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How can building skills today prepare your business and employees for the new normal?

Learning as a Service solutions can safely and effectively deliver upskilling and cross-training to help you address the challenges of the current working environment and provide positive momentum for the future.

We didn’t see it coming, and we all know it isn’t “business as usual.” As organizations have shifted into crisis mode, business leaders are increasingly concerned for the welfare of both the company and the workforce. They are forced into tactical decisions, such as remote work environments to ensure continued business operations, while tending to the health and safety of their people. How organizations address the crisis mode and the bridge to the new normal is captured in this article by Rohit Dixit, SVP & GM of HPE Advisory & Professional Services: Nine Steps to the New Normal.

In crisis mode, the focus is on creating stability by supporting customer interactions and demands, delivering the best possible service, and maintaining smooth-as-possible operations. While the focus has been on shifting the workforce to remote working, there has been comparatively little attention given to the continuation of learning and talent enablement to address skills gaps.

Although there is a good deal of uncertainty as to what the post-pandemic, “new normal” looks like, there are steps that can be taken now to leverage the current situation and emerge stronger when we get there. This applies not only to individuals as they look to build their own talents, but also to organizations as they address employee retention through talent enablement programs.

Learning as a Service.jpgRemote learning adoption may be one of the outcomes from the current workplace disruption, but to capitalize on it, what individuals and organizations are discovering now in remote learning settings should be carried forward into the new normal. The business gains flexibility and agility to respond to shifting customer demands, evolving market conditions and new technologies. The organization can avoid a threat to operations by cross-training workers so that they can cover for colleagues who may have illness or family issues. A more skilled and cross-trained workforce means the company can do more with fewer resources. For the employee, building skills boosts morale, instills confidence and enhances career opportunities. The employee becomes more valuable to the employer and more competitive in the marketplace. Employers gain a satisfied and productive workforce through learning that fosters personal development and accelerates careers.

How to take the path towards the new normal

CRISIS MANAGEMENT PHASE

 

Individual

Organization

Learning needs

Determine the circumstances to both work and learn remotely. Identify missing skills and access to tooling. Identify and close the skill gap.

Learning-from-home criteria and environment, reporting line engagement, learning checks and technology resources.

Content and delivery

Understand what happens to any existing learning undertaken and how is it accounted for in accreditation terms. Determine learning style preferences: online, virtual live training or classroom.

Priority flow of content, type of learning delivery, funding model, pointers to further information for additional learning.

Iteration of content

Identify learning priorities, depth of learning required, and time allocation to address the depth and frequency of learning.

Deepening of content as additional organizational needs are identified. Close skill gaps.

BRIDGE TO THE NEW NORMAL PHASE

New market requirements

Scan opportunities by understanding the internal directional and organizational gaps, as well as the macro-environment and data on emerging opportunities.

Identification of skill gaps and talent enablement needs for a rapid roll-out to deliver to the new or changed market landscapes.

Persona-centric learning

Take advantage of organizationally-driven learning programs to hone and expand your skillset; commitment to both time and ability to retain new skills.

Learning approach and different mechanisms and formats. Include learning checks, including empathy for remote learning environments, and an ability to capture and share learning best practices.

Talent gaps and opportunities

Take directional stock. Look beyond immediate learning tasks (considered part of your job function) into reassessing the opportunities provided to enter and commit to learning new skill sets, either as an expansion in your field, or into adjacent, high-demand areas and personal development to enhance your career.

Close strategic skill gaps identified as strategic direction alterations from crisis management; for example, agile development. Identify specific functional or technology skill gaps, using the opportunity of remote working to incorporate remote learning – match skill gaps to individual talent targets.

 

The good news is that there are tools and resources available today that can safely and effectively deliver upskilling and cross-training to help address the challenges of the current working environment and provide positive momentum for the future. These tools and resources are delivered in the form of learning-as-a-service (LaaS) solutions.

With LaaS, customers buy learning as a subscription rather than paying for individual courses. Customers have historically purchased individual training courses—delivered in a traditional classroom environment—to learn about new products and technologies, and will continue to do so in the future. But because subscription-based LaaS packages provide online learning options—built and delivered on modern learning platforms—training is now available anytime and anywhere. LaaS blends the best of online learning, virtual live training sessions and the classroom experience into a continuous, cost-effective real-time learning channel. LaaS provides an excellent, cost effective option to purchase and consume training rather than buying courses individually.

The popularity of LaaS started well before the pandemic crisis. LaaS has been embraced by businesses as an affordable, flexible means of building and maintaining skills to address rapidly changing technologies and the needs of diverse and geographically dispersed workforces. Businesses can tackle their extensive training needs without sacrificing quality, and individuals can get the training they need, when they need it—from any location.

Much of the appeal of LaaS comes in its modular design, which is efficient for the business while supporting individual learning preferences and work schedules. LaaS flexibly delivers training on the hottest topics—popular and emerging technologies, forward-looking industry trends, and personal development/business skills—and transforms it into bite-sized modules for efficient consumption. Learners take modules when, where and how they like.

In addition to providing the flexibility and agility that businesses need to adapt to today’s challenges, LaaS is a valuable tool for employers seeking to attract and retain top IT talent. Even with the pressure of remote work environments, LaaS enables organizations to develop highly skilled IT talent, to cross-train employees as needed, and to keep up with ever-changing technologies. Individuals get to learn what the need, when they need it, at their own pace and in the safety of their remote work environments. For the company and the employee, LaaS is a win-win.

Bottom line—LaaS is a proven, high quality, content-rich alternative for remote working environments. It is tested and ready for your organization to leverage right now.

As part of HPE’s “we’re here for you” program, HPE is offering a free 7 day access to the HPE Digital Learner Silver subscription service—our premium LaaS solution. In minutes you will get access to our exclusive training on HPE technology and products, hot IT topics such as Blockchain, security and DevOps, and a vast library with over 4500 personal development courses (including project management, finance, leadership and many more). Subscription options add 4500+ hours of premium industry training, including industry technology, developer, collaboration, productivity and business skills eLearning.

You’ve got this!

 


Drew Westra
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Drew_Westra

I'm a Worldwide Marketing Leader in HPE Educational Services, with over 25 years' experience in the information technology, telephony and wireless industries. As an entrepreneur, I have also successfully developed several small businesses into thriving organizations.