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Upskilling HR—Ongoing, Consistent, Flexible, and Scalable Learning

Our last blog post, Building Up Leadership Teams with Technology, Experience & Sticky Adoption, mentioned several times that we are operating in a highly challenging and constantly changing business environment. At ScaleHR, we say this to our clients more times than we can count, not intending to scare anyone but to ensure that our clients are realizing success. 

HR was thrown into the limelight when the global COVID-19 pandemic began over 3 years ago. CHROs were asked to figure out how to completely change how their organizations operated—structure, operating practices, people, technology, health and safety, and everything in between. It has not been easy, and while many HR teams flourished and were able to adapt, many floundered and struggled. Regardless of which camp HR teams fell into, one major learning from all of this chaos was that HR needed to fully integrate and embed a culture of continuous learning and skills development. Simply asking HR to “just do it” without developing and acquiring the new skills to “just do it” is irresponsible and a surefire recipe for failure. 

At ScaleHR, we get asked all the time by the HR community, “What would you recommend to help my HR team and I build our leadership and technical HR skills?” It hasn’t been easy providing solid recommendations because we believe in learning that is agile, flexible, scalable, leveraging technology, and multi-faceted to support different learning styles and preferences.  As it continued to be difficult to confidently recommend options to the “HR in Tech” community, it became more apparent that it was up to us to be that solution, which is one of the core reasons why we pivoted our company.

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Going forward, every single HR team in the tech industry needs to fully embed continuous learning into their strategy and HR operations plans. The great thing about learning is that it can be highly cost-effective, and below are the key elements to consider when looking at investing in continuous skills development and learning. 

  1. Technology—with globally distributed teams becoming the norm going forward and organizations embracing remote work, all of your learning programs and solutions need to leverage the flexibility and scalability that technology offers. This may include video, social collaboration, virtual and augmented reality, integrations with HRIS’ and workplace platforms (e.g. Google Workplace), and more. 
  2. Flexible Learning—people naturally learn in different ways. Many learn best by listening (e.g. audio recording), while others learn best by doing (e.g. facilitated step-by-step). It’s important that all learning leverages many different styles together; video, text-based content, self-directed learning, one-on-one facilitation, etc. It’s also important to blend learning from in-house resources with external resources. There are many fantastic learning vendors that have built amazing expertise that organizations would have a really tough time duplicating in-house; time, resources, and quality. 
  3. Sticky Adoption—while it’s important for people to be engaged during the actual training itself, it’s even more important to maximize the adoption of newly learned skills that took place during the training. We firmly believe that all learning participants should be paired up with someone to support them with coaching, mentorship and advisory. This solves the longstanding problem of new learners not practicing what they learned once they step away from the learning environment and back into their day-to-day work environment. What’s the point in investing money into training if nothing sticks? 

Our business environment has drastically changed and will keep evolving and changing. Doing things how you used to do them will no longer work. Whatever your goals may be for learning, it’s a sure bet that you will fall well short of meeting them. If you “change nothing, nothing changes.” Your HR team needs to be constantly learning and developing, and ensuring that your strategy includes technology, flexible learning, and sticky adoption is paramount to success. 

Working with a provider that understands all of these important intangibles in a cost-effective way will immensely help your HR team be more successful and productive.  

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