Learning & Development

Training Priorities for 2018 Part III: Accessing Skill Competencies and Understanding the Impact of Technology

This is the third of 3 posts covering LinkedIn’s “2018 Workplace Learning Report. Part one looked at training for soft skills and global training, while Part two covered internal skill gaps, and tracking skill development. Today, we’ll look at the fifth and sixth top priorities: accessing skill competencies and understanding the impact of technology.


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In a post-industrial economy, employers continually identify their human capital—as opposed to heavy machinery, land, buildings, etc.—as their most important asset. So it should be no surprise that employers generally, and human resource and learning and development (L&D) professionals in particular, identify employee development as one of their top priorities. But just knowing that top companies are focusing on L&D efforts only helps so much. LinkedIn’s recent “2018 Workplace Learning Report” digs a bit deeper.

Accessing Skill Competencies

It’s one thing to identify skill competencies in employees. It’s another thing entirely to effectively employ them in the workplace. Depending on various factors—e.g., an employee’s current workload and responsibilities—it can be difficult to put an employee’s skills to their best use. Additionally, many competencies are raw and undeveloped and need to be nurtured before they can be put to good use.
L&D professionals are recognizing that they have a role to play in ensuring that employees’ competencies are leveraged in meaningful ways. This benefits not only the organization but also the employees.

Understanding the Impact of Technology

From the wheel to the Industrial Revolution to the personal computer, technology has always had, and will continue to have, a major impact on the use of human capital. Some skills that were essential yesterday may become entirely obsolete in a few years, while others—previously insignificant—may suddenly carry great value based on changes in technology. As technological advances continue to accelerate, employers and L&D professionals will need to stay nimble in identifying and developing the requisite skills for their labor force.
Even as technological advances in engineering and artificial intelligence make some areas of human labor increasingly obsolete, companies around the world continue to see their human capital as a crucial asset, and they spend considerable time, money, and effort in improving that capital.
HR and L&D professionals realize they need to focus on developing their workforce. The LinkedIn report points to six specific areas many companies are focusing their efforts on.

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