Article: How to win in 2021 with learning technology

Learning & Development

How to win in 2021 with learning technology

In this session at the People Matters TechHR SEA 2021, experts delved into how learning technology ensures learner growth and competence in a dynamic world that is poised on the edge of exploding learning agility.
How to win in 2021 with learning technology

In 2021 we see an emphasis on higher and faster growth in organizations. It emerges from a need not to be left behind. In keeping up with the technological momentum of change, the upskilling of people is often overlooked. But some organizations have effectively learned how to use learning tech to harness the skill gap and make their workforce job-ready and disruption-proof.  

In a session at the People Matters TechHR SEA 2021, we understood how learning technology makes a winner out of an organization. The impact has been seen even through the corona crisis. We had the pleasure of being led by Md. Edi Isdwiarto, former Human Capital Director, PT Pegadaian and Shweta Kumar, Chief Learning Architect, Disprz. 

Edi comes with 30+ years of sales, operations, HR, finance, marketing and is playing a central role in the transformation initiative at Pegadaian to make it the most valuable financial company in Indonesia. Shweta has worked across APAC, EMEA, LATAM in the areas of organization transformation, leadership development, team capability enhancement, and culture change. 

How did PT Pegadaian make itself into a learning organization was the burning question of this session.  

Up to 2016, Pegadaian operated in an entirely monopolistic market. It is currently the largest pawn-breaking company in Indonesia but, after government deregulations, not the only one anymore. 

Edi threw light on the kind of challenges that PT Pegadaian has seen at a workplace level and how that changed at the onset of the pandemic. 

PT Pegadaian had three significant challenges in its transformation process. 

  • Developing capabilities
  • Creating a learning culture and 
  • Promoting technological adoption

By 2023, Pegadaian wants to achieve some financial success measures and become the preferred company of choice for financial inclusion agents. 

Apart from dealing with technological disruption, which is a given for any company in the financial sector, PT Pegadaian also needs to manage aging customers, deregulation of the pawnbroking market, and competition from other industry players. 

Upskilling their workforce to manage so many aspects of the growth journey is therefore at the front of all their business needs and imperatives right now. 

What is the role of learning technology in making people learn for tomorrow 

Shweta said, “Just integrating learning in the flow of work, at the right time is the need.”

People today don't have the skillset to pull off certain jobs and are yet accountable for specific roles. Disprz believes in integrating learning into KPIs or whatever the unit of performance is in the organization. The KPIs are then linked back to the skills and competencies that are required to do the job. 

Shweta went on to say that “everybody wants to learn, but it is not about learning. It is about translating learning into action at the workplace.” And learning technology can enable that. 

The Disprz platform enables not just learning. It also gives you the data. It gives you the RoI on the platform - skills being built, KPIs being achieved, and numbers being met. The learner is at the center of the learning universe. It is one app for the learner. Amongst others, 150,000 Amazon employees are on the Disprz app, and they are in tune with how they are performing, what they need to learn, and how they can learn it. They can see their entire learning trend, which is visible both to the learner and the organization. 

Today’s employee is already so overwhelmed, and this bite-sized learning helps to take off some of that pressure. 

How can learning technology help engage the workforce

Edi stated that the purpose of learning needs to be crystal clear. In the case of PT Pegadaian, it was to move from a monopolistic setup to becoming a competitive learning organization. Transformation at that scale simply means that KPIs have to be very rigorously monitored and acted upon. 

The Disprz platform enables Pegadaian to do company-initiated training while keeping a tab on the KPIs. They also help put in place blanket training programs to ensure that employees are at a minimal level of learning even as they start out. 

In times of transformation, many critical roles are created within the organization. Human resource capability is sorely challenged in terms of ensuring a supply of talented people for these roles. The learning app feeds into these requirements with transparency of which employee stands where and how equipped they are for new roles that need new skills. 

Edi ensured that learning technology through Disprz helps Pegadaian focus on both 

  • Exploitative skills - doing more of what’s needed to get the job done today 
  • Explorative skills - learning what else could be required tomorrow or getting ready for the next job 

Pegadaian trains not only permanent workers but also outsourced workers. Everybody who has customer-facing roles have to come to a certain level of capability, and Disprz enables this immensely. 

The final step is to showcase people’s learning achievements through certifications and also give them that sense of external validation. 

How is the Disprz learning platform impacting an enterprise 

Disprz boasts of the Skill Stack or the skilling ecosystem. It looks at the bigger context first. In a series of four steps, Disprz walks us through an ideal learning ecosystem.  

  • Skill identification - Erstwhile competency mapping was the way to go about it, but now skill set requirements are dynamic these days. Disprz banks on its dispersed skill framework. Every role has a functional, leadership, digital and meta-skill component to it. Disprz uses AI to crawl through Internet space to understand what skills are relevant.
  • Skill assessment - Different people have different proficiencies in each skill set, and the platform adjusts. Learning is configured based on personal choices, just like we configure our phones and Netflix as per our personal choices. 
  • Skill-building - Learner preferences and their cognitive styles play a huge role in ensuring that actual learning happens on the ground. Coaching and micro experiences are all on the platform. There’s a content and facilitator aggregation aspect too.  Disprz believes that a lot of asset knowledge resides in the organization itself. Content authoring tools ensure that learners create content and put it back on the platform. They take pride in saying that Disprz caters to all the colors of the column - grey, blue, white. Every level of worker can learn something on the platform that is customized for them. 
  • Skill impact - RoI is usually measured not as the number of training hours but in KPIs met and the new skills developed through the organization. Another effect is that the platform’s data serves as a critical input to the talent intelligence supply chain. If something is in red, you will need to hire for it. 

A unique score that Disprz allocates to its learning population is that of learning agility. It is a function of learning effectiveness and curiosity. It features in the High Potential employee program, and even that is there on the platform. 

To tie it off, Shweta put it beautifully, “COVID has shown that it is only the team’s learning and potential that is our singular competitive advantage.” 

That is how you do well on the current job, get ready for the next job, and win with technology.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #TechHRSEA

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