Digitally native employees are entering the workforce with their own expectations for learning, training and interacting with online platforms. The onus is now on government agencies to provide a work experience that caters to employees’ needs rather than compliance requirements alone.
In a recent interview with GovLoop, Steve Dobberowsky, Senior Principal for Thought Leadership and Advisory Service at Cornerstone OnDemand, explained the main drivers that are prompting agencies to view HR technology as an enabler. Cornerstone OnDemand is a cloud-based learning, talent management and talent experience software provider that empowers agencies to tap into the innovative capabilities of modern HR tech.
Dobberowsky explained that too often, investments in HR technology are made with the intent to meet mandatory requirements and communicate policies — not to enhance the employee experience.
But agencies must rethink this approach to properly develop a 21st century workforce. Today, employees expect consistent development. They want to understand their career path for growth and feel included and heard. Lastly, they want a work-life with systems and experiences that are intuitive.
The more agencies understand and incorporate employees’ needs into their training and development initiatives, the better prepared the workforce will be to embrace new ways of doing business.
“The way people learn and develop has changed. How agencies adapt to different learning styles and employees’ needs must also evolve.”
“We eventually won’t need to train our workforce on doing the tasks that will transition to artificial intelligence and automated processing,” Dobberowsky said. “We will need to ensure they have stronger soft skills, such as problem solving and collaborating.”
This doesn’t mean technical training falls by the wayside. Instead, agencies must be more strategic about how and when they provide learning opportunities.
Consider that more than 45% of chief human resource officers say that people coming out of college have the digital skills they need, but what they’re missing are skills in complex problem solving, teamwork, business understanding and leadership, according to Josh Bersin, an industry analyst and founder of Bersin by Deloitte.
To help bridge this gap, Cornerstone works with agencies to address HR and employee needs in a holistic manner. For example, the company is collaborating with agencies to create online learning and recruitment experiences that prioritize authentic offline interactions. This entails blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds — a practice Dobberowsky referred to as phigital.
One of Cornerstone’s biggest government clients has a number of employees who don’t own computers or personal devices or have emails. This can make online recruitment efforts challenging. With a phigital approach, the organization uses digital tools to identify who and where these individuals are, and also uses in-person efforts to recruit potential employees and develop them based on their specific regional needs.
“Our entire existence is based on our passion for empowering people through learning and development,” Dobberowsky said. “We believe that your people are your greatest assets, so agencies must ensure they adapt accordingly to recruit and develop employees in the manner that best suits them.”
Takeaway: The extent to which HR departments can align with the learning styles of next-generation workers has a direct impact on efforts to attract, retain and reskill employees.
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent guide “2020 Outlook: Human Resources Trends to Watch in Government.” Download the full guide here.