Improving employee careers and transforming corporate learning jumped from being the 5th most important trend last year to 2nd in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey.
Why and what are the implications?
As employees we can now look forward (!!) to the prospect of 60-year long careers, oh joy! Now our average tenure in a job is 4.5 years and the half-life of our skill set is reducing fast – typically down to just 5 years. Once upon a time we learned skills that would last our whole career; now they’re becoming obsolete at a terrifyingly fast rate. We’re on a constant treadmill of learning and relearning – and it’s not just in obvious areas like software development but other professions too like marketing, sales, manufacturing, law, accounting, and finance. This is a trend that isn’t about to change any time soon and whose impact can only get wider.
Deloitte talk about the career itself being a “journey of learning” and how delivering continuous learning to the workforce is critical for business success.
Among Millennials, the “ability to learn and progress” is now the principal driver of a company’s employment brand but 42% are likely to leave because they are not learning fast enough.
This is a wake-up call to adapt or risk falling behind in hiring, employee engagement, productivity, and product innovation*.
The good news is that an explosion of high-quality, free or low-cost content offers employees ready access to continuous learning – but this gives corporate L&D departments a stark choice: either harness this trend to the company’s benefit or risk watching their own learning programmes become obsolete.
Leading companies are waking up to this. The fastest-growing segment in HR tech spending is on new technologies for content curation, delivery, video distribution etc to complement or replace traditional LMS. GE created an online learning platform (Brilliant U) with video sharing and employee-driven learning which saw 30% of employees develop and share content in year one. Nestlé, Dell, and Visa are all building new corporate learning functions for cross-functional collaboration and leadership development.
Work and the concept of a career is fundamentally changing. We have to constantly refresh our own and our employees’ skills.
Organisations need to focus on creating environments and systems which allow employees to constantly learn and relearn and seamlessly integrate internal and external content into their learning offer.
Deloitte forecast that L&D organisations who recognise this, embrace changes in technology and become flexible content curators have the potential to become highly valued business partners.
Are you ready for the challenge? We are.
* Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2017