How to build a culture of learning

This article was contributed by Michael Hanley, the managing director of New Leaf Technologies*.

Welcome to the workforce of the future. Here, employees are engaged, passionate, creative. They have the right skills, and they can upskill on demand. They are the intrapreneurs and innovators powering the engines of the organisation. They are also not quite here yet…

The global skills gap is widening with many companies struggling to find the talent they need to thrive. The Employment Outlook Survey found that the talent shortage is at its worst point in 16 years. And a recent analysis by the Harvard Business Review (HBR) found that millions of people are struggling to find work. It’s a complex environment, one that asks for companies to adopt innovative approaches that will allow them to not just curate the right skills, but grow them…

01: Recognise your skill gaps so you can plan around them. Map what skills your company needs now to those you will need in the future and use those to plan how you plan to manage these gaps. The LinkedIn Skills Graph offers an impressive breakdown of skills, use this and other similar mapping platforms to establish visibility into your skills challenges so you can plan ahead effectively.

02: Inspire your people. Employees may lack the skills you need, but they may also lack motivation to invest into skills development. You need to show them how they can actively grow their careers through your skills development opportunities and not make this all feel like too much extra hard work. Motivate, demonstrate and engage. That way people will migrate to your learning platform with intent.

03: Make learning accessible. As Gartner points out, self-service development is a smart move, but quality development experiences are a better way of engaging with employees rather than overwhelming them. The research firm highlights that connected learners that grown through collaborative learning are more likely to be high performers.

04: Use a curated learning platform. This is the best way to create cohesive and immersive learning experiences that help employees and the business grow together. These platforms can be customised to meet very specific needs, or to create skills development solutions that grow with the business.

* Michael Hanly is Managing Director of South African end-to-end digital learning service provider, New Leaf Technologies. He has been in the e-learning industry for more than 10 years, overseeing a variety of projects in the corporate training space, working on a multitude of well-known brands such as Bidvest, Nando’s, Allan Gray, Nissan and the Emirates National Oil Company. He has also developed high-level strategic eLearning programmes across a variety of sectors.

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