How to navigate the shift to skills-based learning.

22 May 2024Blog11 min

Change is a constant factor in every HR or L&D professional’s daily work. Our work evolves, tools continuously update, workplaces shift, and the skills for success are ever-changing. Amid this dynamic landscape, one thing remains consistent: people are the driving force behind it all. The individuals within your organisation are the key to business growth. That’s why the development of their skills shouldn’t just be a priority – it should be a no-brainer! But where should you best focus your efforts? And which skills are key for the future?

Skills-based learning

Skill-based learning is becoming increasingly important due to several factors. Firstly, the pace of technological innovation requires employees to continuously update their skill sets to remain relevant and competitive in the job market. Secondly, the nature of work itself is evolving, with an increasing focus on automation and AI, which necessitates new skills.

Additionally, as organisations strive for greater efficiency and effectiveness, there is a growing need for employees who possess specialised, job-specific skills that directly contribute to business objectives. All of these factors make the demand for skills-based learning inevitable. However, skill-based learning requires a fundamental shift in mindset compared to traditional methods. L&D teams are no longer simply facilitators of training; they are architects of personalised learning journeys. This entails a strategic move towards agility and flexibility, embracing data-driven decision-making, and cultivating a culture of continuous learning. Instead of one-size-fits-all solutions, L&D professionals must collaborate closely with stakeholders, harness technology for effective delivery, and measure outcomes to ensure that training efforts directly contribute to organisational success in this ever-evolving landscape.

Maarten Franken, co-founder of GoodHabitz, also notices the shift in the L&D landscape. He talked about in one of the episodes of Moving Forward:

Taking Leadership as an example

Now, all this might still sound a bit abstract, so let’s look at an example. Leadership development programs are a prime example to illustrate how skills-based learning is transforming traditional approaches to talent development. In the past, leadership training often focussed on generic leadership traits and principles. Meanwhile in today’s dynamic business environment, effective leadership requires a diverse set of skills tailored to specific contexts and challenges.

A skills-based learning approach around leadership development would involve specific skills that are critical for leadership success. These may include strategic and crucial thinking, emotional intelligence, change management, and cross-cultural communication, among others. Rather than providing generic leadership theories, L&D teams now emphasise practical skill development through experimental learning, case studies, mentorships, and simulations.

Three benefits of skills-based learning

Skills-based learning offers several key advantages. One of its primary benefits is its relevance and applicability across various roles and industries. Learners in skills-based programs not only acquire theoretical knowledge but also gain actionable skills that they can immediately apply in their day-to-day responsibilities. This hands-on approach fosters a personalised learning experience, empowering individuals to tackle real-world challenges with confidence and effectiveness.

Additionally, skills-based learning aligns closely with organisational objectives and market demands. L&D professionals collaborate with business stakeholders to pinpoint specific skills essential for driving innovation, adapting to change, and fostering high-performance teams. By focussing on these targeted skills, organisations can build a workforce equipped to thrive.

In summary, skills-based learning represents a paradigm shift away from traditional, theory driven education. It emphasises practical competencies that enable individuals to excel in their respective roles. This approach not only enhances individual capabilities but also contributes to overall organisational success by ensuring employees process the right skills to navigate challenges and collaborate effectively in a dynamic work environment.

Skills-based learning and the GoodHabitz Growth Model

Skills-based learning is closely aligned with the philosophy of the GoodHabitz Growth Model, which emphasises essential focus areas for both organisational and individual success in today's workplace. The model categorises skills into growth areas that individuals, teams, and organisations should prioritise to foster growth and resilience.

The eight growth areas outlined in the GoodHabitz Growth Model represent fundamental pillars of personal and organisational development, each encapsulating essential skills necessary for success in the modern workplace. By focussing on these areas, individuals and organisations can cultivate resilience, adaptability, and innovation, ensuring they remain competitive and future-ready across roles and industries.

For individuals, the model serves as a roadmap that connects their current state with their aspirations. By identifying core areas of development, individuals gain clarity on who they are and which skills they need to thrive, both personally and professionally.

Similarly, for companies, the model aligns beliefs with practical solutions, enabling them to navigate challenges by providing targeted learning content that addresses specific skills within growth areas. By leveraging the model, companies can enhance organisational culture, foster effective teams, and drive sustainable growth in a rapidly changing business landscape.

In summary, the GoodHabitz Growth Model offers a strategic approach to personal and organisational development by focusing on enhancing capabilities, driving meaningful change, and creating a lasting impact in the dynamic modern workplace.

Want to listen to
the full podcast episode?

Discover more of Maarten Franken's insights, tips and tricks in our podcast episode 'Future skills, and how to train them best'.

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