The premise of the article is that with the passing of the predictable world, the older methods of workplace learning and development has to give way to continuous conversation- and collaboration driven learning for organizations and people to stay relevant.

Learning and development should be the facilitators of the shift. The question arises what is workplace learning?

Learning and development process

We live in a time where we frequently face difficulty in coming up with any answer or solution. Nevertheless, if we may ask the right questions, we’ll be on the right track.

With automation, AI robots and robots looming within the job landscape, there appears to be a constant fear of humans losing to computers and technology. 

The digital disruptors in the form big data, robots and sensors are here. Truth be told, these changes will only deepen and their interconnected effect will keep getting stronger day by day.

The known world of fixed and time bound workplaces has given means to location agnostic and flexible working hours. Hierarchical control in the organizations are becoming obsolete.

The structure is replaced by a more nimble and decentralized networks of empowered teams. The only means to live and flourish in this organizational structure is to embrace every chance to learn adapt and collaborate

How will this change workplace learning?

The workplace learning and development department talked to different business stakeholders, identified skills gaps, did some further needs evaluation, and developed training programs to be disseminated on-line or in the classroom. 

The employees were nominated or volunteered for the programs, and frequently received a certification upon completion. They then went back to their work anticipating to apply what they’d learned.

what is workplace learning and development

This type of training -although yet not entirely obsolete- is quickly becoming so. It’s basically past concentrated looking at some best practices and codified standards and designing programs around them.

They worked fabulously at a secure world characterized by predictable and procedure driven work, known problems, and repeatable knowledge base. 

What occurs when predictability is replaced by volatility, equilibrium with ambiguity, easy processes with emerging sophistication, and known solutions with unclear trials?  

We enter the VUCA world and top down, past concentrated training programs don’t serve our purpose anymore.

Even though humans are designed to adapt and transform, the current technology disruptions along with other associated changes are outpacing the capacity of people and organizations to develop and adapt.

This is causing profound cognitive skill imbalances in the system.

It’s fast becoming apparent that not only will technology and automation leave many jobs -particularly the extremely process driven ones- irrelevant, but may also create many new jobs, some of which lie beyond our imagination today.

Nevertheless, the emergent skills necessary for this new world is surely lacking. Associations of college education are pretty clueless on how to equip current and future generations for this growing world.

Consequently, workplace learning is progressively going to play a very important role in the survival of organizations.

The war for talent will continue with high need skills in areas such as robotics, biotechnology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, design thinking.

This conflict enables organizations to re-imagine their current workplace learning practices to concentrate on building skills in house, to reskill and upskill their existing talent base to stay applicable, and to create continuous learning, a fundamental part of the business’s DNA.

This means a profound understanding of the changes and trends in one’s business and the planet at large. It’s time to recognize that there’s no time at all to design a class, for every single skill gap from the entire world.

We’ve to tap into the collective wisdom of the audience and permit them to become facilitators of their very own learning. 

The remainder of the article investigates how workplace learning and development can partner with companies to prepare organizations to fulfill the disruptions with equanimity and success.

1. Collaborate

Collaboration, is quickly becoming another buzzword and losing its effect. The simple truth is that there’s not been a greater demand for collaboration.

Complexity and constant development, exceptions, and new challenges means that individual employees won’t be capable to solve problems.

An individual may be efficient, but innovation requires cognitive diversity, collaboration and conversation. Inclusive and diverse communities of gifted and passionate individuals may do what robots and computers cannot.

Communities promote cooperation, exchange of varied viewpoints and production of entirely new knowledge. 

This necessitates a change from creating content to curating content, from designing classes to enabling cooperation, from conducting training needs analysis at feel making across different contexts and bring everything together.

A successful organization today will probably be an amalgamation of distinct communities – many of those can be transient forming about projects consisting of multi-disciplinary and cross functional members.

Other communities will be permanent in nature forming around areas and clinics to reinforce thought leadership and innovation in key areas.

The workplace learning and development will allow these communities to form, to function efficiently and provide continuing value to the members and for the organization.

2. Work on meta-learning

People who would like to rise and add value to themselves and also to their work have to develop a different skill set from what worked in the past. The past was driven by fixed knowledge bases and set out ways of doing certain things.

The focus was on increasing efficiency through job repetition, process improvement, and time management. The future will be guided by the learning of agility, efficacy, and process innovation.

The major query for learning and development is how do meta learning skills be fostered? How do workers become self-driven learners? What’re the basic support required to enable this?

3. Aim for growth

Today more than ever before in the past, organizations need individuals with an increase state of mind and adaptive expertise. The advancement of people – be it a corporate leader or a sportsman – could be largely attributed to an increase mindset and workplace learning and development will definitely help you achieve that.

learning and development

People who have a fixed state of mind finally brought about not only their very own downfall, but additionally the organization they had been leading or the team they had been part of. In this era of automation, one of the make or break skills is a mindset for growth.

4. Keep learning new skills

There isn’t any direct path which tells us what will be the main skills required for the business to survive five years from now. However, a bit of research tells us that many promising and flourishing organization disappeared from the face of the earth because they failed to see what the future held. 

learning and development department

With organizational lifespan quickly decreasing, preparing to satisfy the future before it gets us is probably the smartest move. But how? The responsibility is on the organization, on workplace learning and development and on each person to stay on the very edge of their domain. Just keep up with the trends in the electronic and technical transformations taking place, and assess their collective impact.

Look at how a newspaper market has transformed or the movie industry for that matter. For instance, Kodak failed to see what was coming and went down ignominiously. The future could be bright or savage based on how exactly we prepare to meet it.

Today, workplace learning is no longer the duty of learning and development only, but a part of the organizational culture.

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