid approach to training; keeping old methods and content and adding new patchy updates. What is needed is a complete revamp of how we approach L&D altogether.
5 Key Aspects of Training
The traditional classroom learning is on its way out even in schools, so it’s high time we stopped using it for adults at work!
We need to ensure training is developed in collaboration with the employees, manager and the HR team; learning can no longer be a one-way process where one department decides what to teach and the learners passively take in what’s presented to them.
It’s time employees were put in charge of their own learning requirements. Making the training process collaborative not only empowers the learner to choose what he/she wants to learn but also puts the onus of learning on to the employee.
There is no doubt that digital technology will need to be incorporated in a significant manner in L&D. This can be done in two different layers – firstly, as a medium of learning such as using mobile learning to deliver training on the go. And secondly as content such as reskilling or upskilling employees to become comfortable with new digital trends and tools like mining Big Data or handling AI based modules or learning new automation driven skills.
#3. Teaching soft skills
While many younger employees come with updated technical skills, they often require some handholding in other areas such as interpersonal or communication skills. For older employees, there is an urgent requirement to help them develop a resilient mindset. The quicker pace of work along with the long-ranging effects of digital transformation has proved to be exceedingly hard for many people to manage. It’s crucial to incorporate these indirect and non-technical needs of employees into the L&D programmes as well.
The age of the one-size-fits-all approach has now truly ended. As business models and customer service models become personalised, it is being recognised that the workforce also needs personalised attention.
To make sure people remain productive in this fast-paced modern workplace, it is crucial to ensure each person has his/her exact requirement mapped and fulfilled. Training now must be tailored to individual needs, and huge generic workshops for the whole office are out of the door!
#5. Learning mindset
Lastly, L&D is now moving towards the long term goal of creating a new mindset – one of continuous learning. Till now there was a definitive end to education; we finished college, and it was assumed that we have all the skills that we need to manage the next 20 years of work (sure there was training etc. in the middle but nothing too disruptive). Now, as the world changes quickly around us we can no longer afford to sit back with our initial educational qualifications, we need to constantly update and stay ahead of the curve.
A training programme that helps people understand and leverage this new normal is going to be useful in the long run!
That L&D is playing catch up to the modern workplace is not news to HR teams. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation has thrown up new challenges for HR as well. What’s encouraging is that most HR teams understand the new landscape and are looking for answers. Whether they succeed will depend entirely on how much time, effort and money they and their organisations are willing to spend in finding new solutions.
If you are wondering how to upgrade your training programmes, then do give us a call. At SoaringEagles we have been working for years with hundreds of clients which give us unique insights of what your employees need and what works best.
Talk to us!