Sep 30, 2011
Innovative learning methods needed as technology changes workplacesBack
Deloitte South Africa|Education|IBM 2010 Global|Talent Edge|Africa|Van Dam|Online Assessment|Web-based Training|Mahlubi Mabizela|Ursula Fear|Van Dam
© Reuse this
High expectations from businesses have created a need for change in the current learning methods in the workplace to ensure employees skills are constantly developing. This will ensure growth of the company and profitability, states Deloitte global head of learning Nick van Dam.
He notes business drivers for building employees’ capabilities are affected by the pace of change, intensifying complexities, globalisation and emerging technologies.
“We live in a world with significant changes, some of which are rapid, and several uncertainties that can affect the manner in which business is conducted,” says Van Dam.
He raised the issue at the Future Learning Trends seminar hosted in Woodmead, Johan- nesburg, last week. Van Dam said technology had been a significant contributor to the change in learning methods over the past 20 years.
Creativity was cited in the ‘IBM 2010 Global CEO Study’ as a significant leadership quality for the next five years, he said.
Van Dam noted that technology requires creativity, which involves people and their competitiveness. Competitiveness includes knowledge, skills and abilities. This combination leads to the innovation of new products, new ways of conducting business and learning.
“Innovation is about having faith in the unknown and foreseeing the success of either the product or the system in future,” he explained.
Further, Van Dam noted creativity, competitiveness and innovation contributed to a balanced learning system; however, talent was challenging to retain, according to Deloitte’s ‘Talent edge 2020: Blueprints for the new normal survey’, published in April.
The study concluded that employees moved from current employers as a result of uncertain career paths, limited leadership development, lack of trust in the current leadership and inadequate training programmes for the growth of employees.
Such issues could be dealt with through the implementation of the next learning framework, which is highlighted in Van Dam’s book, titled Next Learning Unwrapped.
“The learning framework consists of 10% formal learning trends, also known as planned learning, and 90% informal learning trends, or spontaneous and on-the-job learning”, he states.
The formal learning trends include physical classroom learning, virtual classroom and webinars, self-paced and Web-based training and online assessment.
This method of learning is less structured and takes place on the job. It is about moving into different roles within an organisation and allows the employee to be able to fulfil interchangeable roles.
Informal learning in the workplace can be conducted through career moves or switches, assignments, special projects, feedback from managers or trainers, and coaching and mentoring platforms.
“It can be done through on-demand learning, for example, podcasts and ebooks, job aids, learning videos, ecourses and recorded webinars. This type of training will grow and develop employees,” said Van Dam.
He noted that, globally, three-billion learning videos are watched daily.
Social learning has been refined by the intro- duction of social media and networking. Learning can now be conducted through expert directories, microsharing and tweets, interactive video, innovation and crowd sourcing, gaming and simulations, online communities and feedback on blogs.
Van Dam said the focus area for businesses is to ask how they can accelerate leadership development and skills training. Career-driven learning is important for organisations.
Leadership development of employees is supported by the ethics and values of an organisation. This includes the support of physical and mental health, intellectual understanding, and the emotional and social competence of employees, he said.
He believes a blended learning system, which incorporates social and traditional learning, should be adopted to encourage new learning trends.
Deloitte is currently developing a social learning platform to provide recommendations of learning methods based on the type of business an organisation is involved in.
Also speaking at the seminar was Deloitte South Africa human capital director Ursula Fear, who raised concerns about the quality of education that entry-level employees have. But, she noted that organisations should change their hiring methods and stop recruiting only first-class graduates.
“Average graduates should also be priori- tised and offered on-the-job training and learning support to grow into fully fledged employees,” she said.
In closing, the Department of Higher Education and Training chief director of university policy Mahlubi Mabizela said the development of the South African economy depended on a proper learning/education system to produce future professionals.
“Citizens complain that government always approves policies but never implements them; I agree that we are currently faced with this challenge, but the research effort that went into establishing the policies should be applauded,” he said.
Mabizela said the South African government had decided to move towards a knowledge- based economy, as opposed to a minerals-based economy, to ensure long-term sustainability of the country.
However, this was a challenging task to fulfil, considering that a significant number of the country’s youth were unemployed and the majority did not have higher education qualifications or the necessary skills to be employable.
Further, the lack of artisan skills and technical skills posed a threat to the growth of the economy. This was a historical issue for the country because of the manner in which university degrees were glamorised over further education and training college qualifications, he said.
“The challenge facing the education system is, after democracy, we were quick to change the education system to prove that we are making change. But the outcomes-based education system was politicised; hence, it has not been as effective as was anticipated,” said Mabizela.
He said the Department of Higher Learning was planning to build higher learning institutions in the Northern Cape and Mpumalanga in the near future.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Information Technology News
The Department of Communications (DoC) on Friday took the public discussions over the proposed changes to South Africa’s information and communications technology (ICT) policy to stakeholders in the North West in the first of a series of provincial public hearings...
The advisory council responsible for driving the implementation of South Africa’s newly tabled broadband plan has been selected. The Department of Communications on Tuesday launched the National Broadband Advisory Council (NBAC) for the roll-out of the National...
Using text analytics and social media analytics programs for sentiment analysis can help companies identify risks to their brands early, as well as perceptions of their products and potential target markets, says analytics consulting company Olrac SPS South Africa...
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...