Three ways to scale skills development in your organisation

April 8, 2021 The Cornerstone Editors

Never in such a short space of time has the world of work undergone so many changes. Some of the main developments we’ve seen over the past few years have been in the attitudes, behaviours, and accessibility to learning. For most people, all learning has moved online in some form or another, and actually 60% of people worldwide believe that Covid has accelerated their need to acquire new skills. With all this change, we have a unique opportunity to reboot some of the behaviours towards learning. There is an openness to change right now and offering a way to help people thrive in uncertain situations can kick-start and amplify efforts around skills development.

This is the year of digital learning but in order to fully embrace it, changes need to be made first. Here are three ways that organisations can scale skills development opportunities for their people.

1. Leveraging AI

Skills development is one of the most critical priorities for both employees and employers and is expected to be for at least the next decade. According to the World Economic Forum, with the evolution of machines, 85 million jobs are likely to be displaced and 97 million new roles will be created. With technological developments happening faster than ever before, people must be prepared for changes and adequately equipped with the right skill sets. When it comes to acknowledging skills gaps, there is only so much an individual or manager can be aware of. Utilising an AI-powered skills engine however, can identify capabilities within an organisation which can be matched to jobs within the company and pinpoint potential skills gaps.

AI technology can also gather and process things like employees’ current learning programmes to understand how these are progressing their skills, as well as recommending personalised learning opportunities so that each employee can attain their goals in a way that’s tailored to them. AI also has the ability to predict what requirements may be needed and prepare people for the uncertainty of the future. Visit our Cornerstone Innovation Lab for AI to find out more.

Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) is using Cornerstone’s AI solutions to help prepare employees for the future. Meredith Taghi, VP Group Learning Talent and Platforms at DPDHL said: “Thanks to AI and Cornerstone, employees now feel like they have a sense of purpose in the workplace, which is one of the most important attributes that people look for in an organisation today. From a HR perspective, AI allows us to identify skills gaps which otherwise would go unnoticed until it is a bigger problem, better preparing us for the future and allowing us to be a more sustainable business in the long run.” To learn more about how DPDHL uses Cornerstone’s AI solutions, read this article here.

2. Facilitating better manager-employee conversations

We recently conducted research on the state of skills which revealed that while 90% of employers felt confident in their ability to develop their people’s skills, only 60% of employees felt the same. This 30%-point gap is incredibly telling of the disconnect between employers and their people and there is a need to bridge this divide to improve skills development.

For some leaders, this divide may come as a shock, especially given that many organisations are upping the ante when it comes to providing learning resources. However, our research also revealed that 40% of people don’t currently feel enabled by the learning resources that are provided to them. Just having the solution in place is not enough – people must be equipped to develop their skills in a way that works for them. For some, this is autonomy, for others it could be team-based activities. The first step – after admitting there is a problem – is to have open, honest and constructive conversations. By strengthening manager-employee relationships, employees can begin to feel more confident in the skills development programmes offered to them.

3. Creating a culture of continuous learning

Skills development is not an initiative that can be started and finished in a short space of time. For the work to really matter, and the changes to really set in, a continuous culture of learning needs to be set up. This can be done by ensuring that learning is integrated into the working day. Too often, learning can fall to the bottom of to do lists but by carving out time, it is less likely to fall through the net.

Beyond this, people need access to a clear feedback loop to discuss their training, what they have learnt and what can be improved. A recent state of digital skills report revealed that worldwide, almost two-thirds of employees don’t get regular feedback from their managers. Having constructive and personalised feedback allows employees to tailor their learning, have a sense of autonomy and achievement and work toward embedding learning into the working culture.

Over a third of people worldwide are worried that their current skillset will become obsolete in just three years. Skills development is vital to not only keeping your people happy and prepared, but for keeping organisations flourishing too.  

To learn more about how to develop skills within your organisation, visit our reskilling hub. You can also hear about how Cornerstone clients scaled skills development in their organisations here.   

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The Cornerstone Editors

This article was authored or published by Cornerstone's blog editorial team.

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