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Seamless technology for learning and careers


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Every organisation needs to help employees learn, grow and develop their careers. Technology can help, but the array of tools from Learning Experience Platforms to Job Boards and Career Maps can be baffling. How do you make it easy to find and to navigate? How do you personalise it and make it relevant to large numbers of diverse people internationally?

In this roundtable we exchanged examples of current practice, new developments and latest thinking. One central question was what to build internally and what to bring in from outside, especially when seeking to equip employees to develop their career.

Our ‘provocateur’ was digital careers specialist Michael Larbalestier who stretched and challenged our thinking with ideas about careers and technology that extend beyond corporate boundaries.

Roundtable summary

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A group of senior Talent and Learning professionals came together to share their expertise in helping employees learn, grow and direct their careers using technology.

Technology brings with it the challenge to provide scalable solutions while offering personalised support. How do we navigate the vast array of technology driven learning solutions? How do people find what they need, when they need it?

Part 1: Insight

Participants highlighted that the need for career development is driven by pace of change, emerging skills, low engagement scores, exit interview data, lack of skills in the market (therefore a renewed focus on ‘upskilling’) and gaps in leadership succession.

Challenges organisations face in relation to the employee experience of using technology to support careers included:

  • Finding ways to get people excited and engaged with technology for learning and career development.
  • Providing a consumer-grade user experience, including mining quality data for personalisation. The big HR technologies still fall short.
  • Constant change and flatter, yet increasingly complex, structures.
  • Well-equipped managers can guide effective career conversations, connecting and empowering their employees.

Part 2: Innovation

Michael Larbalestier (a digital learning and innovation specialist who is working with us to review our own technology) stimulated the group with his thoughts on the future employee experience and the role of technology. Michael shared insights from the recent survey of clients and roundtable participants.

The survey asked about organisations’ use of career development tools:

  • More than a third reported that E-learning is in place and widely used. Blended approaches are most effective, where online is combined with conversation, networking and social approaches.
  • Almost half offer support to managers in developing staff. Managers are system enablers, key to driving the wide use of online and offline career resources.
  • Almost half want a career portal and a similar number have a portal in place already.

The group discussed what needs to be part of an actively used portal. Ideas included an integrated skills and careers portal offering a transparent link between skills and opportunities. However, there’s a barrier to lateral moves: often there’s little tangible reward for reaching stretch goals. Pay rises still come from upward progression.

Engaging people in using career resources remains a challenge. It depends on understanding relevant touchpoints. The goal should be for technology to be invisible – it is the means not the end.

Part 3: Impact

Takeaways from the discussion included:

  • Can be hard to influence big platform providers to adapt. Smaller more agile digital products and hybrid models are emerging. Challenge is how to integrate.
  • Keeping focus on the person at the end of the technology. Everyone is busy and career development is only a part of an employee’s engagement with the organisation.
  • Need to nudge and remind people to recognise the value, be proactive and own their career development.

This event has passed

Thank you to everyone who took part in this event. If you're interested in getting involved check if we have any future events planned.

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