HR Labs Season 4: Thinking big and bold about the future-ready workforce

Cornerstone Editors

We’ve had to respond to massive instances of change over the last few years, from navigating remote work to the Great Resignation and skills shortages. What’s on the horizon? And how can HR leaders prepare their organizations to be future-ready?

In HR Labs episode 7, John Helmer, writer, consultant and the host of his podcast, The Learning Hack, sits down with host Summer Salomonsen for the final episode of the season. Together they discuss beneficial outcomes of building a future-ready workforce right now and the trends and market shifts shaping tomorrow's learning and talent strategies.

“Listeners who stayed with us all season, we have talked about things like culture as your product, learning as a fuel for growth, skills, career growth, AI, equity. In our final episode, we're going to tap into John Helmer to help us look at how we can continue to push the frontiers of HR to actually build agile, future-ready organizations,” said Salomonsen.

Listen now on Apple or Spotify (or wherever you get your favorite podcasts for free).

Artificial Intelligence is essential to the future of work

To say times have changed is an understatement. According to Helmer, “I've been going to conferences for about the last 20 years where keynote speakers are always saying the pace of change is faster and faster with unprecedented change. Now, when you look back at those times, you just can't believe how stable things seem compared to now.”

Salomonsen agreed that the pace of change has significantly compressed due to the global pandemic. She further asked Helmer what the most interesting ideas were to come out of this time. The answer was the need for flexibility, adaptability, and the power of AI to influence learning the HR technology.

“Some of the most interesting things that are happening in learning tech and HR tech are ways in which we can use data in combination with AI, of course, which we used to talk about the future of AI, the future of work, it's all about AI. Well, it's there now, every time you turn your computer on. Basically, you start using AI, and we're just really at the beginning of how we're going to use AI to help with HR and learning,” said Helmer.

Learning is about your people

In the past, the ROI of learning focused on the organization. We measured the impact and effectiveness of learning by looking at the bottom line and productivity that drove the company forward.

Not anymore. Salomonsen and Helmer agreed that the relationship between organization, technology and employee has changed. Organizations must now think about their responsibility and obligation to employees. “How is the tech that we bring in actually impacting our employees?” asked Salomonsen.

Helmer answered, “the general change from an administrative focus to an employee experience focus is a change from efficiency to effectiveness. And we see that change very much in the learning side is that the original learning management systems are all based on administrative efficiency. There was nothing really in them to do with learning design or instructional theory. Now, that began to change when we started to get LXPs ... And, of course, you've got a very marvelous one at Cornerstone ... where the learning design is actually more built into it, and you can kind of periodize different learning modalities and send them out to people. Learning's a process, not an event.”

Empowered organizations and people power the future

Ending the conversation with words of hope, Salomonsen asked, “Let's imagine a world in which organizations are empowered to adopt the type of HR tools and tech that benefit both the organization and employees. What benefits come from this? What's a hopeful outlook for a changing HR tech?”

Helmer imagined a better world. “There is a new type of work. Maybe it's less about jobs, more about work, but it's easier to do and a better world to live in. There's always a better world possible.”

To check out all our episodes from this season and listen to previous episodes, subscribe to HR Labs wherever you get your podcasts. If you liked the show, leave us a rating and review.

HR Labs Season 4 episodes

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