Digital is reshaping customer experience. Digital competitors are entering markets with radically new offers, disrupting the ways that companies and customers interact and setting a high bar of simplicity, personalisation, and flexibility.
Sometimes we don’t even know who these competitors are until it’s too late.
The shift to pull
To capture new sources of value, companies will need to reinvent their customer experience – how?
Learning and development is key in the workplace, but it too must adapt to these changes, taking advantage of innovative technologies.
With every major economic shift a new asset class becomes the foundation of productivity and profitability: in the past the asset was land, more recently it was machinery. In today’s knowledge- human economy it becomes human capital- talent, skills, business acumen, empathy and creativity.
In the same way our customers are seeking products and services which are tailored to their needs, so our skills development must match the requirements of each individual in the organisation, their job requirements, their previous experience and training history.
How can we achieve this in our organisation?
In today’s work environment, school/ university education only equips the individual for their first job - lifelong learning is essential for every job thereafter. The pace of change demands a dynamic stability between the individual and the job.
This creates a demand for online and mobile platforms that empower both the individual to adapt their skills to the changing requirements of their respective jobs, whilst at the same time enabling the company to record, recognise and reward the individual for the attainment of new, relevant skills.
It starts with strategy: because customer demands are moving so fast, strategy needs to focus on innovation and adaptation.
For such a strategy to be translated into human development, it needs to be communicated to those who will carry it out in a way that that everybody is able to see how its demands will impact on the skills they have today in terms of the skills they will need to be a part of the strategy.
Some may react by not wanting to be a part of the new initiative, thus causing their experience and skills to be relocated elsewhere. For those wanting to be a part of it, the company needs everything in place to make learning accessible, engaging and relevant.
There are a number of pillars on which successful human resource development in such a dynamic environment are built:
1. The ability of the organisation and its employees to objectively assess what the skills gaps are in each individual’s case;
2. A close working relationship with selected education and training providers of high quality who are prepared to adapt their courses to those of the organisation. In the case of smaller organisations, they may consider joint approaches to training providers;
3. The ability to deliver the training required when the individual wants to engage, not when the provider’s schedule says so;
4. A close alignment between training delivery and learning in the workplace which is facilitated by a mentoring culture in the organisation;
5. The ability to assess the impact of courses in terms of improved organisational efficiency and to effect changes to courses based on such feedback;
6. The ability to record and recognise learning achievement and to mine such information in order to fill vacancies.
Sound idealistic? Then consider the following:
· HR Magazine reported that organisations investing USD1,500 or more per employee per year on training average 24 percent higher profit margins than those with lower training budgets. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) gathered training information from more than 2,500 organisations and found that those that offer comprehensive training have 218 percent higher income per employee than those with less comprehensive training 1
· In a study of more than 3100 US workplaces, a 10% increase in educational development produced an 8.6% gain in productivity. 2
Feel like adding to the discussion?
To what extent is your organisation geared to meet the technology disruptions sweeping the world?
Would you like assistance in gearing your organisation’s human development infrastructure to take full advantage of these developments?
1 https://elearningindustry.com/gain-competitive-advantage-employee-development. Accessed 30 March 2017
2 http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/the-true-cost-of-not-providing-employee-training. Accessed 30 March 2017