Sonia Gupta looks at how AI can pave the way for a more advanced, sophisticated and future-proof workforce.
Reading time: 4 minutes
Given the rapidly changing society around us, employee needs and aspirations are quickly evolving too, which must be addressed by companies.
However, the dismal employee engagement figures in recent years indicate that organisations often fail to pay heed to such change.
The call to address employee needs becomes more important, given that 75% of the global workforce will be accounted for by millennials by 2025 and that, according to Deloitte’s Millennial Survey, this generation values an organisation that offers them opportunities for learning and career development.
This means that to remain competitive and retain talent, businesses will need to foster a strengths-based environment that promotes continuing learning.
The shift from learn-to-work to work-to-learn
Employees today have a huge thirst to advance their skills and careers.
With worries about the rise of automation technologies, which could put their jobs at risk, 74% of workers are keen on learning new skills or retraining to remain employable in the future, according to a PwC report.
However, millennials, who constitute a significant portion of the workforce, have a different approach and expectations towards learning.
No longer is the conventional top-down, on-the-job approach, through traditional classroom-based learning, acceptable.
Today’s generation wants learning on-the-go, on the device of their choice and in microlearning content format which makes information easily digestible.
It is the ability of AI to learn and improve that will help L&D departments continue to deliver meaningful learning experiences across the board
The future workforce will have grown up with 24/7 access to social media, how-to videos and eBooks, available at their fingertips. They will expect employers to approach training in the same way.
In the past, a more linear approach to learning worked well. People went to university, learned skills and spent a lifetime working on a relevant job.
Today, a person could switch between many careers in their lifetime. Here, traditional learning formats are not agile enough for them to succeed in the fast-paced corporate world.
Instead a more ‘lattice’ approach towards learning is needed, acquiring skills based on the current needs of the job, with continued learning as they move from one role to another.
It is imperative that companies take these changing dynamics into consideration, since the future workforce might not be so keen to work for organisations – even large, big-name organisations – that have not evolved with the times.
Today, employees are not hesitant to work for start-ups and small companies, achieving career longevity through continuous learning on the job.
In fact, 42% of the millennial employees say learning and development is the most important aspect of deciding where to work.
AI can help L&D create a high-performance work culture
We see a huge number of products and services in digital society today that were inconceivable even in the recent past.
Learning has moved on from the traditional learning management system (LMS) to AI-powered learning experience platforms (LXPs).
AI-based learning platforms are leveraging the successful features of consumer content platforms – quite like Spotify, which gives playlist recommendations based on a person’s music taste, and delivers this through a simple interface accessible from any device.
Gartner predicts that the global business value derived from AI will reach $3.9tn in 2022.
AI can truly transform the business world, including corporate learning. Using AI, LXPs can curate personalised content to reskill employees to meet work challenges.
It can contextualise content, picking from millions of sources, based on each individual employee’s previous interests, career background, preferred content formats and current skill levels.
Most importantly, all this learning can be delivered at the speed of business.
AI also has the power to free L&D professionals from having to focus on training delivery. L&D can, instead, focus on creating more value and enhancing the effectiveness of their training programmes through key analytics.
Together, with HR teams, they can streamline and standardise employee onboarding and continued learning, which so far has mostly been informal and needs based.
In fact, it is the ability of AI to learn and improve that will help L&D departments continue to deliver meaningful learning experiences across the board.
In addition, with an AI-driven chatbot, high levels of engagement and instant feedback become achievable.
Leveraging the power of machine learning and natural language processing, via the AI-powered chatbot, companies can ensure better learning outcomes, where the chatbot functions as a personal learning facilitator, delivering quick solutions to learners’ queries.
Preparing employees for the future of work has to start now. Fortunately, technology brings us the solution to do just that through AI-powered learning experience platforms.
About the author
Sonia Gupta is the head of product marketing at KEA.