L&D playing key role in re-defining talent management strategies
Besides serving as the focal point for HR leaders to drive organisational growth, learning and development (L&D) is also increasingly becoming a core component of many organisations’ talent management strategy.
Specifically, when it comes to talent attraction and retention, HR leaders will do well to recognise that having the opportunity to learn and develop new skills and capabilities is now the number one reason why most people join an organisation, and the reason they will stay, suggested Mervyn Dinnen, HR & Talent Trends Analyst.
Speaking exclusively to HRM Magazine Asia, he recommended, “An organisation’s approach to supporting and enabling their people to grow has to be front and centre of their employer brand, and overall employment offering. L&D should be increasingly part of the hiring process, ensuring all candidates are aware of their opportunities for growth and development should they join, and being open about the approach to internal mobility.”
“L&D should be increasingly part of the hiring process, ensuring all candidates are aware of their opportunities for growth and development should they join, and being open about the approach to internal mobility.” – Mervyn Dinnen
Dinnen is also co-author of the new book Digital Talent, which takes a deep dive into how organisations can find, develop, and retain the people needed in a world of digital transformation; and offer insights into how to support people and helping them to get the digital skills they need.
Organisations must make it a priority to show that people who join them will have the opportunity to grow, develop, and learn new skills and capabilities, said Matt Alder, the book’s co-author, and Producer and Host of The Recruiting Future Podcast.
He added, “The L&D team are therefore key stakeholders in the hiring process. Too often the important conversations around growth are left to either hiring managers or the recruitment team, but it should be L&D who take responsibility to have these conversations and demonstrate how candidates can grow within the business. They need to ensure that they are seen internally as being a key part of the hiring process through promoting the importance.”
With remote and hybrid working continuing to grow, Alder and Dinnen also identified ‘robot-proof” skills as being critical skills to acquire today. These refer to stronger conversational and analytical skills, as well as the having the self-sufficiency and intellectual curiosity when faced with challenges or problems.
This in turn, is compelling organisations to recognise their employees’ intellectual wellbeing as a top priority. Intellectual wellbeing, Dinnen explained, means an individual’s openness to embracing new ideas and thinking, and their desire to keep developing and expanding their knowledge, skills, and capabilities.
“During the pandemic, the loss of day-to-day interaction and conversation with colleagues has impacted the more informal learning and knowledge sharing opportunities that tend to come with conversations around the workplace, particularly with more senior colleagues.”
Drawing on research he and Alder conducted over the last two years, Dinnen also shared how organisations’ desire to invest in helping employees with their mental, emotional, and social wellbeing has at times, come at the expense of their intellectual wellbeing. “We believe that this is beginning to change with intellectual wellbeing becoming a top priority, something that L&D is in a great position promote and support. Employees need access to what they need to know as and when they need it, and learning platforms need to support and enable this.”
Creating a new culture of learning in 2022 and beyond
By 2025, half of employees globally will need to be reskilled, and 40% of current skills and capabilities will change over the next five years, according to the World Economic Forum.
L&D teams should take this as their mandate to create a real culture of learning, where employees across the organisation are provided access to information and knowledge as and when they need it, suggested Alder.
“Employees are always looking for chances to learn and develop – research shows it is the key reason why they join and stay – and L&D are the key stakeholders in this part of the talent journey.”
“Employees are always looking for chances to learn and develop – research shows it is the key reason why they join and stay – and L&D are the key stakeholders in this part of the talent journey.” – Matt Alder
He also noted that employees are increasingly demanding access to learning as and when they need it, rather than at times set aside by the company. This ‘culture of learning’, or the creation of a ‘learning environment’, can be supported by technology, but the onus in on L&D to be more influential in making the business case for new and emerging learning interventions that can improve knowledge and performance, said Alder.
Organisations can and should also improve the decision-making process in learning technology investment by encouraging employee participation. Dinnen elaborated, “Whilst most organisations rate their employees’ experience of using learning technology as one of the most important factors when investing, we found that only 1 in 5 actually involve employees in the final decision-making process. If we are to fully leverage L&D technologies to develop our people, then they must have more involvement in the final decision.”
Looking ahead, Dinnen and Alder predicted internal mobility and talent intelligence as emerging trends for the L&D space, where L&D leaders need to create and oversee a culture of mobility in which employees can move around the organisation to develop skills and competencies.
Supporting this culture will require having accurate data and insights on employees, their strengths, capabilities, skills, and knowledge. “You need improvements in skills tracking and, data collection and analysis,” Alder added. “Transparency of skills and capabilities around the business is key, and a proper talent management and/or talent intelligence platform should support this. Internal mobility itself usually requires a culture change within businesses as many managers often fear losing their best performers to other divisions.”
Invest in a talent intelligence platform where the underlying artificial intelligence (AI) can analyse each employee’s skills and performance data, Dinnen urged. “The talent intelligence platform can then match existing employees to open opportunities within the organisation, show where there are adjacent skills for each role, and provide a much richer and more insightful view of everyone working within the organisation, as well as ex-employees too.”
Join Mervyn Dinnen and Matt Adler at HR Tech Festival Asia 2022, where they will be presenting a keynote session titled, Creating a Game-Changing Digital Talent Journey to Attract, Develop, and Retain the Digital Skills Your Business Need, on Wednesday, March 11, from 11am- 12pm (SGT).
Over the coming months, look out for HRM Asia’s HR Leadership Series, which is the best resource destination for HR leaders as they navigate the trends and workforce changes that will shape the world of HR in 2022.