Digitization requires a new set of skills and a new set of training for employees
The next time your company holds an all-hands meeting, look around the room — or the arena — and consider this: It’s likely that more than half the people present will need reskilling or upskilling in the next three years.
This probably doesn’t come as a complete surprise to you. The forces of change are transforming every aspect of work, including what is done, who does it, and where it is done.
For example, emerging technologies — especially AI and machine learning — are among the most disruptive of these forces. In fact, 81 percent of respondents to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey indicated they expect the use of AI to increase or increase significantly over the next three years. Unlike some, we don’t believe that AI will eliminate the need for a workforce. Instead, we anticipate the rise of hybrid jobs, which are enabled by digitization, technology, and the emergence of a new kind of job, which we call the superjob. A superjob combines work and responsibilities from multiple traditional jobs, using technology to both augment and broaden the scope of the work performed and involving a more complex set of digital, technical, and human skills.
Hybrid jobs and superjobs can enable your company to be more responsive to customers and adaptable to change. But it requires a more deliberate and agile approach to capability development. Already, many companies are responding to this need: Our research finds that 83 percent of organizations are increasing their investments in reskilling programs, and more than half (53 percent) increased their learning and development budgets by 6 percent or more in 2018.
But will more learning be enough at your company? It’s doubtful. To Work Differently we think your company should first Learn Differently.
How to Learn Differently
Most bosses agree — of the more than 10,000 executive respondents in Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 86 percent cited reinventing the way people learn as “important” or “very important” — this year’s No. 1 trend. The problem? Only 10 percent of respondents said their organizations are “very ready” to undertake this reinvention.
To get ready to Learn Differently, your company should consider …
…delivering learning in the flow of life. The 100-year life and the 50-year career imply that individuals should reinvent themselves throughout the course of a lifetime. Learning, therefore, should be an organic activity that occurs continuously, not just in environments dedicated to learning.
…delivering meaningful learning. Just as learning can happen directly in the flow of life, it can – and should – happen in the flow of work. Organizations that provide their workers with short-term project deployments, stretch assignments, and opportunities to reflect are creating learning experiences out of the work itself.
…delivering learning that accommodates a diverse range of learning styles. Now more than ever, the workforce is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, preferences, abilities, and experiences. To harness the power of that diversity, your company should address the wide variety of learning styles resident within today’s workforce.
Satisfying these requirements is a challenge, but it can be met with the help of digital learning and well-designed and deployed learning technology. Traditional learning management systems are focused on business rules, compliance, and catalog management. There is a newer breed of learning technologies, however, that are designed with a learner-first mindset and deliver continuous learning, on demand, in a variety of modalities to individuals and groups. Moreover, the learning they deliver can be designed quickly and then redesigned as the needs of the company and its workforce change.
The content on these contemporary digital learning platforms can be organized into channels or pathways based on specific topics, skills, and/or learning objectives. They are available 24/7, across geographies. For example, Deloitte’s AdeptPro organizes content into cohort-based, time-bound, topic-specific “bootcamps.” Learners can share and rate content, collaborate and leave comments, and receive recommendations using dynamic social settings. Digital learning platforms like this support the delivery requirements needed to Learn Differently.
Getting beyond Basic Training
Back in the days when jobs were rote, learning could be too. However, in a time when smart machines assemble widgets and answer customer calls, companies need to develop humans, not robots. Hence, learning organizations need to enable people to perform higher-order work. This is where digital learning platforms that combine the power of technology and in-person learning experiences excel.
The development of the leadership capabilities needed for successful transformations provides an interesting case study for reimagining the kinds of higher-order learning experiences needed today. Transformations require problem-solving, change management, collaboration, and influence capabilities that can be applied in different ways depending upon the context or situation. Digital learning platforms can merge theory and practice in a scalable, interactive way: They allow leaders to learn their way through transformations, applying the new concepts they learn directly to the leadership challenges they are facing, and receiving direct input and feedback from their learning cohort.
Digital learning platforms can also support the most strategic organizational initiatives, such as diversity and inclusion (D&I). The diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts of many organizations — nearly 40 percent — are stuck in a compliance mindset. But the full potential of D&I is unleashed by cultural values and individual behaviors, not rules and regulations. To help achieve that potential, learning should be individual and collective. Individually, employees can learn to exhibit inclusive behaviors and mitigate their personal blind spots — the different unconscious biases (that we all have), which hamper their ability to work with other people and stifle performance potential. Collectively, workforces can make a positive impact on the culture of their organization by doing their part — i.e., being inclusive in their interactions, being aware of their own unconscious biases and working to limit them. Both individuals and employees together can contribute to an inclusive culture. Digital learning platforms allow companies to pursue the objective of an inclusive culture.
Tomorrow’s learning today
The future of work is changing fast, and that means the ways and means of organizational learning must change, too. To make that change, your company will need to be able to deliver learning individually and collectively. It will need to develop and roll out learning in weeks — not months or years — and adapt it to changing demands on the run. It will need to accommodate different learning styles and deliver learning in a variety of ways. This is an ambitious vision, but it will safeguard that your workforce can adapt to the digital future of work and your company can prosper in the years ahead.
Written by: Michael Griffiths, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Copyright © 2018 Deloitte Development LLC. All rights reserved.