A learning ecosystem that produces results has characteristics made possible only by the investment of aforethought and efficacious follow-up elements. Aside from planning, it also calls for intentional, mindful execution, and the careful nurturing of a disposition to keep gaining new skills, filling knowledge gaps, and generally becoming more effective in a given situation. Since these goals make a strategic sense in the world of work and for a thriving future of work, learning and development (L&D) departments of future-ready workplaces give a lot of importance to qualifying and creating a suitable learning ecosystem.
For the creation and sustenance of a functional learning ecosystem, the essential components are:
- Strategic planning to create viability
- Technological investment and timely upgrades to support the software and hardware requirements of learning
- A cultural readiness that promotes learning and development
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When these items are in place, line managers have fewer issues with backed-up workflows and scheduling conflicts. The momentous turn of the period 2020-21 has made it clear at the executive and C-suite level that a system open to learning, upskilling, and purposeful training needs to be an ongoing effort. It cannot be done in fits and start. No amount of talent acquisition effort can replace a forward-looking L&D plan. For these reasons, executive buy-in and budgetary backing for the learning ecosystem stay high.
The learning ecosystem creates a sustainable environment for development which makes possible:
- Identification of skills gaps through diagnostic tests
- Zeroing-in on trending courses and skills for each job role or division
- The transition from traditional classroom learning to self-paced courses on virtual platforms
- Listing of available teachers and learners in each domain to enhance peer-learning opportunities
- Efficient learning attributes in the form of gamified modules, MOOCs, or microlearning modules
- Complementary courses for open-source syllabi that helps professionals develop skills along unique paths
The presence of an intuitive L&D department that puts careful consideration into the upskilling, lateral movement possibilities and succession planning avenues of professionals is a perquisite that anyone with a growth mindset would appreciate. Such contributions from the learning system may be just a non-cash add-on in the compensation structure from the point of view of the company. But to the professional who uses them in a timely and intelligent way, they can contribute to career growth, promotion prospects, and personality enhancement.
There are several examples of corporates in India that recognize the merits of a well-thought-out learning ecosystem. Axis Bank formed a partnership with Coursera, an online open-source course provider that is accessible in multiple countries despite its American origin. The alliance allows employees to brush up on their soft skills, personal and professional behavioral attributes, as well as domain-related strengthening via programs on Data Analytics, Project Management, and so on. Other corporations which have attained a near-legendary reputation for keeping their L&D efforts up to date are Infosys, Capgemini, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro. Tredence, a home-grown Bangalore-based analytics start-up has come up with an appropriately-named ‘U Learn V Pay’ to encourage their employees to hone core skills in data analytics. They even allow reimbursement on courses picked by the employee without forming any typical partnerships.
The future of work is set to explore more of such favorable solutions via sustainable learning ecosystems to keep skill-levels on par with market requirements. In an uncertain job climate and fast-changing business environment, this is the need of the hour.
- Why it is importance to create an effective learning ecosystem | India Today | March 17, 2021
- Top 10 L&D Programmes That Indian Firms Are Running To Upskill Their Employees | Analytics India Mag | Srishti Deoras | July 22, 2019
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