L&D Digest

How to strategize for employee upskilling as early as during recruitment

LD Digest for April 2021

L&D Digest is your monthly rundown of the most important L&D news from European and global Learning and Development sources.

L&D Digest for April 2021 brings insights into how learning literacy can accelerate ROI and how to think about upskilling and reskilling already on the stage of recruitment. We will also shed some light on how to help learners learn in the flow of work and how to foster right-brain leadership.

Upskilling & reskilling and recruitment – a guide

Michael Page published a guide on incorporating reskilling and upskilling into the recruitment strategy which can be very helpful in leveraging HR’s candidate experience efforts. While the importance of reskilling and upskilling and its benefits for the potential employee is probably well-known, let’s focus on the area where L&D can work with HR to design a competency-based recruitment process.

→ define a map of skills for the given job position

→ design questions together about the 5 key areas of competencies: self-development, leadership, motivation, analytical skills, social skills.

→ design questions about personal competencies: resilience, ability to take risks, perseverance, flexibility, integrity, independence, and assertiveness.

Taking skills into account from the pre-employment moments can be very beneficial for L&D and help plan more personalized development actions for a joiner from the very beginning in the company.

Create complex and user-friendly learning programs.

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Learning literacy vital in today’s economy

The author of the Chief Learning Officer article opens the piece with a thought-provoking statement: if financial literacy is the means to financial well-being, then learning literacy, in a knowledge-based economy may be key to educational and career well-being. Employers already understand how learning benefits matter. As we read in the article: “in a 2019 survey of U.S. companies, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans found that more than 90% offered some type of education benefit.” Many employees are left “cautious about pursuing education, and they are confused about career navigation and what skills they need to learn for the future.” One of the ways to address this, as states in the article may be launching an education advisory program, as McDonald’s did. The company also deployed a system that helped employees navigate their learning – conduct interest assessments, analyze their skills gaps and create career pathway information. 

How to help on-demand learners achieve their best

Learning on-demand – as attractive as ‘learning when one wants or is able to’ can be it can also be overwhelming. So how to support learners in this model of knowledge acquisition? ATD gives some advice on how to champion on-demand learning:

→ be aware of your long-term goal after completing the course

→ help them get familiar with the format and technology (which can be especially useful for learners with poor tech skills)

→ advise them to establish the schedule and stick to it (in ‘learning in the flow of work’ it may be difficult to go with the flow of… work, not learning)

→ help them set milestones (chunk the course up and set goals for every part)

→ advise them to connect with other learners (when the learner is not the only one attending the course, social learning benefits can be endless)

→ recommend creating a separate learning space

→ encourage your learners not to give up!

Boosting L&D folks’ communication skills

Training Zone tackled a topic that L&D professionals may be avoiding at times. And the right communication may be just as important as learning analytics in proving the value of L&D to business. Additionally, you may not achieve effective learning analytics insights if you do not know the outcomes the organization wants to achieve. 

The article outlines crucial abilities that L&D needs to acquire in order to sync best with C-level and the organization. It is vital for L&D to ask the right questions in order to get the real vision of where the organization needs to be and how L&D can help it scale or get where it needs to be. Finding occasions to build a relationship with executives and finding common ground is also very helpful in building your case for L&D. Use the right words and business language. Also – ‘map’ your stakeholders. Identify those who block and the ones that encourage your actions.

Intelligence and skill

In his article for RH Info, Jean-Marie Breillot describes two kinds of competencies: horizontal (people & social skills) and vertical (technical skills). It’s the problematic situations that help us develop especially soft or power skills. Soft skills require less energy and more synergy.

The statement is made that competence is not natural, it is the product of a personal and social construction combining theoretical learning and experience. Because there are several ways of inhabiting a skill, our current way of doing things is the basis from which we develop; skill is, therefore, an “experiential test” where we constantly re-evaluate our relationship to the different elements of the problematic situation.

Competence is always singular because it covers the capacity of the individual to establish the appropriate relationship with his professional environment and to integrate the specificities of the situation. The state of mind becomes central; the recruiter will be looking for a person who is no longer the “knower” who alone masters all the techniques of the profession, but the one who is able to co-construct a response adapted to each specification, associating partners in a workgroup. 

Right-brain leadership

In his article for HR Executive, Josh Bersin analyzes the main aspects of leadership: the business-centered and the human-centered part. In the new world of work, companies seem to need the latter more than before. So how can one help leaders use and develop their right-brain capabilities? Bersin lists some approaches:

→ encourage them to take team members’ feedback (other team members assess their leaders and at Sabre, for example, leaders are encouraged to take equitable people actions through special programs)

→ support them to learn from other leaders

→ encourage them to learn to listen 

→ promote learning through reflection (example: Biogen has a “no meeting week” three times a year; the practice has been widely acclaimed by leaders who report increased creativity and strengthened connections with employees.)

→ inspire caring about employee wellbeing

→ teach them to act like coaches, not managers

All tools you need to develop leaders

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How do you foster right-brain leadership in your organization? Do you use skill data frequently to inform your decisions? Do you have feedback for L&D Digest for April 2021 or suggestions for the next L&D Digest? Drop us an email!

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