Samir Hassan is the CEO of Knowtified that helps businesses with knowledge transfer & skills verification using AI & Augmented Reality
There are countless articles on how important people are to organizations and how they’re irreplaceable assets (ignoring, for now, some of the future implications of artificial intelligence, which is a topic for another time). But I’m not going to delve into the reasons here; instead, working from an understanding that they’re a vital part of a company, I would like to discuss why your business may be struggling despite focusing on your employees.
I had the reality of this issue impressed upon me when I worked with one of the biggest companies in the world. Their employees had access to everything at their beck and call. But despite the massive amount of resources at their disposal, knowledge transfer and skills verification was still an area of concern for them. Imagine others who don’t have the privileges or budget of such a large company.
First, here are some undeniable truths about the current workforce.
1. With Baby Boomers due to retire and Gen X and Millennials prone to change jobs, this results in a loss of wisdom to companies. Another factor that makes it harder is that the majority of the current workforce comprises Millennials and Gen Z, as per Manpower Group’s analysis of UN population data. This can derail your strategy because what worked in the past may not necessarily work anymore.
2. The pandemic has changed the way we work now with hybrid and work from anywhere models adopted by many organizations globally. This accelerates the need to share key learnings with team members and for seamless accessibility.
3. Though the world’s first distance learning institution was established in 1906 by the University of Wisconsin, the first learning management system was developed only in 1924 when Sidney L. Pressey invented the first “teaching machine.” Learning management systems have since gone through significant improvements and during this evolution and the arrival of e-learning courses to verify skills, the most integral part of a learning ecosystem has been forgotten, and instead, we began focusing on course completions.
4. Audit and compliance reports related to training are required by the regulatory bodies and need to be backed by evidence. Currently, preparing them requires a lot of paperwork and time.
Now the big question one must ask: How do you tame these challenges and turn them around in your favor? There’s no technology that alone can solve these problems. Neither is there a magic wand you can wave.
Perhaps you’re training your employees periodically and making loads of training content available to them. That’s amazing, but one brutal question to ask is what matters to you the most? Course completion certificates or skills transferred to the job? If it’s the latter, then you must start looking for ways to verify the skills post-completion of the courses. Focusing on this will help in how you prioritize your workers.
Start by reaching out to your learning providers and ask them for a process-based methodology that tracks skills and not courses. This is difficult, but if you’re able to solve this, it will further resolve the next challenge of training compliance reports based on your skill verification process. You can consider a globally proven methodology such as level three of the Kirkpatrick Model.
But keep in mind that not everyone is the same. The best way to solve a problem is to see it through the eyes of those facing it. You may be wondering why it can seem so difficult for Millennials and Gen Z to just do as they are told? I’ve found that many younger generations tend to have a more symbiotic relationship with technology and have different ways they want activities to hold their attention. I don’t think this makes them any weaker than previous generations, but treating them the same way as others will do more damage than good.
They’re your majority, after all, so you will need to work on a process that can give them convenient ways to learn and collaborate to find answers to their problems.
Change is scary, but remember that you got to turn things around. Start slowly and work on the learning objectives to influence the behavior. This journey will be highly rewarding because this will improve your employees’ business performance through knowledge transfer and skills verification.
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