The world of work will change dramatically over the next 10-15 years as companies seek to deploy ever smarter machines. The rise of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionise almost every aspect of our lives, especially work.
Revolutions in how people work, however, are not new. The Industrial Revolution, not only transformed how organisations provided products and services, but the skills required for job roles. Many new jobs were created, requiring educational institutions and vocational training providers to quickly adapt to provide the necessary skills to meet this new demand.
Educated and vocationally skilled and qualified workers continue to be in high demand to this day. The rapid rise in technology that we are experiencing simply changes the nature of the skills that will be needed into the future.
Organisations have several strategies available to them to adapt to the changes in technology and workforce skills needed to remain competitive, according to the McKinsey Global Institute (2018). From a learning and development perspective, the most obvious of these strategies is to retrain employees and provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge required for the roles of the future.
However, and perhaps more importantly, structural changes within organisations will also be needed. This includes fostering a learning culture to embed new skills, building resilience and developing a learning mindset among employees.
As an L&D professional, the rapid changes that even I have experienced in my roles have highlighted to me the importance of lifelong learning. Technology has significantly changed the way we provide learning opportunities. Indeed, WebEx, virtual classrooms, e-learning, gamification, podcasts, micro learning, wikis, digital knowledge repositories, search engines, blogs/vlogs and video learning modules have revolutionised learning in the workplace.
Technology has also enabled greater flexibility in training delivery than the previous gold standard ‘face-to-face’ classroom style facilitation. This flexibility and varied mode of delivery allows for learning to be accessible and easily digested. Access to flexible learning can provide greater opportunities for employees to engage with learning and support them on their lifelong learning journey.
L&D professionals have an integral role in leading employees through technology changes in the workplace by not only retraining, but by fostering a robust learning culture within the organisation and shifting their mindset to that of the lifelong learner.
MetLife recently introduced a new learning portal designed around the employee experience and empowering the learner. This was the result of our investment in research and development for our workforce of the future.
This new organisation-wide learning portal – MyLearning – is powered by Degreed which utilises AI to support employees to learn. It is a digital gateway that empowers them to proactively take charge of their careers, stay on top of where the future of work is heading, and determine how MetLife as an organisation can lead the way.
This new platform is an innovation in learning to assist employees through the ongoing revolution of work. Degreed allows employees to discover, share, and track all learning both in and out of MetLife. They can find courses, articles, videos, books, podcasts that are recommended by other peers or curated by the AI, based on their self-selected skills and topics.
Now all employees can easily access continually refreshed articles, books, videos, courses and more both when and how they want to learn. They will be able to explore a wide range of opportunities to build new skill sets, increase knowledge, as well as pique their curiosity and learn not only the skills for their role but also for their own personal interest and development.
I am extremely proud to work for an organisation that genuinely values our employees’ development and wants to support them on their journey towards the workforce of the future. By providing access to leading technology in learning tools, MetLife’s employees will be empowered to be successful now and into the future.
Senior Technical Training Consultant, MetLife Australia
- Mckinsey Global Institute: Skill Shift Automation and the Future of the Workforce (Discussion paper May 2018)