Article (November-2019)

Articles

Trainers need to know the optimum use of technology

Dr. Partha S. Raut

Designation : -   Founder

Organization : -  Athena Consulting, Mumbai

01-Nov-2019

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There has been a paradigm shift in learning and development in past few years due to technology intervention. What is your take on L&D of the future?

PS We are in a VUCA world, a world characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. This is heralded by the big five shifts which are the forces of globalization, technology, demography and longevity, society and the energy resources. We are already feeling the impact of each of these, and it will increasingly become even more palpable. Ubiquitous connectivity, exponentially increasing technological capability, and the affordances of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) have forever changed how we communicate, interact, live and work. As working professionals and L&D personnel concerned with training and organizational learning, capability building and talent development, we cannot ignore the implications of this changing landscape.

The rate at which technological advancements are happening is outside the realms of practical comprehension. There is only a way to ensure that you and your team are equipped to handle the latest technology through better training programs and delivery methods. Today, there is a need for organizations to up their training programs by various means such as personalizing, incorporating cutting edge technologies, supporting professional development and encouraging employee engagement.

What are some current trends that you are optimistic about in the L&D function?

PS To stay ahead of the competition in 2020, companies must continue to promote the value of L&D programmes and ensure that they align with overall business goals. This means mapping out programs that meet business needs, taking stock of current technology and skill set needs and helping prepare for the future. If you're looking to refresh your L&D program this year, here are five trends to keep in mind :

Video gets less fancy and more effective - Video has been a compelling training format for decades and is still one of the most-effective platforms for disseminating L&D content.

Micro-learning - It is a holistic approach to skill-based learning which deals with smaller learning units. With this learning method, learners can review information in smaller fragments which are spaced out from one lesson to the next. This can result in better results in the longer term.

Gamification of training - Leader boards, points, badges, and community involvement serves as a reinforcement and incentive for the online training experience.

Embracing artificial intelligence - AI in the workplace can help employers to offer career pathing to employees, highly personalized training programs and enhanced onsite job training.

Prioritization of soft skills - With organizations becoming more global, employers are realizing how critical it is to develop an employee's soft skills such as collaboration, negotiation, and emotional intelligence. In fact, soft skills are known to boost an organization's work culture, increase the retention rate and improve leadership.

Do you consider L&D as one the key challenges for talent management leaders in fast changing skills scenario, if so, how it should be addressed?

PS The 21st-century VUCA model that I am advocating requires talent management to have plans for handling numerous "disruptive events" that traditional narrow workforce planning simply can't handle. Some of those disruptive events might include generational shifts that occur every six years, social media changing the way we communicate, and simultaneous talent surpluses and shortages.

We need to develop a primary goal to focus on the hiring, training, and retaining of employees and managers who are agile, who thrive in a VUCA environment, and those who have the capability of acting effectively in unforeseen and unpredicted situations. We require agility, flexibility, and a rapid change capability as an essential component in all current and new talent management processes and programs. We should prioritize talent management so that it focuses on innovators game-changers, and pioneers who are essential for success in a VUCA environment.

There is a need to develop systems to increase the speed of individual and organizational learning. Developing process to proactively speed up the movement of employees internally to where they can have a greater impact. We should focus on developing the capability for rapid hiring for sudden needs through poaching, with pre-identifying talent pools and by building professional communities. Most important is to develop talent management processes and programs that provide a continual competitive advantage over other talent competitors.

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