Understanding the Future of Work and Learning

During the latest episode of The Best Run podcast, I explored the changes seen in learning and development with Himani Nargotra, Technical Learning Capability Lead for Sydney Water, and Chris Dwyer, Regional VP of Customer Engagement for SAP APJ and Greater China.

Himani and Chris both play critical roles in education and training, noting how organisations have shifted from rigid, face-to-face training to online learning modules.

“To service these requirements in Sydney Water, we had to set up 24/7 learning labs with live access to training involvement of several organisation applications,” Himani explained.

“We have also ensured that the users can access the knowledge content from their devices outside of the work area, because employees nowadays want flexible learning, which means anytime anywhere.”

Chris agrees that organisations are growing more accommodating towards employees learning needs and preferences, which are more dynamic than every before.

“This has meant that organisations have a bigger bag of tricks available when it comes to lowering the barriers to learning,” Chris said. “As learning has become easier to consume, it’s also become more pervasive.”

According to Himani, Sydney Water has maintained an employee-centric approach to growing capability and organisational learning – offering continual access and support to staff.

“In addition to our existing technical learning, we’ve moved towards platforms such as SAP Learning Hub, LinkedIn Learning, and other similar platforms to provide a diverse knowledge base,” she stated. “Our employees also actively attend product seminars and tech meets such as SAUG (SAP Australian User Group) to stay connected with the latest technologies.”

Chris says organisations need the technology and framework to support both push- and pull-based learning, which includes a library of readily available content across different formats. “This has been where most of our focus has been in recent years,” he affirmed, “building technology to support this learning centric approach for both push and pull with a focus on rapid development and deployment.”

Himani noted that SAP Enable Now has helped her organisation by providing a comprehensive solution tailored to Sydney Water’s scale and needs.

“We reached out to SAP several times for support and we’ve always gotten very prompt and efficient support to resolve our issues, especially when we were very close to going live,” she explained.

“The knowledge and support that we got from SAP has been really impressive and has helped us meet our timelines.”

Chris noted that there are six key factors driving the future of work:

1. Big data’s impact on improving insights and reshaping industries.

2. The unprecedented pace of technological change.

3. The socially connected world’s increased transparency and information access.

4. Shifting demographics and diversity of workforces.

5. Workplace complexity due to increased mobility of employees.

6. Shifts in market due to new digital economy.

According to Chris, the increasing role of AI and robotics is reshaping the way we understand work. “Today the most in-demand occupations and specialties didn’t exist ten years ago, and that pace of change is accelerating,” he concludes. “According to the world economic forum, 65% of children who are entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist.”

With the pace of technological change simplifying certain roles, the task of managers and organisations is to implement the necessary technologies and processes to support staff in however they choose to learn and develop as workers.

To hear more about how businesses are adopting innovative cultures and frameworks for next-generation learning, hear the complete episode of SAP’s The Best Run Podcast.