Mike Derezin is the vice president of learning solutions at LinkedIn, where he leads key initiatives and teams for LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform.
Because work is now virtual, employees are increasingly spending their time learning new skills to adapt to this new, digital normal.
Derezin recommends that in these critical moments of change, it’s vital that executives lead by example, gathering employee feedback and optimizing their skills to foster a supportive learning culture.
He also explains that learning will play a critical part in helping businesses cope with change, and closing the skills gap should be more than a passing trend.
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A company’s ability to be resilient in the face of great change — whether it be a global pandemic, an economic downturn, the Black Lives Matter fight for social justice, or any other event that is ahead of us — will depend on how its leaders support and invest in their people.
As the world of work goes completely virtual, leaders are increasingly tasked with using technology to support the whole employee — everything from driving performance, to promoting emotional wellbeing, to democratizing resources that help us be better allies and have inclusive conversations.
It presents a new layer of responsibilities that sit on top of an existing set of core business objectives — closing skills gaps, upskilling, reskilling — that are core to the success of any business.
Across industries, executives are realizing that learning is the key to helping their workers adapt to this ‘new normal.’ Developing new skills can help workers stay productive at home, and increasingly, is seen as a strategic tool to protect employees from feeling overwhelmed and aimless in challenging times.
And learners are up to the task: from March to May, employees spent 150% more time learning compared to December to February.
The need for upskilling will continue long after the immediate crisis abates, as companies face a permanently altered market and workplace. So, how can business leaders amplify this renewed interest to build a strong learning culture that can outlive the pandemic?
1. Become a learning champion
New data indicates that C-level executives are stepping up in the midst of the pandemic. Leaders are now spending more time learning in the past couple months than their peers.
They’re also more likely to champion learning. When asked if their CEOs are active champions of learning, over 70% of talent developers said yes, which amounts to a 159% increase in CEO championship of learning and development compared to when we asked a few months ago.
This rings true for PayPal, where executives were determined to provide employees with ways to connect and learn from each other since day one of shelter-in-place orders. PayPal’s Chief Business and Affairs and Legal officer, Louise Pentland, encouraged employees to continue their professional development in an uncertain time, promoting courses that help adjust to remote work. Since the end of January, there’s been a 360% increase in PayPal employees usage of LinkedIn Learning.
And the trend extends beyond the …read more
Source:: Business Insider