When it comes to learning and upskilling there aren’t many digital platforms larger than Degreed.
In a market where education is becoming a selling point for companies, how a business trains its staff is of increasing importance.
Annee Bayeux, chief learning strategist at Degreed, spoke to UNLEASH about the need to practice skills, the value of educating staff, and how Degreed plans to evolve as the war for talent rages on.
Bayeux joined Degreed in the summer of 2021, after a successful career in learning and development (L&D) at GE and Alstom. Most recently she was the chief learning officer (CLO) of Dannon.
Speaking about why she joined Degreed, Bayeux explains that Degreed is “doubling down on believing in not only the war for talent and understanding that we have a lot of digital roles, we have roles that are hugely impacted by that“.
The pandemic and L&D
Bayeux explains how L&D investment increased over this period: “During the pandemic, [L&D] was something that we saw a huge uptick in investment or at least [there was] interest in investing in this kind of digital development.
This interest was widespread, and Bayeux notes that even small and medium-sized businesses began considering investing in L&D. However, some companies struggled to find the funds.
Bayeux notes that when the crisis came, and investments were made by smaller businesses it was to improve “the employee value proposition”, but it was “a little too late.”
Nonetheless, she states: “That doesn’t mean that you can’t plan for the next unknown.”
On the back of fatigue from hybrid and remote models of work, Bayeux notes that many people are leaving work as part of the ‘Great Resignation’.
As a result, Bayeux says: “Now more than ever, development is a key element in the employee value proposition (EVP).”
Upskilling in uncertain times
This investment in L&D has continued as hybrid working models have become more commonplace.
Bayeux explains why this is: “There is a lot of research that says that upskilling instead of hiring or buying new talent is so much more efficient.
She highlights the cost of onboarding and integrating new people, as well as growing wages, as part of the reason that upskilling within organizations is more cost and time-effective.
“The big trend that we’re seeing in terms of development, people development is around personalization of your career instead of training for your current job.”
Bayeux expands, noting that younger talent don’t want rigid training, instead, they want to be “able to upskill incrementally to stay relevant their entire careers.”
This is attributed to members of Gen Z starting to say: “I have no faith in companies anymore.”
Changing L&D for a new generation
Bayeux notes that a one-size-fits-all approach to training is a “cookie-cutter” and doesn’t serve the interests of employees.
Instead, she purposes formal and informal assessments to find gaps in knowledge and then catering courses to help develop these areas.
On top of this, Bayeux discusses a need for cultural change and explains that young talent “come to interviews saying, “how are you going to teach me the skill?”
She adds that typically HR are bemused, but it means they are losing out on quality hires that they can mold and upskill. Not only that, but Bayeux has found that the younger generations are more receptive to digital platforms that educate.
Bayeux reasons that Gen Z “are the vast majority of people entering the market today. And L&D is catering to them.
“The war on talent, or the war for talent, is going to be fighting over these guys not fighting over those senior experts.”
The future for Degreed
With this outlook on upcoming talent, Bayeux explains that Degreed is also evolving.
She notes: “I’m a big believer in in-person training.”
On the back of this, she states “Charles Jennings [leading expert on performing strategies] talks a lot about the 70-20-10 model.” It is still relevant today “because it’s how humans learn.”
While the proportions may vary slightly, Bayeux notes that all parts of this learning model are important. Even the 10% of learning that consists of formal learning.
“The 70% is what we learn by pulling content towards us going out discovering doing on the job, you know, having that practice” adds Bayeux.
“The 20% is by seeing others do it, shadowing others learning social learning, and being inspired off of others. And that proportion is actually been probably true, since the beginning of humans, we can’t measure that far back.”
Part of this model “includes shadowing, mentoring and on the job learning. And when you’re a remote worker, isolated shadowing is really hard in some jobs”, explains Bayeaux.
So, “Degreed has launched a new product that allows people, anybody, a manager, somebody saying, hey, I need help.”
Bayeux explains that the new product allows people to ask for help, arrange meetings, which when you’re remote helps people to democratize on-the-job learning.
This feature will be revealed at Degreed’s LENS Live event that kicks off on November 9th.