Upskilling: Adapting to New Age Corporate Learning

Given the high speed of workplace transformation across the IT industry, the need for continual upskilling via training has been growing exponentially every day

Right from the adoption of smarter technology to the dawn of the automated processes, the IT world has become more agile with every passing day. While the range of workforce functions has gone through all kinds of facelifts, training strategies are also constantly evolving. For the L&D teams, it is a constant challenge to move at the speed of the business. Given the high speed of workplace transformation across the IT industry, the need for continual upskilling via training has been growing exponentially every day. Organizations have embraced the obvious fact that learning has verily transformed into an enabler and of course creates better adhesiveness between the company and its associates.

The beginners’ step towards reinventing a training program is to provide a learning eco-system that enables the workforce to learn, upskill and apply perpetually. The focus needs to be on just skills but also on instigating an approach/mindset to initiate continuous learning – the key to training success is not to merely train but instill a culture of learning.

Employees who are empowered to improve their skills are not only getting better at their jobs, but also can cross-skill to play different roles. The idea is to have a learning experience platform that creates outcome-based experiences which pose as milestones towards a tangible learning outcome.

The task is to make learning not just instantaneous, but also spontaneous. Instigating learning as a constant everyday process demands a platform where experience drives usage. It has become imperative to embrace technology to learn, apply and adapt to technology.

Long gone are the days when your employees sit in a typical traditional classroom for x hours to complete training and attempt to retain and use the information that they may not be inspired enough to have learnt in the first place. Experiential learning through hands-on labs will add a lot of value in the learning process.

A few major components that define the outline of a great learning experience platform are as below:

  1. Live virtual classroom: This is one of the key components of digital learning. Remote learning with an industry expert for a mentor where the course participants get to interact live with them making learning real time. This needs to be addressed as an experience and expertise sharing opportunity and not just knowledge sharing.
  2. Social Learning: Through applications like Gamification, group projects and online cloud labs, it is possible to collaborate with classmates and learn, replacing the old school group study. This helps with knowledge retention and develops alternate modes of learning such as peer learning. The content creator and consumer are unified.
  3. Flexible Learning: Features like recordings of live lectures allows for students to attend the entire session at their leisure if they are otherwise engaged during the live session. It also serves as a ready archive of learning through the learning programme.
  4. Multi-channel: Course material can be made available to the course participants through multiple channels like power point presentations, videos, PDF files, audio recordings etc. This exposes course participants to a number of ways in which they can learn. It is also very significant since every learner has traction to specific learning methods.
  5. Learning on the go: When you allow course material to be accessed through course participants’ personal devices like their laptops, tablets and phones, you allow learning on the go, where they can log in and learn anytime, anywhere and anyway.
  6. Labs and hands on: The evolution of a learner needs to be aligned to ’show-how’ and not just ’know-how’. Hands-on labs will go a long way in enabling a learner to learn through an objective experience.

It will be a perpetual endeavor to keep ensuring interventions that add value to the learning process. Of course the protagonist will always be the tangible, measurable and demonstrable outcome of the learning programme, aligned to learning objectives in tandem with business objectives.

By Mr. Keshava Raju, CEO and Founder, IIHT

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