HCM: 2021’s 3 most important learning trends
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most important learning trends

HCM: 2021’s 3 most important learning trends

It’s a time of accelerated upheaval for HR and HCM. We’ve seen a year of changes nobody could have predicted, and a rapid uptake of modern tech solutions to make engagement and care possible in a remote-working world.

But the changes won’t stop with the end of the pandemic, or with a “return” to the workplace. For one thing, any return is likely not to be permanent, and not to be complete. We’ve all learned we can accomplish our jobs just as well remotely as we can onsite – and that means remote working should now be seen as part of the norm for HR. Which means re-imagining the way we approach everything from pre-hire to the end of an employee’s time with the organization.

One of the most significant areas of change is likely to be Learning and Development. Many companies have already invested in tools that make training, upskilling, and re-skilling possible in a remote world.

But learning platforms are only the first step in the journey. We believe that there are a few trends emerging in the field of learning that your organization can capitalize on to align better with the needs of your talent. And to prepare your people for the skills profiles you’ll need to bring in over the next ten years.

1. The rise of personally controlled learning and learning within the flow of work

Keeping engagement high has always been vital for productivity – and that’s never been more true than the past two years. One of the simplest ways to increase engagement is to allow your people a greater degree of autonomy over the way they approach their role. Technology now allows you not just to give people more control of how they do their job and what their job looks like, but of how they pursue their career development.

Giving your people the power to choose the learning procedures they want to pursue doesn’t just boost engagement. It allows you to transform training from a cost into a benefit.

For example, integrating information from your HR and project planning platforms gives you the capability to match the learning aspirations of your people to upcoming projects. Giving them valuable on-the-job experience while ensuring the organization makes productive use of their time.

2. The shift to “skills based” HR and cross-skilling as the basis of learning

Without an integrated HCM system it can be difficult to understand the skills available to the organization. Frameworks are often outdated, improperly maintained, and not easily accessed by the people who need them most. This is no longer acceptable in a world where most leaders expect their organization to face a skills-gap crisis within 2 years (if they aren’t already experiencing it.)

The acceleration inherent in technology and the modern economy has created a situation in which the skills your organization needs five or ten years from now may be radically different to the ones needed today. An up-to-date, centrally accessible database of your peoples’ skills will allow you to anticipate the obsolescence of skills and job roles – and retain and upskill your talent – by helping you identify skills “adjacent” to the ones your people already possess. Allowing you to identify potential re-training candidates for emerging or rare skillsets while retaining productive and engaged employees.

3. Taking advantage of outside sources for learning and mentorship

With your people working remotely and unable to learn informally from each other in the office, the age-old problem of finding appropriate mentors and coaches within the organization becomes harder than ever.

However, increased connectivity does present you with a new solution to this problem: make it easy for your people to look for expert coaching inside and outside of the organization. By focusing on the skills your organization as a whole is missing, and taking note of the skills your employees want to learn, you can let technology and outside platforms help you design individualized learning programs for everyone in the workforce.

Not only does this give you access to a much wider knowledge base than your HR department could ever maintain in house, it allows you to cut back your own content creation efforts. Focusing solely on strategic in-house content that can’t really be outsourced to anyone else.

For all of these trends, technology will play a key role in accelerating changes to the way your organization handles learning and development. By linking core learning programs with skill profiles and project planning, you can create truly custom learning programs for everyone in the organization. This will give you the ability to not just enrich your employees’ experience of work and keep them more engaged and productive. It will enrich the services your people can offer to the people your organization ultimately serves, help you tackle skill and capability gaps, and show your people that you’re committed to investing in them and their growth as a core part of your overall strategy.

How can Unit4 help?

Unit4 HCM has been built to help people-centric organizations manage the full lifecycle and people experience of employees. This includes a truly integrated approach to learning and development and skills management. To discover what our product is capable of, check out this page or get in touch to book a demo.

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