What We're Reading: L&D, Training, and HR

Top Highlights

  • The 2017 Retention Report, conducted by HR consulting firm The Work Institute, found that career development (or lack thereof) was the top reason for employee turnover. According to the report, employee turnover can cost companies up to 33% of a departing worker’s salary.
  • A recently released study found that in 2015, only 38% of U.S. workers believed their job offered good prospects for advancement.
  • TLNT piece written by Josh Bersin and other human capital and management experts at Deloitte argues that the future of work is already here, and is being shaped by technology, demographic change, and “the power of pull” -- the ability of both individuals and businesses to find and access resources and people as needed. These forces point to a greater emphasis on lifelong learning, soft skills, and flexible work arrangements.
  • A recent survey found that 23% of workers regret leaving a job. The top three reasons for feeling regret included leaving friends and colleagues, leaving for the wrong reasons, and leaving a great boss or mentor.

 

Corporate Learning and Development News

  • The 2017 Retention Report, conducted by HR consulting firm The Work Institute, found that career development was the top reason for employee turnover. The report also found that employee turnover can cost companies as much as 33% of a departing worker’s salary.
  • A recently released study found that in 2015, only 38% of U.S. workers believed their job offered good prospects for advancement.  More than 80% of workers enjoyed autonomy in solving problems or trying out ideas at work, according to the study. Furthermore, 55% of U.S. workers reported working in an “unpleasant and potentially hazardous” environment, and nearly 20% reported working in hostile environments.
  • TLNT piece written by Josh Bersin and other Deloitte human capital and management experts argues that the future of work is already here, and is being shaped by technology, demographic change, and “the power of pull” -- the ability of both individuals and businesses to find and access resources and people as needed. These forces point to a greater emphasis on lifelong learning, soft skills, and flexible work arrangements.
  • TLNT piece argues that as learning content becomes more accessible and affordable, leaders in corporate training need to shift their role from creating to curating content. The role of the learning team will shift toward encouraging workers to learn, personalizing learning, and achieving buy-in from an organization’s leaders.
  • Chief Learning Officer op-ed suggests that companies and colleges can work together to prepare students for work by focusing on the development of the soft skills that employers desire. The author describes strategies including assessments that measure core competencies and “last-mile” training to equip graduates with real-world skills. Collaboration between businesses and schools may also help identify effective instructional strategies and determine what skills graduates will need in the future.  
  • A SHRM article describes how companies are beginning to experiment with “earn-while-you-learn” apprenticeship programs. While apprenticeship programs involve significant upfront costs (e.g., tuition, recruiting, and marketing), businesses have seen a healthy ROI in the form of employee loyalty, a steady pipeline of skilled workers, reduced costs from overtime and employee burnout, and increased productivity.
  • Chief Learning Officer opinion piece suggests that microlearning is poorly defined and differentiated from other kinds of learning. The author makes the case for conducting a more thorough analysis of microlearning and other new learning approaches before implementing or investing in them. 
  • An Entrepreneur op-ed suggests that forcing employees outside their comfort zone during a learning and development program spurs cross-functional learning, expands social circles, and gives employees a sense of ownership over their work and the direction of the company. 
  • In the Harvard Business Review, researchers argue that leaders who are in “learning mode” develop stronger leadership skills than their peers. “Learning mode” is a state of mindful and experiential learning that involves setting clear goals, deliberately experimenting with strategies, and engaging in earnest reflection.  Growth mindset is one example of “learning mode.”

 

Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News

  • Personality tests are becoming ubiquitous across the job market, but a WBUR article questions the accuracy of these tests, noting that job seekers may answer based on what they think employers want to hear. The piece also explores whether it is ethical for companies to dive into a prospective employee’s psyche, given the questionable value of the results. 
  • A report from CareerBuilder found that 32% of workers have a side job, an increase from 29% last year. Younger people, individuals who make less than $50,000 a year, and African-American and Hispanic workers are more likely to have side gigs, and two-thirds of workers with side jobs don’t want it to replace their day job.
  • A piece from SHRM argues that technology, while useful, may eliminate the personal touch of the recruitment process and make it more difficult to identify qualified candidates. The article suggests that using tech in conjunction with human-touch hiring practices, like employee referrals and job fairs, can yield a qualified candidates without sacrificing the benefits of easier communication and automation of time-consuming tasks.
  • A Glassdoor report found that the average time required to hire a new employeeincreased slightly from 22.5 days to 23.7 days over the past year. This U.S. average was close to the global average, at 23.8 days, while India had the smallest average at 16.1 days, and Brazil had the largest average at 39.6 days. According to researchers, differences in labor laws between countries were the main cause of the discrepancies.

 

General HR News

  • A new report found that a positive employee experience requires feelings of connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. Ninety-four percent of employees want to know that their work makes an impact, and 96% of employees report that feeling appreciated for their work is important to their employee experience. However, only 10% of employees rate their employee experience as a ten out of ten.
  • A recent survey found that 23% of workers regret leaving a job. The top three reasons for feeling regret included leaving friends and colleagues, leaving for the wrong reasons, and leaving a great boss or mentor. The survey also found that 63% of workers would consider returning to a former employer, but a majority of those would require higher pay or another perk to return.

 

Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation

  • YourMembership, a cloud-based provider of software and services for associations and membership-based organizations, has partnered with Credly, a digital credential service provider, to create and issue digital credentials that recognize the lifelong learning of professionals. The partnership integrates Credly’s platform with YourMembership’s learning management system to help organizations develop digital credentials and recognize their members’ skills and competencies.
  • EY, a provider of assurance, tax, transaction, and advisory services, announced that it will offer digital badges to its employees to demonstrate competencies in skill areas like data visualization, AI, and information strategy. The EY Badges program includes four tiers of badges indicating different levels of ability and will be hosted on a third-party digital platform alongside credentials from other organizations.
  • The City of Seattle approved $430,000 in funding for community-led initiatives aimed at improving technology and skills training for underserved city residents. The funds will go toward initiatives like outfitting a computer lab or hiring college students from the community to teach technical skills to their neighbors.
  • Pierce College, a community college in Pennsylvania, announced that it will begin offering a workforce training program for parents as part of a “two-generation approach” in 2018. The program will support students over age eighteen with at least one child in their household. The 12- to 14-week program hopes to equip these students with the skills for non-clinical, frontline jobs in the healthcare industry.

 

Startups, Innovation, and Investment News

  • Wantedly, a Japanese startup that connects job seekers to companies through their social network, announced that it will go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in September. The company plans to use the funding raised from its IPO to further develop its product offerings.
  • Financial Times article looks at several new startups helping MBA students find and prepare for jobs, and examines how their founders are often themselves recent MBA grads frustrated with their own experiences navigating the complex and rapidly-changing job market.

 

Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) unveiled a new bill to expand apprenticeship programs and increase investment in public-private partnerships. Under the “Pairing Apprenticeships with Regional Training Networks to meet Employer Requirements (PARTNERS) Act,” states would submit applications to the U.S. Department of Labor for funding that would allow them to provide grants of up to $500,000 to fund local public-private partnerships to start or run workforce training programs, including apprenticeships. The bill has not been introduced on the Senate floor. 
  • An economist’s research suggests that a drastic fall in productivity over the last decade is closely linked to the rise in the share of American workers over age 65. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that productivity is lowest where the workforce is oldest. To combat increasing productivity loss as the U.S. workforce grows older, the economist proposes that the U.S. should invest in training and re-education of its workers and accept more young immigrants.
  • Last week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) signed a bill mandating that employersgive employees their schedules at least a week in advance, and provide at least a 10-hour break between shifts or pay their workers more. The measure, which is focused on lower-wage workers who often get called in for work on very short notice, applies to retail, hospitality, and foodservice providers with over 500 employees, and will expand to two weeks notice by 2020.
  • West Virginia is using “simulated workplaces” -- where students punch a time clock, are assigned professional roles, are subjected to random drug testing, and learn technical skills alongside traditional classes like math and English -- to prepare students for jobs important to the state’s economy, including those in the industries of health, coal, and fracking. Since 2010, the percentage of West Virginia students graduating from career and technical education tracks has increased from 18% to 34%.

 

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