Few can argue that the pace of technology advancement is slowing down. Tech advances impact every area of business and HR is no different. The pace of change can feel dizzying at times, but as the saying goes, the only constant is change! Not only is technology changing, but the demographics of our workplace is also shifting with Millennials soon taking over the majority of roles in organizations by 2025. So how do we settle in and get used to this constant change in order to keep up and stay competitive. In this article we talk about some tips for how HR can help their organization and employees keep up with the pace of change through learning and development initiatives. Knowing that learning should be a constant goal, as employees crave development opportunities (especially Millennials). No matter your current level of technology usage, these tips can apply to both small and large organizations.
Bottom line – there isn’t a one size fits all training approach, continually adapt your style knowing that employees/adults learn in different ways. As the saying goes, know your audience!
One way to keep up with the change is to put a new energy and focus around learning and development initiatives. When a majority of C-suite feels that the cost of training is more than a benefit, you have to approach the topic first from a strategic perspective. In advance of proposing new technology to the C-suite, it’s important to think about some questions they will likely have. Some of those questions may include, how will we benefit (e.g. lower turnover), how does this initiative align with business goals (e.g. increase customer retention), what is the worst case scenario if we DON’T do this (e.g. what future cost (both monetary and non-monetary) will we incur if this is not done), how will we measure our success?
Challenge: Training isn’t offered at the right place and the right time to the right people.
Tech solution/approach: Systems can be setup with an online course catalog look and feel so employees can search on their topic of choice. This approach hits home for me, as on many occasions, I’ve witnessed my 12 year old look up tutorial videos on You Tube on a wide range of topics. In fact, I’ve found myself ASKING HER for advice on how she found the videos she did (#themostfoolproofmacaronsyou’llevermake)
Challenge: We have training available but employees don’t take advantage.
Tech solution/approach: You have to constantly advertise and market your tools! Both during onboarding of a new hire, but ongoing as well. If you just “set it and forget it” it will never gain traction. Many systems (including your basic payroll/HCMs) will have communication capabilities to send targeted or blast emails to employees.
Challenge: We have to track licenses and certifications and training associated but often forget when these things are due.
Tech solution/approach: Check with your technology vendor on alert/reminder capabilities. Even the most basic systems will have a reminder function where you can send alerts to employees and/or their managers about actions they need to take in the near future (i.e. you may be interested in this course…)
Challenge: HR doesn’t have time to develop content.
Tech solution/approach: Basic content for common courses are often available at no charge through a handful of payroll/HRIS systems. Free webinars are also available via SHRM memberships and vendor/industry organizations.
From an HR perspective, you’ve got to be the champion in terms of continually educating managers on the capabilities and content housed with the system, reviewing learning paths and setting up system to push out reminders to employees when training is coming due, continually gathering feedback on ways to improve content and delivery timing and methods.
You may be thinking, does this mean I need to go out and purchase an expensive L&D software program? Not necessarily, many of the payroll/HCM vendors out there will have a simple mechanism to track training materials, push out reminders and allow you to track who has attended, etc. If you determine that you need more from a system, i.e., you need it to house and/or supply content, offer test/quizzes to check for understanding, or associate performance goals with a specified curriculum (list) of courses, then it may be time to look for a more robust standalone solution.
As part of your broker’s team, we would love to help you complete an overview of current system capabilities and/or discuss standalone solutions. Give us a call any time.