The Future of Learning and Development

This month’s cover feature of Mobility Magazine explores the future of learning and development (L&D).

The COVID-19 pandemic has added a new wrinkle to corporate mobility’s directive to build cohesion among people collaborating worldwide. The unprecedented challenges facing employees over the past year and more has led to increased demand in flexibility, purpose, and even technology. In this month’s cover feature of Mobility magazine, The Future of Learning and Development, we explore how these new challenges often fall into the lap of learning and development (L&D).

“Their days are busy with reskilling for a new workplace dynamic, engaging people across divides, deploying technology wisely, and—at heart—adopting a continuous cycle of learning,” writes M. Diane McCormick. This is especially true with the distributed workforce as many companies shifted to remote or hybrid working models. This new normal needs a mix of new and classes skills, says Amber Pittard, senior talent alchemist, Alchemy Global Talent Solutions Ltd., Essex, England. They include:

  • A tech-savvy mindset.
  • Agility at using software to connect with team members and clients and to prevent essential details from falling through the cracks.
  • Communications and soft skills that project across tech platforms and build personal connections.
  • The ability to ask for help across virtual settings.
  • Self-motivation, since in lonely settings, staff must see what needs to be done and do it.
  • Confidence, as people snug in their homes may need a push to upskill or accept new challenges.

Learning and development includes the imperative for employee engagement. “Employees who are actively striving toward the company’s strategic visions have the tools to do their job, understand their roles, and feel like what they are doing matters,” says Bob Ryan, partner and executive adviser, Shields Meneley Partners, Chicago. Something as simple as a CEO dropping in to say “good job” goes a long way to keeping employees engaged.

When it comes to talent retention amid our new idiosyncratic workflow, company executives must still make sure that team members are productive, “but in a healthy way that’s sustainable,” says Dale S. Rose, president, 3D Group, Emeryville, California. “Leaders now need to be more aware of their employees’ individual needs, and those needs are going to vary. The attention to talent management has got to be stronger than ever.”

As companies rely upon new technology tools while balancing the ever-important human element to engage employees and foster their growth, these efforts all feed into a continuous learning and development cycle. Writes McCormick, “The book never closes on learning and development.”

To continue reading about what industry professionals are doing to adapt to the future of learning and development, subscribe and read the newest edition of Mobility Magazine!

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