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Create Sustainable Growth by Investing in the Workforce of the Future

How to Be Ready for the Future? Invest in Sustainable Growth. Invest in the Workforce of the Future.

Ask CHROs how much time and money they spent on finding the right person for a job - they will admit it's quite a lot. A large part of HR's budget will go towards recruiting and onboarding people to introduce new skills and competencies. But what about developing the capabilities of your current team? Why is that option so frequently overlooked?

In this article, the authors Riët Broekhuizen and Marianne Pot will explain all about why it is important and how to invest in the Workforce of the Future.


Talent attracts talent
The digital revolution has sparked various changes. Digitalization is on the rise, introducing complexity and exponential change to businesses across the globe. This development requires processes, models, systems, ways of working, and hiring practices to be extremely innovative and agile. But that's not all. High-paced change has made it hard for businesses to keep their knowledge-levels on par, and real talent (the ones that do manage to keep up) is becoming scarce. Filling vacancies and keeping them filled is, therefore, a challenge. However, having the best people onboard offers a tremendous competitive advantage - talent attracts talent.

Investing in your workforce will not only help your business perform better today but will also attract the talent you need tomorrow. Besides that, choosing to develop your current team's capabilities will present fewer surprises, as you know their strengths and weaknesses, and it is much cheaper than onboarding new professionals.

Different generations have different needs
Today's working population combines 4-5 generations, which, as you can imagine, creates a unique dynamic. Not only do generations communicate differently, but their learning needs also differ. Ensuring the continuous development of knowledge and skills poses a challenge. We need to support the Baby Boomers, encourage generation X to develop their skills, make sure the pragmatic gen takes the time to learn, feed the Millennials' hunger for personal development, and give generation Z the coaching they need.

How do you foster curiosity and guarantee you meet all these unique needs? How do you encourage all generations to learn?

Communities of Practice
Establishing Communities of Practice promotes sustainable development. Research shows that adults learn primarily (90%) through informal processes, like interaction with others or real-life experiences.

Communities of Practice are formed by people who share an interest or passion and meet regularly to talk about this topic. Within the community, insights are shared, advice is given, and problems are solved together. The members discuss their situation, aspirations, and needs, and they reflect on their actions. Over time, the group develops a unique perspective and body of shared knowledge, methods, and approaches. As a result, Communities of Practices play an essential role in securing knowledge and experience.

Serious Gaming
Another way to stimulate learning is through Serious Gaming, which enables employees to gain knowledge and skills playfully. The interactive game uses simulation and allows for risk-free practice, mistake-making, and competition, making information easier to remember and new skills more confidently applied in the real world. One of the most significant benefits of game-based learning platforms is immediate feedback. Additionally, practicing different scenarios, thinking ahead, and trying out different strategies or working methods are gamified learning upsides. Serious Games offer ways to monitor your team's progress continually and adapt the learning journey accordingly. Using this method to acquire new skills is very effective and offers excellent insight into the development of capabilities within an organization.

Blended in-company learning journeys
In-company learning is a powerful tool to bring new knowledge into your organization. Especially when business goals, the new skills contribute to, and the learning journey are tuned. Building a learning journey in a modular and blended way can connect to the different knowledge levels and learning preferences. In this way, you create a highly valued individual learning experience. Blended learning is a mix of different learning forms and consists of more than just classroom training or e-learning modules. It combines formal and informal training interventions, like webinars, white papers, YouTube videos, knowledge sharing sessions, Serious Gaming, and one-on-one coaching. Regardless of what medium carries the learning experience, it can be part of a blended learning solution.

The great advantage of blended learning based on modularity is you can design the combination that works best for you or your organization. Don't focus on just one type of learning, instead build an ideal mix that fits your people, objectives, and budget.

Sustainable growth - where do you start?
If you want your organization to be ready for the future, you must focus on employees' sustainable growth. It is time for more robust, more collaborative learning ecosystems that enable employees to learn and bring what they have learned into practice as soon as possible. Investing in your employees has an unlimited upside: they will become more widely employable, more engaged and motivated, work more effectively and efficiently, and they will attract the talent you seek.

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Marianne PotMarianne Pot is an Agile Management Consultant with a strong background in both business and IT. She is known for her ability to guide teams on their way to professional Scrum in challenging environments. With her no-nonsense approach, she manages to get teams and departments unstuck and moving in the right direction fast. Marianne combines the ability to help teams do the right things with an innate sense of urgency and enable them to be seen doing that. She loves to fix teams at any level in the organization. Creator of the Accelerate simulation.

Riet BroekhuizenRiët Broekhuizen, Agile and Organizational Change Consultant at Xebia. She is goal- and result-oriented and is convinced that an agile mind-set is the basis of successful entrepreneurship. In order to grow to this mind-set within organizations, she believes in a differentiated approach of: teaching & training & coaching. With this combination, she has been able to put both employees and senior managers on the move. She is sharp in her challenges and interventions to trigger you to reflect on yourself to grow faster. In her training, theoretical introductions alternate with learning by doing exercises, practical interaction. Riët has extensive experience in developing and giving tailor-made workshops and training in the field of Leadership and Mind-Set and Behavior. Last years she mainly helped the corporate Bank of ABN AMRO, Unilever and Global Risk organization of ING in an Agile transition.

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