Retaining talent requires a learning-first mindset

February 3, 2023 | 2 minute read
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By: Ondrej Holub, Pierre POLYCARPE

In a fiercely competitive talent market, retaining staff should be top of leaders’ minds. A key differentiator to boost retention is training, identifying where and how staff need support, and upskilling where necessary.

In the new business landscape, the ‘one person, one role’ mentality is becoming redundant. Skillsets are taking priority over job titles, with employees increasingly expected to cover a broad spectrum of capabilities. This requires total investment in upskilling opportunities from HR teams and the C-suite to make it a success. 

A stronger emphasis on (human resource) HR data will enable this cultural shift to more learning and development. This learning-first mindset will be enabled by new HR tools, automation, and cultural transformation.

Learning becomes a core business objective

Leaders must foster a culture of self-directed, continuous learning. With learning platforms, HR leaders and management teams can categorise and recognise employee skills, identifying areas that may be lacking and redistributing resource as and when needed. Machine learning (ML) can help in this process. ML can spot missing skills autonomously, where employees previously had to input all this information manually.

Businesses can create a collaborative and personalised learning environment where employees are encouraged to carve their own path. Micro-learning is a vital part of this process. Employees can break up large, complicated concepts into smaller chunks that slip easily into work schedules to cultivate lifelong learning practices. Going even further, some businesses are even turning to augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) to accelerate training, making it more immersive and interactive.

Automation does not mean staff displacement

As well as identifying skills, automation helps HR teams and managers to manage and report on their skills inventory. HR data such as feedback from managers, job characteristics and project-based skills all feed into learning platforms. Then relevant skills and training for each employee can be automatically suggested.

Reskilling employees to make them more comfortable working with robotic processes is key. Once people recognise the benefits of automation, they will feel more comfortable working with it. Artificial intelligence (AI) handles data processing, freeing up teams for more value-add work in analysis and strategy, as well as more time to devote to learning. 

HEAT is the new STEM

Change should be seen all the way through to recruitment. Instead of prioritising STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), new strategies should widen the net to HEAT (humanities, engineering, arts, and technology).

C-suite leaders now recognise that creativity, empathy, and communication are as essential to success as STEM. As functions reposition themselves as ‘strategic insight centres’ the attributes and skills needed to deliver this continues to increase. Only through a shift to a learning-first culture and effective use of learning platforms can this be achieved.

Learn more from Oracle’s Executive Director, HR Transformation Sarah Horne and Yazad Dalal, Oracle HCM Europe Lead at Accenture in this short video.

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