How to keep a diverse workforce engaged?

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Learning needs, pace, moods…

The command and control economy era is over. Smart and strategy-driven business environments are in vogue. Technology absorption is happening at a frenetic pace.Clearly, learning too is undergoing fundamental shifts – a metamorphosis of sorts. Traditional learning methods have either gotten a makeover or have become obsolete. Small (handy and trendy) and smart (with huge memory bytes) are what appears to work.

How to keep a diverse workforce engagedTherefore, tweaking existing structures to accommodate newer dimensions of learning is the order of the day. Darwin’s ‘Survival of the fittest’ theory is relevant, but the transmission of the content is being customized to suit the palate of learners (read comfort and tastes). Millennials, next gen and gen Z are words that have found their way into the dictionary of learning. Invention sounds staid. The buzz is around innovation and passion! Silo operations are out. Together is in!

Collaboration holds the key to co-exist in a dynamic environment. Those in pursuit of excellence and growth opportunities choose their path of learning, by ably leveraging the open access available to the current generation. The slide and touch, click and clutch, hear and see to know and grasp are what works. That the learning mode and device used to learn have changed is known. But the common ringtone of any organization or workplace is that the learning behavior is changing. So, is it now the fear of the known? This is the information explosion era. The Internet has made global connectivity possible leading to content consumption in unique and innovative ways. The creation of social media platforms has connected the dots in ways and means totally unimaginable prior to its conception and delivery.

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Inroads made by technology advancements have fired the increasing hunger for learning.The constantly changing and evolving environment is responsible for newer and emerging innovative ways.It seems like ages since learning was ‘linear structured, slow paced, steady, and measured’. This is a generation that seeks immediacy in absorption. These learners are eager to get chunk-sized or immersive experiences to enhance their competencies and skills by leaning in to stay ahead of the curve.

Cross-functional roles or the keenness to pick up a challenging or exciting role were not as evident then as it is today. Be it the boardroom or factory premises or conference rooms, the shift is inescapable. The virtual garb that it has got has thrown open the corridors of learning to anyone and everyone anywhere but to those willing to crunch, munch, chew, and retain as per their needs. Learning is a liberated. The ease of access, the anytime and anywhere kind of opportunity has given a scale to learning that has broken all the barriers.

So, “keeping a diverse workforce with different learning needs, learning pace, and learning moods, engaged with learning of their choice,delivered in a format of their choice and “on-demand” is a key challenge and for those who are able to do this, it also becomes a critical success factor for any organization,” notes an industry professional.

Some recent developments point to the fact that organizations, either those who develop knowledge objects or those who curate these for use by a learner, show that we are indeed moving in this direction rapidly.

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Social media learning, massive open online courses (MOOCs), knowledge blurbs, the return of videos, the revival of blended learning, gamification approach, immersive learning (virtual reality), flipped classroom models co-existing with structured content and the fact that the new Tin Can API captures almost all types of learning experiences, are all indicators of this move towards fulfilling needs to address the requirements of a diverse workforce, avers the professional.


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