Article: Building digital skills to thrive in the next normal

Learning & Development

Building digital skills to thrive in the next normal

Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at Degreed shared tips to fashion an effective upskilling strategy at TechHR 2020.
Building digital skills to thrive in the next normal

Kelly Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at Degreed spoke at People Matters Tech HR 2020 on building digital skills to thrive in the Next Normal. A fascinating talk with numerous practical insights and tips to fashion an effective upskilling strategy, here are just a few highlights: 

Making all Learning Matter

First off, Kelly says, make all learning matter. People learn from a variety of sources - podcasts, books, articles - she says, so “why not make that part of your learning journey?” 

Crucially, give people a chance to put their learning to use. “Once people actually build skills and have done all the learning they need to upskill their portfolio of skills, what people really want is to get new opportunities using the skills they have. That may be in the form of projects, special assignments or even completely new opportunities and jobs at the companies.” 

Personalised & Individualised learning 

Secondly, realize we’re all at different places in our learning. Rather than thinking about “throwing training at people so they can learn digital skills,” Kelly says leaders should “back up a second and ask people ‘what are your career aspirations? Are you trying to get better at the job you have today or are you trying to get ready for the next part of your career that may require skills?” 

Think about it from an individual perspective: this gets people excited, engaged, and motivated about their own learning. 

Learning during COVID and beyond 

“Since people have started working remotely, they’re actually accessing learning from a variety of sources - 64% more than before,” Kelly says. “Over the weekends, that number has skyrocketed to 500%. People are realizing now is a great time to start working on their digital skills.” 

To build on this, Kelly wouldn’t recommend simply uploading hours of classroom-style learning for employees to view. “There is another way,” she says. “We can use technology to build amazing learning experiences that include: 

• Curated content pathways 

• Working with peers on projects 

• Collaboration in virtual chat rooms

• Facilitators synthesizing how we learn digital skills 

• Feedback and reflection on skills we’re building 

“It’s an exciting time,” Kelly says. “Technology is making new things possible. We can learn almost any topic from any device almost anywhere in the world at almost no cost.” 

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Topics: Learning & Development, #TechHRSG

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