How to develop tech skills across your organization

Organisations today face a behemoth task to reskill and upskill their workforces continuously

How to develop tech skills across your organization

by Rosie Cairnes, Director at Skillsoft

Most progressive leaders are re-thinking their talent strategy by improving the employee experience, embracing diversity as more than a trend, broadening and deepening employee onboarding, and above all, placing learning at the heart of HR; and the technology department is no exception.

Organisations today are under increasing pressure to develop teams that can rise to the digital challenge, not just today but in five and ten years’ time. That means providing them with high-quality training content that can supplement existing skillsets and competencies.

In the modern workplace, research links learning to engagement and engagement to retention; Deloitte found that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organisations.

We’ve come to understand that employees want opportunities to grow and develop as individuals and professionals, and that they’ll seek out employers who help them do so, leaving behind those who fail.

When it comes to technology, these learning opportunities may translate into broadly training individuals in new methodologies like design thinking or agile, or it may mean giving every employee some basic training in big data. Preparing the workforce also requires developing new mindsets in employees, including cultural flexibility, deep collaboration, and adaptability.

It also means establishing a strong learning culture and growth mindset in the organisation as constant upskilling and new knowledge acquisition are going to need to be part of the DNA of every employee in the future.

There are so many technologies to learn about, and new ones come onboard every other week it seems. Where do you start?

Planning your talent strategy
Think about building anything, for example a house. You wouldn’t expect to wake up one morning and start building. No, first you’d decide what a house means to you and what you need. Next, you’d design or produce a plan. And when building this house, there is a process, a specific order – you can’t build walls with no foundation, and you can’t add your roof until you have walls. When finished, you might then look at your property and visualise a long-term plan; perhaps you will expand in the future.

This same methodology works when planning your organisation’s learning and development.

Here’s a list of the seven questions you need to ask employees.

1. What is the desired learning outcome?
2. Do you want to talk intelligently or superficially about this area? Basic or advanced level?
3. Is there a specific task/project when the learning is done?
4. How much time do you have to learn? Hours or minutes?
5. Are you looking to update skills or acquire new ones?
6. What training method works best for you? Videos, courses, books, or labs?
7. What software and tools do you need to learn?

It is essential to have the answers to these questions and then you will be able to customise learning programs to suit an individual’s needs. eLearning content exists in multiple modalities, giving technology and development learners the flexibility to study in the manner that suits them best. For example, a course enables a learner to complete lessons at their own pace with regular exercises and assessments to test their knowledge.

Videos offer learners the opportunity to watch bite-size lessons and visual demonstrations of course content. For those who learn best by reading and listening, you can select from thousands of technology-centric digital books and audiobooks, which are increasingly an essential part of the learning experience.

Just as important as the content, is the method of delivering the content to the learner. Fortunately, both new Learner Experience Platforms (LEP) and modern Learning Management Systems (LMS) enable the seamless delivery, tracking and reporting of technology and development training.

How the LEP and the LMS meet the needs of technology and development training
Modern LMSs offer many of the same features as LEPs. They also provide the ability to design a curriculum, assign it to multiple groups, manage diverse credits and report on usage. LMSs can provide added value when they integrate with other aspects of human capital management, including talent acquisition, talent management and workforce management.

Organisations today face a behemoth task as they strive to reskill and upskill their workforces continuously. It’s a task even more challenging in the world of technology which by its very nature is evolving faster than other business sectors. To help organisations adapt to such rapid transformation, both the LEP and LMS play an essential role. It is up to HR therefore to take the necessary steps to ensure staff have access to both the relevant content and delivery platform to ensure they can skill up and rise to the digital transformation challenge.

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