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Dynamic Models of Skill Acquisition Are More Successful

Monday, August 31, 2020

The pandemic has disrupted business operations in fundamental ways, and leaders are struggling to keep their workforces up to date with the skills they need to be successful. According to new research from Gartner, this struggle has not been successful. The group found that only 54 percent of employees are using the new skills that they've learned despite that the number of skills required to successfully do their jobs is increasing by 10 percent annually. One of the main reasons for this, Gartner suggests, is that HR leaders are taking a reactive approach to learning even though data shows that 33 percent of what would have been considered necessary skills three years ago are no longer needed in the workplace. But the answer isn't simply to move from reactive training to predictive models. “While the majority of organizations are using a reactive approach to skill-building that doesn't work, most are still striving to be more predictive to get ahead of skill shifts," said Sari Wilde, managing vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “The problem is that a predictive approach predicated on HR identifying a specific skill set need for the future also fails.” Instead, a dynamic approach to skill development, Gartner says, should be deployed. This allows HR departments to sense shifting skills in real-time, develop these skills before they're needed, and empower employees to make training decisions themselves. “Organizations that embrace a dynamic approach to developing skills find that employees are both learning the right skills and extracting the value from those skills in a way they do not within the reactive and predictive approaches,” Wilde said. “The result is that employees apply 75 percent of the new skills they learn.”

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