Digital Impact on talent development strategies

July 5, 2016 Geoffroy De Lestrange

Today more than ever, companies’ competitiveness is based on the ability to internally develop new skills and expertise able to seize new opportunities and face the challenges created by the digital revolution.

In this context, training and talent development projects have a more and more strategic role in aligning with business goals. This change requires HR departments to speed up the process of re-thinking training models to develop more engaging initiatives that leverage on the new digital trends.

As recently pointed out by the Osservatorio HR Innovation Practice 2015 of the Politecnico di Milano School of Management HR departments must take a leadership role in the transformation and face a double challenge: first, support the Line of Business in recognising and developing new skills and expertise, and second rethink their management and people development processes to meet the new needs.

Digital technology has significantly transformed the way in which people learn and the way they want to learn. Most of those who receive training has embraced the possibilities offered by digital education with enthusiasm, taking advantage of all available options.

More and more, people want to have access to training when they feel the need, using a variety of devices and formats. This desire is also influenced by the need for companies to be more agile. As well as companies, even people and training need to be agile. A timely, relevant and effective education is a critical element for companies and it is the Training and Development division that has to make it happen.

Increased people engagement, motivation and productivity

Employees’ motivation, satisfaction and engagement are key elements to grow and constantly improve. Flexible working and training continue to be important elements of motivation and satisfaction for employees so that they feel that the company believes and invests in them to make them grow. These are elements that have an important impact on employees’ sense of belonging and their willingness to recommend their company to others.

Some studies on employee engagement see Italy placed rather low if compared to other European countries. One possible reason is the relatively limited competition for talent selection in a rather rigid, traditional and highly regulated job market. Another important reason is that the Italian organisations attribute a relatively low value to flexible work, which is an important factor with respect to the welfare of employees.

Also, the adoption of collaborative procedures has an important impact on the company growth. The growth rate of organisations that adopt a collaborative approach, promote a strong internal mobility and an open learning system is greater than that of companies linked to traditional systems. Collaboration is essential in organisations and to get there they need to invest in organisational culture, systems, management practices and guidelines.

However, change can be difficult; that’s why it is better to start from the basis, having the final design clear. This means being able to formulate and articulate a well-defined vision from the beginning, including short and long term strategies in order to achieve the objectives.

In conclusion, HR departments are called to innovate from the bottom their people training and development. With new technologies, HR departments can transform the entire approach to training from a digital perspective, thus laying the ground for a more effective alignment with corporate strategic plans and to internally develop new skills and roles required to realise the Digital Transformation.

About the Author

Geoffroy De Lestrange

Product Marketing & Communication Director EMEA at Cornerstone OnDemand

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