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HR Labs Season 4: Turn skills into your new growth language

Cornerstone Editors

Upskilling and reskilling are essential to helping today’s workforce adapt to changing industries, markets and global environments. But how can skills also drive the growth opportunities that employees crave?

Listen to episode 3 on Apple or Spotify (or anywhere fine podcasts are given away for free)

In episode 3 of HR Labs season 4, Meredith Wellard, VP of Group Learning Talent and Platforms at Deutsche Post DHL, joins host Summer Salomonsen to redefine how we think about skills in the workplace. Together they explore the results of Deutsche Post DHL’s investment in skills and provide a framework for how organizations can put skills to work for their people and their business.

“What I think I'd love to see HR professionals doing is sitting down with a leader and saying, "Listen, I have your skills profile here. I noticed that you've potentially got an oversupply today of people with X skill, but the future of work suggests that Y skill is going to be important. And right now, you don't seem to have a lot of bench strength there. Let's work together on how we can address that." It's oversimplified, I know, but that is really where HR makes a difference to the business,” said Wellard.

Internal career mobility leads the way

Salomonsen and Wellard agreed on a powerful mantra for skill-building and career growth: work is learning. DPDHL has invested so heavily in developing and growing their people that the majority of open positions at the company are filled by internal candidates.

“We really believe in the growth of people. We really believe that we are an organization that can offer that. As of today, excluding the frontline recruiting, the mass recruiting, we place around between 60 and 70% of all of our roles with internal candidates. So, our external placement rate is less than 30% sometimes,” said Wellard.

“This is a huge opportunity because it strengthens our culture, it strengthens our offer to customers, it strengthens our knowledge base. And very importantly, it ensures that our people see that they could stay with us in the long-term, right? That they really can imagine being in our organization for their whole lives. If we develop that from within, not only is it faster, more accurate, more in context, and probably cheaper, for sure cheaper, it means our people have a commitment for the long-term and our organization benefits. I have smart people working for me, so let's keep them,” she concluded.

Listen on Apple or Spotify

HR technology enables the future

How should we be thinking about HR technology tools, as both furtherance of the field of talent, of learning, and also empowerment for our people, our employees?

Wellard had very practical ideas on how AI and HR tools can free HR leaders from spending time on processes and, instead, devote their valuable time to building the future of their organization and its people.

“I think the important thing about these tools is that we understand that they are an enablement of the future that we can achieve for our organization, that they remove the noise and clutter that unfortunately may come from HR sometimes due to the highly manual and highly processed, driven activities. We can make those more efficient. We can make those more effective. And then, shift towards saying, "What do we really want to do to add value for our businesses through great people, through delighting and retaining our employees in different ways?” said Wellard.

Listen on Apple or Spotify

We’ve barely scratch the surface of this great conversation between to leaders in the learning and skills world. Listen to the full episode for free wherever you get your podcasts.

There’s so much more! Get ready for more great episodes of HR Labs season 4 coming every week.

  • Feb. 22, 2022 – "Let's rebuild work" with Carly Cooper
  • Mar. 1, 2022 – "Make learning foundational to growth" with Lisa Christensen
  • Mar. 8, 2022 – "Turn skills into your new growth language" with Meredith Wellard of DPDHL
  • Mar. 15, 2022 – "Changing from career paths into career possibilities" with Julie Winkle Giulioni, speaker/author
  • Mar. 22, 2022 – "Reexamining the role of managers in the age of AI" with Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research
  • Mar. 29, 2022 – "Putting equity into practice" with Jenn Hultman of Amazon
  • Apr. 5, 2022 – "Thinking big and bold about the future-ready workforce" with John Helmer, writer/consultant

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