hrt_logo_2l[1]First off, if you haven’t already registered for this year’s 16th annual HR Technology Conference and Expo in Las Vegas– you simply should! It’s not too late to make that last-minute decision. Yes, you – HR, Talent, and Learning leaders alike. Here is the opportunity to mingle with the best and brightest people across our industry, and more importantly to collaborate with your colleagues on a topic that affects all of us – the technology that is enabling our work. If you need it, you can even get $500 off the registration fee by using the Brandon Hall Group Promo Code BH13 (all caps).

Secondly, if you have registered and are beginning to plan out your itinerary of must-see events, I’m shamelessly recommending this one, Collaborative Learning Panel: Make it a Business Tool on Monday, Oct. 7. Yes, I’m moderating the panel, but more importantly I’m passionate about the fact that HR in general needs to better understand the role that learning and learning technologies play in their ability to execute on an effective workforce strategy.

HR professionals often feel their technology responsibilities begin and end with their HRIS, payroll, and Talent Management Systems. Inside their TMS, they might have a Learning Management System, which is often relegated to that complex tool that needs to track the required compliance and professional development programs.

But it is much more than that. If you have done any workforce planning at all, you know a simple hiring strategy won’t fill all the skill requirements necessary to sustain and grow your business in today’s talent-constrained environment.  Although globally last year 197 million people were out of work, more than 83% of 851 organizations responding to Brandon Hall Group’s research, The Great Skills Gap Concern, stated that they were having difficulty filing skilled labor roles.  More than 74 million of those currently out of work are next-generation workers between the ages of 15 and 24 years old.

What that means for most HR leaders is that the technology ecosystem that you needed to concern yourself with just grew exponentially.  Not only do you need to think about how the LMS will support your development strategy, you’ll also probably need to have conversations concerning these technologies:

  • Video conferencing and classroom solutions
  • Social collaboration technology
  • Collaborative project management tools
  • Coaching and mentoring solutions
  • Developmental assignment solutions
  • Content creation tools
  • Performance support tools
  • Knowledge transfer and sharing tools

You might say, “IT manages the selection and management of most of these systems; we just leverage them.” To that I say, “Well, IT could manage your HRIS and TMS selection without your input as well – but I’m pretty sure you’d be worried about the outcome. If you really understand how important development will be to your organization’s ability to compete in tomorrow’s landscape, then you will dive into these discussions and make sure HR has a strategic point of view on how these tools will work together and how they fit into your workforce strategy.

The prep calls for our HR Technology panel this year have been full of lively discussions with interesting insights on topics such as:

  • Can our technologies connect people rather than create barriers?
  • Can learning be part of how work gets done?
  • The undeniable connection between diversity and collaboration efforts
  • Reverse mentoring models: are they possible and are they beneficial?
  • Are we really trying to resolve the knowledge drain issue, or remolding the modern worker?

It should be a great conversation, and more importantly we are hoping that it continues to create further discussions. We’d love to hear your thoughts as well, what questions might be interesting to you on this topic of Collaborative Learning, and its roles as a critical business tool.

Stacey Harris

Vice President, Research and Advisory Services
Stacey Harris

Stacey Harris oversees Brandon Hall Group’s research strategy and agenda, solution provider relations, and advisory services. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Harris was with Bersin & Associates. In her most recent role as director of HR and talent management research, she launched the company’s HR practice and led key research initiatives in strategic HR, talent strategy, organization and governance, measurement, and total rewards. Harris also served as director of strategic services for three years and worked with companies such as McDonald’s, Lockheed Martin, Cisco, and Pfizer on a variety of mission-critical talent initiatives.Harris has also held leadership roles at Jo-Ann Stores, MRI International, and Keybank.Harris's background includes experience leading enterprise-wide change management initiatives and technology implementations, business process alignments, and the design and implementation of integrated organizational effectiveness solutions including measurement strategies.

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