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Enabling an Agile Workforce with AI-powered Learning

The current knowledge-driven environment has necessitated clear outcome-based learning programs at speed and with agility. The pandemic has shown that this is possible with most businesses upgrading the way they work and providing upskilling opportunities for their employees. This blog captures the insights from the session on "Enabling an Agile Workforce with AI-powered Learning" at the SHRM India Talent Conference 21. The session was moderated by: Nick Schacht, Chief Global Development Officer - SHRM who spoke with Amit Das, CHRO - Bennett Coleman & Co. and Nishchae Suri, President Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa at EdCast.

Technology is leading transformation across industries

Technology can be leveraged for automation and for transforming the learning landscape. However, to achieve true transformation, organizations need to enhance the digital savviness of their employees which will scale up use of intelligent technologies, thereby, increasing employee productivity and enhancing the experiential journey.

In the Indian context, a big segment is addressed through inclusive learning solutions via mobile apps and data. Artificial Intelligence and machine-learning-based platforms have kindled a passion to learn, and a deep learning appetite amongst many professionals. This is a great example of how technology can be leveraged as a force multiplier by scaling up human intelligence and enhancing employee productivity. At EdCast, we have seen a big surge in learner engagement for enterprises that use EdCast’s Learning Experience Platform, with a significant rise in monthly active users (MAU), unique learner coverage and learning hours, all critical enablers for reshaping and rebuilding organizations, fit for the new normal.

Most industries are undergoing a transformation and organisations are adopting technology at a pace that was not anticipated prior to the pandemic. There is an additional need to provide a seamless workplace experience to all workers.

Need to tailor-make technology solutions to improve learning outcomes

Millennials are more vocal about their learning needs and expectations, and they continuously seek new opportunities to enhance their employability. Therefore, organizations must step up to cater to their individual learning demands. Below are a few things to consider for synthesizing such solutions:

  1. Content: Relevant and quality content is key to building an agile workforce. Personalization has drawn the attention of learners across the board. It entails learning preferences, time of the day one wants to learn, the mode one wants to learn in and the device one wants to learn on, and so on. This requires an understanding of the learner gaps such as knowing the skills that a learner has and the skills that need to be developed and then bridging that gap through the relevant content.
  1. Analytics: So, how can the learner gaps be identified? Analytics is a solution to this problem. Analytics helps gain insight into the learner choices and content preferences and helps build a learning ecosystem that is relevant to the learner. We need to retire old and obsolete content and continuously update platforms with content that is discoverable and has current relevance for the learner. Content discovery can be achieved through artificial intelligence tools such as content characterization and tagging. The more efficient these processes, the better the learner experience.
  1. AI & ML: AI & ML effectively help create hyper-personalization through customized learning programs that cater to individual employee needs and preferences, aligned to their personal career aspirations. Human intuition will never go out of need, instead, it is being powered by algorithms and big data making the insights more profound. Bots are now capable of having humanized conversations (cognition technology), machine learning allows observations about learner behaviours and tailors learning solutions for specific employee needs.

Build Learning in the Flow of Work

“A key trend emerging in learning & development is Learning in the Flow of Work” - Nishchae Suri.

Imagine an employee learning as she works, leveraging the same platform that they use for day-to-day work. The employee’s learning journey will be seamless, and the usage of the content and the learning outcomes will be significantly enhanced. Today’s technologies make all this a reality.

Foster a growth mindset

Amit Das also added that it is important to instil a growth mindset. Employees must apply critical thinking to generate solutions for the dynamic work environment. So, it is no longer survival of the fittest but the survival of those who can adapt at a rapid pace. Gen Z is now beginning to enter the workforce, and this is also disrupting the status quo. Gen Z is the truly digital native generation and HR technologies need to be leveraged to manage flexible and remote working schedules. The pandemic has again ensured that this transition for employee wellbeing and inclusivity happens at a rapid pace.

Technology, when used prudently, positively impacts outcomes and can be effectively leveraged to enhance financial performance, learning effectiveness, net promoter score, unique learner coverage, and application of learning. While there are still some fears that technology can impact the human factor in businesses, true success will come from an environment that is symbiotic, and a man-machine collaborative outcome is the likely future.

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