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Curiosity Could Fill the Talent’s Skill Gap!

28/06/2022Daya Dimensi Indonesia

As we demanded to move everything virtually, our daily work routine is dominated by the usage of technologies. This sudden change posed a challenge for workers to have a new set of skills, especially digital related, to keep up with the job requirement. And yet, organizations just can’t rely solely on those employees who already have those skills. Instead, they should also enhance and develop those talents through learning programs to match their needs. This created a ripple effect for employers as they need to put in a bigger effort to retain their existing ones, while attracting new talent at the same time, and need to step up their people management to a whole new level as it was happening in the midst of a pandemic where people start to work remotely. In the old days, talent development was normally given in face-to-face interaction which can also be a way to strengthen the company’s culture. But today, as everything is moving virtually it means less human interaction. Some companies found that it is actually challenging to get people engaged in their remote training process.

Despite the challenges, companies are on the run to captivate their top talent in the industries. They need to be equipped with a lot of benefits for the employee. But how? The people your company invested in will be willing to reciprocate the same or even more. Based on a LinkedIn study, 94% of employees stated that they are more likely to be more loyal if the employer invests in their development. Moreover, as the employee population starts to be dominated by Gen-Z, there has been an increasing interest to gain their learning experience. They expect lifelong learning throughout their lifetime and speed up their learning curve with experiential learning. So what should be the best response to these enthusiastic learners?

The first step is to involve the managers in the process. The managers are the one who is directly responsible and has visibility of each one of their team member’s talent (HBR, 2022). By announcing the initiatives through the managers instead of the HR team, people would receive it as an encouragement to develop their skills in order to deliver their best for the team. To sustain it as a habit, companies need to create it as a norm and build a sense of community where people get to learn, share and apply what they have learned. The second is showing a strong commitment such as support and approval from CEOs and managers, providing time and funding specifically allocated for learning, and structuring the work schedule to enable them to improve their skills and knowledge. A few companies even dedicated a day where they set no meetings such as “No Meeting Wednesdays”, for example, Shopify, as they asked their employees to decline all internal meetings on Wednesdays and devote time to unstructured thinking, building, creating, and gaining perspective. These kinds of actions in supporting the employees to pursue their learning process are what differentiates high- performing and adaptive companies from other competitors.

A culture, support, and encouragement are not complete without carefully curating the learning methods and materials. Within a decade, we have seen a great number of free courses in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), or even through YouTube tutorials. Yet, the abundant materials and ease of access to these materials do not always guarantee an optimal learning and high completion rate. This was caused by the learning methods that were self-paced, individualistic, and one-way lectures which can be less interesting over time as people cannot compare or interact with each other during the process. So now, there is a newer method known as cohort-based learning where people are grouped together in a real-time course with fixed schedules and deadlines. This way people can get a sense of community to discuss and share instead of just mastering a course and get done.

Currently, there are actually many platforms that provide mentors for companies’ learning programs where they can pick a particular skill for their team to master in a live interaction. These mentors are also giving personal feedback for each assignment too. For example, in Indonesia, there is a learning platform called in which they offer a plan for businesses to book company training.

They can pinpoint which skill they want to master and are provided with a mentor who is also a professional from various big companies.

It is no wonder that this new model of developing talent actually maximizes the potential of each employee. By giving them the opportunity to learn, not only do they acquire new skills but also it increases their adaptability to take on new roles or responsibilities. Furthermore, it surely will create motivated loyal workers for your company as their needs for learning are fulfilled, and also help improve the organizational effectiveness and well- being of workers (Noe, Clarke, and Klein, 2014). Training programs or learning initiatives that build efficacy and/or increase perceived control could have a positive impact on employee well-being, which protects human capital investments and lowers health-care costs related to stress, dissatisfaction, and an unsafe work environment.

However, before companies jump right into the implementation of this initiative, it is important for them to consider and evaluate the size of their business. Research by McKinsey (2020) found that skill development programs are more likely to succeed in organizations with less than 1,000 employees as it requires fewer processes of approval, tend to have a clearer view of their skill deficiencies, and is potentially more adaptive for a quick transformation. This fact might come to be surprising for most of us because we have always thought that larger companies generally have more access to development resources. Regardless of this fact, it is still possible for big-size companies to implement these initiatives, as no one has mentioned that it is impossible for them to do so. Ultimately, nobody wants to lose a brilliant talent for nothing, right?

As we all know, AI is a very sophisticated technology that could be used for many activities in a variety of sectors because AI-based machines are fast, more accurate, and consistently rational. But they aren’t intuitive, emotional, or culturally sensitive, which could raise concerns about the validity of the capabilities of the AI in executing certain tasks. Recently, a new feature called Emotional Artificial Intelligence (EAI) is built to extract data on a person’s emotional state in various ways and some companies have started to utilize this technology for recruiting workers, assessing employee well-being, gauging customers’ sentiments, and even identifying patterns associated with workplace harassment. However, there are still some concerns that arise from this technology. First, AI itself does not understand what emotions are or how they are constructed. Second, EAI does not have the ability to take into account human particularities such as attitudinal diversity, gender differences, or cultural idiosyncrasies (Mantello et al., 2021). Although there is still an ongoing debate regarding the utilization of AI, many organizations around the globe try to take advantage of these technological signs of progress, leading to the development of new AI-based applications that allow automating decision-making processes. (NHB)

Read the last article by Daya Dimensi Indonesia here.

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