The constant advances in technology leave HR professionals with a very important question: How can all the technological potential be harnessed in order to generate an environment that turns employees into a valuable competitive advantage?
There is a lot of momentum at the beginning of any journey in the organization as much of the onboarding process is already benefiting from all things digital and especially from recent development in AR and VR.
Read more: Exploring the onboarding process
However, much of this is lost once the new hire starts doing their daily job.
A different view needs to be taken if there are better learning results to be accomplished, results that can turn into positive business outcomes.
Leaders must understand that technology needs to be leveraged so that the workplace can adapt to the preferences and needs of the newer generations. These require a learning environment that is constantly offering relevant learning experiences and growth possibilities.
Talent activation is not the traditional talent management
As I have mentioned above, there is a need for a change in the way talent is regarded and dealt with in modern organizations. Talent activation is meant to transform the old talent management programs aimed at episodic employee development into an ongoing (and connected) sum of experiences that empower employees and help them move forward toward achieving personal and business goals.
The key is that all these linked experiences are measured and analyzed. It is where the tech part comes in most handy but that is only one side of it. Talent activation requires providing staff with all the apps, e-learning materials and digital framework they require.
Learning needs to happen constantly and at the learner’s convenience.
Yet this does not mean that L&D is no longer relevant. It might not be in the spotlight, but it holds a very important role – that of keeping track of learning, offering support and recommending learning paths.
Read more: Why each employee needs a learning path
Characteristics of a good talent activation program
If you are a manager or an HR specialist faced with the task of finding the right way to turn whatever talent management program is in place into a talent activation endeavor, here is a checklist of how it ought to look like once it is in place:
- It’s flexible and works with multiple apps, mobile devices as well as connected (and connecting) software; it should be in no way tied to a place or timeframe.
- It’s completely adapted to the business; technology ought to be configurable to your specific needs and to the values and culture of your organization.
- It is a continuum of valuable learning experiences rather than a sum of isolated interventions; it generates higher engagement rates than traditional training.
- It works with what you already have in place and adds today’s technological perks – communicating apps, big data and API systems.
- It is completely measurable and actionable – collecting data and interpreting it should give you a good place to start from in making informed decisions and take prescriptive action.
Blended learning – the go-to solution for talent activation
What talented individuals have in common is, ironically, their uniqueness.
Apart from the fact they all have various valuable skills or potential, they also learn differently. Some are visual learners, some audio and some kinesthetic—or a mix of all of these. It’s why opting for blended learning when it comes to training in general and talent activation in particular makes a world of sense.
Read more: Why Millennials prefer blended learning
For employees who learn best visually or through researching topics on their own, online self-paced video delivery can be the best modality of presenting the materials. Social and aural learners can get the most from live instructor-led interventions. Meanwhile, hands-on practice from engaging in applied learning projects can satisfy kinesthetic and logical learners – this is where AI and AR come into play.
The best perk remains that blended learning is flexible and accessible anywhere and anytime on a number of devices.
There is a lot to be said about the benefits of gearing towards talent activation instead of continuing with the existing talent management programs as they are now.
Mobility and multiple device accessibility provide highly engaging learning experiences that lead to improved information retention and positive business results. Furthermore, present-day analytics make it easy to have predictive and prescriptive actionable insights that go beyond all school pie-charts and reports.
Talent activation puts the employee in the center of the experience and tailors it to them in a way that will ultimately lead to the best possible outcomes for the organization.
Raluca Cristescu is a Faculty of Letters graduate with over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.