GP Strategies, a global leader in workforce transformation solutions, partnered with Future Workplace, a research and membership organization preparing Learning and HR leaders for the future of work, in conducting a survey of more than 500 global HR and business leaders to learn how organizations are creating business-relevant and impactful learning experiences, and to gain insight into their strategies for workforce transformation in the wake of COVID-19. We compiled that research into a report entitled, The Evolving Role of Learning in Workforce Transformation.
The Evolving Role of Learning in Workforce Transformation examines the key challenges, barriers, and opportunities that heads of business and learning leaders identified as impacting how they innovate, lead teams, and build agile learning cultures prepared for the next pivot.
The top three findings uncovered in this research include:
- New learning and development (L&D) team member capabilties are primarily business related, rather than relating to traditional learning and development.
- The use of technology and personalization are seen as mainstream expectations rather than a bonus.
- There is a need for upskilling L&D team members and having a plan for innovation of corporate learning.
Learning expands beyond full-time employees to include part-time workers, gig workers, and bots (digital automation assistants). The largest change in the learning audience is the growth of bots, from 11% in 2021 to 16% in 2025. The research finds that the teams on deck to drive workforce transformation are challenged with limited capacity for change, a reluctance to give up traditional roles, and inadequate technology tools. These factors are hindering the development of the organizational skillsets and mindsets required for meaningful and continuous business transformation.
According to Jeanne Meister, Managing Partner at Future Workplace, “Just as the HR function has already created many new job roles such as Director of Remote Work and Employee Well-Being Leader, the learning function must also take stock of what is needed to deliver workforce transformation and create a host of new roles focused on new capabilities such as digital marketing, immersive technologies, and learning design leadership.”
The research also offers a window into the waves of change impacting workforce transformation. Organizations are moving toward a more fluid workforce, bringing increased complexity. They need to create more seamless and consumer-grade worker and learner experiences, and there is a strong drive from the business to continuously innovate and grow.
Based on the input we received, we see these three areas of focus as imperatives for leaders working to drive successful, continuous workforce transformation:
- Embracing a disruptive mindset to achieve faster, better results
- Empowering learners to earn transferable credentials for workforce training programs
- Extending education and training beyond the traditional organization boundaries to gig workers, customers, and bots
- Conducted in partnership with Future Workplace, the survey reveals countless other insights and recommendations that will help decision-makers craft more successful learning initiatives between now and 2025, such as:
- Learning technologies piloted during COVID-19 will become the norm and there will be a new investment in virtual learning technologies.
- Business acumen, data analytics, and a growth mindset will be critical capabilities for learning teams.
- As a top strategic priority for CEOs, workforce transformation will elevate the profile of learning organizations.
- The corporate learning audience will expand to include bots, customers, and gig workers.
- New job roles like “cloud platform specialist” will be key in driving innovation.
According to Matt Donovan, Chief Learning & Innovation Officer at GP Strategies, “When we talk about transformation, organizations need to be open to thinking about new ways of working and potential growth opportunities for the business. Companies must cultivate new skillsets and mindsets needed for innovation to drive real transformation such as creative problem solving, collaboration, and leading through uncertainty. It is this combination of technology acumen and core human skills that will produce lasting results, drive new product introductions and more inclusive cultures.”
Learning Awards 2022
GP Strategies is a sponsor of the Learning Awards 2022. The awards recognises innovation and achievement in workplace learning and this year takes place on 17 February at the JW Marriott Grosvernor House Hotel in London.