In January 2020, the World Economic Forum announced, “The world is facing a reskilling emergency. We need to reskill more than 1 billion people by 2030.” Organisations, governments and societies across the world will need to come together to ensure the skills gap is filled before it’s too late.
This skills gap has emerged as a result of a number of factors. Over the past few decades, work and workplaces have changed due to:
- Technological advancements
- Evolving employee expectations
- Increased demand for new capabilities
- Changing labour demographics
- Increased focus on inclusion and diversity strategies
- Innovative workforce models
- Regulatory changes in the business environment
In more recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has also had an undeniable impact on workplaces, revolutionising the entire role of the Learning and Development team within organisations and propelling them to consider how to deliver learning in the more immediate term. Learning and Development managers are aware that the solution to the pending skills gap is to enable their workforce to continuously learn, unlearn and relearn. L&D teams should develop capabilities at the individual, team and wider organisation level.
In order to make the most significant impact on the business, learning and development initiatives should be backed by data and integrated across different departments and functions. For many, this process may be challenging, as it is a complete transformation of traditional learning and development practices. However, the result will be an effective and efficient workforce that is resilient and adaptable to change.
How to Future-Proof Learning and Development
Workplace learning will always be based on developing necessary knowledge and capabilities. The key differences going forward will be the incorporation of data insights, and integration of learning into the workplace. In order to succeed long-term, L&D teams must plan strategically and identify the necessary steps to future-proof their structure, incorporating the following three aspects will be key to this.
1. Clearly Identify Learning Operations
Learning operations should be put in place that outline the business’ learning needs and strategies to deliver learning that meets these needs. That gives the broader organisation clarity on the roles that L&D fills and the facilities and tools they use.
The most effective L&D teams focus on meeting the expectations of management through filling skills gaps, while delivering an effective employee learning experience. They should provide accessible, valuable, and collaborative learning experiences that deliver measurable impact for the business as a whole.
2. Maximise Investment in L&D
Businesses can maximise their returns on learning and development initiatives through planning, budgeting and managing priorities. To increase the business-wide efficiency and effectiveness of L&D, all initiatives should align with the strategic focus of the business. L&D managers that tangibly contribute to the success of the business through delivering a future-focused workforce strategy and quickly developing necessary workforce skills to meet emerging opportunities will become integral strategic partners in the wider company.
3. Cost-Effective Implementation of Learning Technology
There are a range of tools, solutions and platforms that provide programs designed uniquely for workplace learning. It is crucial to identify what L&D is trying to achieve so that a technological landscape can be created that meets the requirements of the business. This landscape should continuously change based on the organisation’s evolving needs. L&D managers should identify which technologies are necessary, and which may no longer be needed to ensure the most effective delivery of learning initiatives.
By future-proofing the Learning and Development structure, businesses will realise many benefits such as employee efficiency and effectiveness and preparation for long-term growth and innovation.
An online learning community platform, Cahoot Learning designs cohort-based learning programs that transform learning experiences through peer-to-peer collaboration to drive deep engagement, build capability and shift mindsets. Our courses allow learners to solve real-world problems, arming them with the tools that let them apply their learnings in their roles. Get in touch with us to find out more about our range of learning programs.