If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that companies have to be nimble in and responsive to an uncertain future of work. Many offices are transforming their cultures to a hybrid model or simply remaining fully remote to cut the expense of renting space. As the workplace changes, however, the way we learn for our jobs is also evolving.
Rachel Jordan, head of Product Management for SAP Learning Solutions, pointed out in her SAPPHIRE NOW session, “Reinvent Learning to Tackle the Future of Work,” that when customers share their top priorities for learning in 2021, the answers are resounding. The top priorities are reskilling and upskilling, digitizing training, providing an excellent user experience, and using better analytics and intelligence to inform strategy and what kind of learning is needed.
In this tight labor market, having a workforce with the right skills is a competitive advantage. Amid the changing dynamics of the workplace and increasing expectations people have for their companies, the future of organizational learning should have the following four distinctive traits:
1. At the point of need
Organizations should deliver content and information that serve the motivations and needs of learners: those who need to learn to perform competently, those who want to learn out of intellectual curiosity, and those who have to learn to fulfill the requirements of their job or organization, such as compliance.
The challenge is how to meet all of these needs and learner motivations in the most effective way. Meanwhile, the business gains when there’s a single source of truth and when learners and organizations receive actionable insights. Fortunately, there are tools and experiences that can meet every aspect of learning in the employee life cycle, from tracking compliance to developing employees as they progress in their careers.
To facilitate reskilling and upskilling, skills-driven learning matches the right learning opportunities to the right people. It recognizes the user’s whole self: what’s important to them, who they are, and who they are becoming. The latest skills-focused solutions provide an extensive look at a person’s skills, competencies, certifications, and experiences. A personal capabilities portfolio that includes all this information can help organizations understand each person’s real potential. And valuable suggestions for learning opportunities can help fill employees’ capability gaps.
3. Digital and virtual
Even before many employees started working remotely, digital training helped organizations scale learning globally. Now, being able to train wherever and whenever you want is an imperative. What’s different, too, is that digitizing training and virtualization should provide a seamless experience for employees and managers, as well as provide critical data and insights for organizations to support their workforce strategies.
Solutions like SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone can unite tools from the diverse ecosystem of learning platforms, content providers, and employee-created resources that previously existed in silos. Tools like these allow people to create their own learning spaces without having to visit multiple applications. And of course, the best tools provide actionable insights for learners and organizations.
4. Self-paced and personalized
Organizations should be encouraging their people to obtain new skills – and that means meeting employees where they are and delivering what they want. Personalized learning journeys that employees can choose at their own pace, including short microlearning units, can increase the participation of learners. And presenting personalized, continuous learning opportunities from libraries of content and curating it throughout learners’ journeys can help organizations make sure their workforces are employable, leading to greater transparency and engagement from employees.
Unlocking Success Through Learning
Seamless learning provides greater motivation for employees who care about their individual growth and career paths. Delivering the right learning to the right people at the right time will help upskill, reskill, and transform your business.
Margit Bauer is director of Solution Marketing at SAP.