Although required skillsets have evolved rapidly in recent years, many organisations have not updated their methods of learning to keep pace. Poor planning and a lack of reactivity has led to a lack of learner engagement and drives an ever-widening skills gap. However, with the right approach, it is possible to drive agile learning to create an agile and highly-engaged workforce to help deliver business goals.
Understanding the need for workplace learning
For any organisation to continue to succeed, it’s essential to have team members who are fully engaged and willing to develop their skills to keep up with the changing demands of the market. The benefits are not one-sided as research has shown that the majority of team members are very willing to engage in professional development and actively seek out opportunities to do so.
Even with a well-developed learning strategy, execution can sometimes be a letdown for learners due to poor marketing, delivery or style.
The impact of a skills gap
It can be difficult to identify a skills gap and measure its impact on an organisation, as modern workplace requirements are infinitely complex and constantly evolving. Research from Towards Maturity has shown that managers usually identify their biggest challenge as understanding where the skills gap lies, in order to know which capabilities are needed.
It’s not just managers who struggle to identify the skills required, many of their team members also find it difficult to identify their own training needs.
With technological advances trending towards automation for many roles and occupations, life-long skills development is as essential for the individual as it is for the business. Experts disagree on the exact figures, but the general consensus is that within the EU, anywhere from one third to a half of all jobs have the potential to be automated in the future.
It becomes critical to identify exactly where skill gaps exist within your business, and the type of training team members need in order to develop skills and meet objectives.
How to drive agile learning?
Even organisations who are more in touch with the type of training required may struggle to engage team members due to an outdated model of delivery.
High performing learning cultures demonstrate a willingness to flex and adapt their style, moving away from the traditional face-to-face pedagogical style and closer to a blended approach, that includes digital learning. This has a wealth of benefits, including ecological, scalability, rapid feedback response, as well as empowering team members to take responsibility for their own development.
A lack of engagement
Around 50% of businesses report a lack of engagement with new digital technology from their workforce, but at the same time more than three-quarters of team members say they love having the opportunity to use new technology. More than half of managers describe team members as being unwilling to take responsibility for their own learning. Yet again, there’s a difference in perception, as over 75% of team members say they are constantly driving their own learning and development.
This disparity of perception can lead to considerable dissent if not properly addressed.
Future-focused people professionals
To create a culture that is agile and adaptive, L&D professionals need to be equipped with the latest learning methods that have a proven record of success. This could mean receiving outside help to craft a new strategy for the business that encompasses the needs of the individual learner, while filling the skills gap for better performance.
The differences between companies that fully utilise digital techniques and those that don’t are quite severe. Sources such as custom e-learning, interactive videos, internal learning portals, and open source e-learning tools, can increase engagement by 20% or more.
The most successful companies don’t just deliver excellence in learning; they motivate their team members to take responsibility for their own personal and professional development. This self-reliance is key to the well-being of the individual, while optimizing business performance.
Businesses that demonstrate an agile learning culture have team members who have a sense of well-being and embrace diversity. Employee retention is also improved, a key concern for many companies.
Greater engagement with digital learning and an agile learning culture can lead to greater productivity, more qualified talent, and the ability to respond more quickly to changing market conditions.
There are often many challenges for L&D professionals to overcome in order to reap the benefits of an agile workplace that encourages skills development. When learners are willing to engage without constantly being prompted, new skills will help to drive the business forward and create a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment for all team members.
Transactional and behavioural data are keys to understanding how to deliver learning that supports business goals, via a sound digital learning strategy that benefits your workforce.
Let us help you identify skills gaps and create a more agile learning environment!