As we moved into the first breakout sessions of day one at UNLEASH America 2022, there was a palpable excitement after Mark Blyth‘s humorous but straight talking opening keynote, with practitioners from a myriad of industry verticals settling in to see analysts and thought leaders approach the biggest challenges of our new age of HR.
Breakout room sessions are underway!
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For the L&D (learning and development) side of things, it’s now clear (and has been for a while) that the future skills agenda is a key concern of HR, rather than something that only L&D leaders bang their drum about, often to deaf ears.
So, what a perfect place to start for this show. Our moderator, RedThread’s Dani Johnson, as well as speakers Vertex’s Kimberley Rose and GE Aviation’s Brit Reardon shared tactics and insight, from the analyst view to the work in two very different but equally challenging industries respectively.
Career next steps
On career navigation, Reardon shared that at GE, they put together guides for employees at all different stages of their career, offering them support regardless of what stage they were at or where their long term aspirations were. It’s a move similarly echoed by Rose from Vertex.
At Vertex, it built a job matching algorithm in partnership with Workday that informs its D,E&I strategy too. The algorithm matches existing employee skills to open roles in the business – with a staggering 90,000 skills listed so far.
But importantly, as Rose noted, “tech enables the culture but it’s very much a people mindset first.”
Being the first UNLEASH show in three years, COVID-19 was a topic that was always going to loom large, and managers need a whole new set of skills and tools to navigate their way, according to Rose.
Reardon agrees, putting it more simply that managers need to “learn, adapt and be nimble with it”.
We leave it to Johnson, principal analyst at RedThread Research to suggest how we don’t want the skills agenda to look in two more years’ time.
According to her, we need to “take an ontological and not a taxonomical approach to skills. We shouldn’t be arguing what is a skill and what is a competency anymore.”
As Roisin Woolnough wrote for UNLEASH back in October of 2021 on the subject of reskilling, “Reskilling and upskilling are not one-off initiatives – they need to be the norm”.
This is a position that has only solidified for HR and L&D practitioners and looks set to stay top of the list this year and onward.
If you want more from UNLEASH America but can’t make it to Las Vegas, check out our website and our social media channels
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