Blog Post

Skills, Learning and the Future of Work: A Look Back Our Favorite 2020 Content

Cornerstone Editors

With 2020 just about over, we won’t rehash what a year it’s been. At ReWork, we’re ready for 2021. But, despite the challenges this year has posed, however, it was an important one for learning.

We learned what it takes to make remote work work. We learned the importance of resilience in the workplace. We learned that there’s still work to do to combat racism, not only at work but also in our society at large. And we learned, above all else, that change is unpredictable and constant. To prepare for the unknown, we must continue to learn and adopt new skills to grapple with any new challenges that arise.

Join us as we look back at some of our favorite ReWork pieces from 2020, and leverage our learnings for whatever comes next.

1. Balancing Life with Kids and Work in a COVID-19 World

The world of work changed virtually overnight with the global spread of COVID-19. In this personal account, one Cornerstone employee offered insight into working remotely—while taking care of two small children who could no longer go to school because of the pandemic. From asking for help to carving out "me time," this relatable advice is a must-read.

Looking for more resources to support you while you work from home? Explore Cornerstone Cares to access courses on stress management, productivity and more.

2. Difference Between Reskilling, Upskilling and New Skilling

Today, more than 80% of talent development professionals report a skills gap in their organization, and 78% anticipate a future skills gap. New-skilling, reskilling and upskilling initiatives promise to help close these critical gaps, but what do these terms really mean? In this article, we highlight key differences—and explain what it takes to implement the initiatives in ways that deliver success for the long haul.

Interested to learn more? Watch our webinar, "Do You Know What New Skilling Really Means?"

3. Closing The Skills Development Confidence Gap: A Conversations With Cornerstone's Heidi Spirgi and Mike Bollinger

Why is it so difficult to close skill gaps with reskilling or new-skilling initiatives? It’s a question our team at the Cornerstone People Research Lab (CPRL) set out to answer early this year with a global research effort. The findings revealed that while investments in L&D are helpful, they alone are not enough. In this article, our Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Heidi Spirgi spoke with Mike Bollinger, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Cornerstone and current manager of the CPRL to uncover what it takes to make reskilling and new-skilling stick.

Read the full report, "A License to Skill: Embracing the Reskilling Revolution," here.

4. How to Unlearn Racial Biases in Today’s Workplace

Jeff Miller, our Chief Learning Officer and Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness, has dedicated most of his career to helping people learn, serving as a middle school teacher, high school teacher and university professor before pursuing a career in organizational learning in the business world. In this piece, he advocates for unlearning. To overcome racism in the workplace, Jeff urges us to "pull apart personal implicit biases, educate ourselves on why they are discriminatory and then dismantle them."

Start your own unlearning journey and download our free playlist on recognizing and mitigating bias.

5. How AI Is Shaping the Future of Work

Though eager to implement artificial intelligence across their business, many organizations have historically been skittish about applying AI to HR. This is a missed opportunity, writes Mark Goldin, our Chief Technology Officer. In this post, he introduces the Cornerstone Innovation Lab for AI, a new center of excellence within Cornerstone that aims to innovate practical and ethical ways to apply AI technology to the workplace.

Learn more about the Cornerstone Innovation Lab for AI and its mission here.

6. Learning Corner With Jeffrey Pfeffer: COVID-19 Changes Everything—and Nothing—About Managing Workers

In the midst of the pandemic, "expecting individuals to do their jobs with the same level of concentration and performance is insane," says Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. More than ever, it’s critical for managers to check in with employees, help unleash their creative energy and otherwise offer support as we collectively navigate this unprecedented time.

Jeffrey Pfeffer is a regular contributor to ReWork. Follow his column here.

7. Dear ReWorker: How Do I Rehire Employees Laid Off Due to Coronavirus?

At the height of the pandemic, many businesses were forced to close and, as a result, let some employees go. But now as the economy recovers and they’re cleared to reopen, they have open positions to fill. The first priority? To bring back the people they had to lay off. In her monthly advice column, contributor Suzanne Lucas, author of The Evil HR Lady blog, offers her recommendations for onboarding, empowering and being honest with returning workers.

Dear ReWorker is a monthly column penned by Suzanne Lucas. Read more here.

8. Top Five Takeaways From Convergence 2020

Our annual Convergence conference looked quite a bit different this year. Our first fully-virtual event was chock full of exciting announcements and predictions for the future of work. And despite not being able to share the experience together in a booming conference hall, the sense of unity radiated through our computers and into our living rooms—or whatever we consider our office space these days!

Get a glimpse of the highlights in our recap video here.

9. Blockchain Will Transform HR, Bringing the "Internet of Careers" to Life

2020 was a big year for blockchain. Early in the year, we announced the formation of an HR and education technology coalition under the umbrella of the Velocity Network. And, in this piece, we celebrated a major milestone as our industry continues to work towards actualizing that potential: the successful integration of our technology with the blockchain-based Velocity Network. Already, we’re innovating with diverse use cases that apply blockchain in groundbreaking ways.

Learn more about the promising potential of blockchain in our ongoing series, "Breaking Down Blockchain," here.

10. Pandemic-Proof Your Business: Prepare for Reboarding

The New Year will likely bring a widely available vaccine, but even that won’t be a cure-all for COVID-19. Even if employers prepare to welcome their workers back, there will be plenty of work to do. In this post, contributor Ira Wolfe, president of Success Performance Solutions, shares his recommendations for a "return to normalcy" when it comes to the workplace. Spoiler alert: "normalcy" may not be what you expect.

Ira Wolfe is a regular contributor to ReWork. Follow his column here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our year in review! Thank you to all of our contributors for sharing their insights and helping us collectively build a better people development experience at work. And thank you, ReWork readers, for your continued interest! We hope you’ll keep learning with us in the New Year. See you in 2021!

Continue to learn and adapt through constant change in 2021 with insights from Cornerstone delivered straight to your inbox in 2021: sign up for our weekly newsletter! Click subscribe in the right hand corner.

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