The importance of mentorship was the common theme from the three speakers at a half-day seminar organized by Wiley and Visa University, partnering SkillsFuture Singapore’s Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI).
Held at the Visa corporate campus, the event was attended by some 100 Chief Learning Officers and Chief Talent Officers. Billed as a LLI World Speakers Series, the theme was “Workforce 2020: What Companies Need to Know—and Do—to Win, Hold onto and Develop Tomorrow’s Best Employees”. It was headlined by the new Visa global Chief Learning Officer and Wiley author Karie Willyerd (Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow's Workplace, 2016).
Willyerd said it is imperative that organizations develop a clear learning and development strategy to attract new employees and prepare colleagues for the future. Mentoring is a key component of the strategy, be it group mentoring, team-based learning, reverse mentoring, anonymous mentoring or peer-to-peer mentoring with micro-feedback.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Gog Soon Joo, SkillsFuture Singapore’s Chief Futurist and Chief Research Officer, added that in this dynamic environment, onboarding new staff is a critical function. SkillsFuture is a national movement to provide Singaporeans with opportunities to upskill and reskill, and to instill a mindset of continually striving towards excellence through knowledge, application and experience.
Companies need to focus on building social capital by assigning a buddy or mentor to help fresh hires assimilate into the new work environment. This in turn, will help organizations hold onto talent, said Dr Gog.
Echoing the other two speakers, Dr Nancy Gleason, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale-NUS College, noted successful companies create a learning culture that captures and perpetuates knowledge while empowering employees. “Mentoring and coaching will play a critical role,” she said. “In the form of situational, short-term mentoring relationships and formal mentoring programs.”
Aside from the fantastic lineup, the event was also a mini learning festival featuring exhibits by Visa, SkillsFuture’s Lifelong Learning Institute, NTUC Learning Hub (Wiley signed an MOU with LHub in June), and Timeo, CrossKnowledge’s new reseller partner, with Wiley the common denominator bringing everyone together.
Tapping the collective knowledge in the room, Wiley conducted a straw poll of opinions on the future of work.
Not surprisingly, technology was the number one issue identified as a transformational force in the future workplace. And while there is no argument that technology is a game changer, emotional intelligence and creativity & innovation were the most important attributes organizations look for in employees.
Some key questions for organizations to explore as we head into the Fourth Industrial Revolution include:
• How can we redesign work and/or jobs?
• How do we measure skills or skills groups?
• How will we better train mid-career employees for the next job?
• Should we develop a “skills index”?
• What are emerging trends in skills (e.g., labor markets, innovation, etc.)?
• What are skills needed for “digital transformations”?
• What is the most effective way to scale-up learning in an organization?
• What mix of skill requirements will future jobs have?
• What skills and capabilities will we need to support business objectives?
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