Welcome, Chief Experience Officer, We’ve Been Expecting You

Employees must be seen as continuous learners, consuming technology as they would on their own.

Applicants and even longstanding employees are increasingly viewing a role less as a job and more as an experience.

The human resources function is at a crossroads. OK, so it’s been at a crossroads for quite some time, but according to the results of consulting firm Deloitte’s fourth annual report, “Global Human Capital Trends 2016: The new organization, Different by design,” 92 percent of business and HR leaders have identified the critical need to redesign their organization to meet global business demands.

This is not just due to technology or globalization, of course — such factors have been wreaking havoc in the workplace for quite some time now. Currently, disruptive business models and shifting workforce demographics ( i.e., the Gig Economy, baby boomers refusing to retire) are forcing HR leaders to rethink and often completely overhaul their hiring, management, and training strategies.

Yet, sadly, only 14 percent of executives surveyed by Deloitte believe their company is ready to effectively redesign their organization.

From the training side, the report includes some interesting highlights. Deloitte advises that companies move from an internally focused, corporate-centric learning universe to an individual, learner-centric one — upending many traditional practices in the HR industry.

Encouragingly, 84 percent of survey respondents view learning as an important (40 percent) or very important (44 percent) issue.

In an increasingly mobile, social, and digital world, learners are in the driver’s seat — if they aren’t there already. The ‘consumerization of IT,’ or the designing of enterprise IT to match the functionality and experience of the platforms and apps that people use in their daily lives, is a player in this transition, too, as savvier employees have come to expect and even demand a set of features that if absent will prevent the employee from fully adopting and engaging in the learning process.

Dedicate resources, set expectations, and align corporate culture with the goal of enabling employees to get the learning they need, when they need it, at every stage in their careers.

— Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends 2016

In part because employees at all levels expect dynamic, self-directed, continuous learning opportunities from their employers, human resources organizations may soon create a role of Chief Experience Officer, a position that ensures that employees are engaged, trained, motivated, and high-performing.

In the war for talent — as a new job is just a few clicks away — access to learning can be a secret weapon in an HR organization’s arsenal, not only to retain employees but to galvanize them to work more meaningfully.

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