The modern human resource department barely resembles the HR department of the 20th century. The old and siloed functions of hiring, firing and tracking infractions such as tardiness along the route from hiring to firing have given way to a broader function—and for good reason. More than ever, each department has to think outside their strict roles and HR is one of the areas ripe for change and development. Sure, recruiting and training are still the main functions of HR, but the expanded function helps to drive more training,encourage growth, and nurture change than in the past.
Each of the following HR functions (and some you may not have thought about) offers an opportunity for scalable eLearning or blended approaches to training. Here’s where we see human resource development through eLearning in the next few years.
Recruiting and Training
Some companies hire large groups of people at once, while others prefer a one-by-one approach. No matter how or when you hire, HR’s deployment of both recruiting and training can help set the tone for interactions between new employees and your organization. It’s often during those first two weeks when employees make their first assumptions about your company; is your training helping or hurting that?
When large numbers of employees are hired at once, companies often take a blended approach with some classroom or auditorium orientation to welcome employees to the family followed by eLearning tailored to the individual employee’s job responsibilities. This can help foster team building as new recruits work together. When the company hires only a few employees at a time, however, it makes sense to skip the large-scale training and deliver the orientation via eLearning followed by a personal welcome. This personalized approach helps new employees feel comfortable in their roles and departments much faster.
Change management is a development strategy where HR can really shine. When it seems as though the corporate culture and landscape is never the same from one day to the next, utilizing your HR department to help usher in a brave new world is to your advantage. In fact, HR may be even more integral to the change management process, mostly because employees see HR as “on their side.” Naturally, we don’t like an us versus them mentality at work, but HR can close the gap between departments and suites by highlighting just how new training can benefit the individual. By approaching new training as a way to improve changes for personal growth and professional development, employees trust that they’ll benefit from completing training. This learner-first mentality pays off with employees who are more motivated and engaged with training content, which means they learn faster, better, and more efficiently.
Improving Employee Performance
With employees scattered across the globe, many employees interact solely through email or Slack. Soft skills like communication and teamwork are harder to come by naturally and sometimes seem impossible to teach.
The HR department can help develop these skills by planning a one-two delivery strategy: soft skills first and hard skills after. While the obvious shortcut is to simply hire individuals with the soft skills you want, the art of employee dispute resolution, motivation, sales skills, and communication etc., can benefit from training from day one. We love using scenarios and opportunities for reflection to teach soft skills: that way, employees can practice them in a safe, low-stress environment before bringing those skills into their new roles.
Hard skills are a different category altogether. Once HR has encouraged the importance of soft skills, the specific training for each role needs to drive home the finer points without making employees overwhelmed. That’s why mentoring through social media can augment the formal eLearning, gamification, and reminders via mobile learning can make hard skills more a daily practice and less of a stressful, one-time event.
Encouraging Career Development and Leadership Succession
While job changes often benefit the individual, the cost of churning employees is steep, and business should continually be on the lookout for ways to retain exceptional employees while shedding those easily replaced at a lesser cost. Rather than constantly recruiting and training, HR can encourage the best employees to find a career path within the company, and that always involves training. Task HR with a leadership succession plan that identifies (through training, interaction, and daily work) which employees have the highest chance at success through promotion: That’s where you should be investing extra training, mentoring, and development. Your HR department gets to know behavior and performance better than any other; use that to your advantage and think of HR as a development machine, not just one for training and recruitment.
State, Local and Federally Mandated Training
Safety training, regulatory training, sensitivity training—it never stops. Let’s face it: It’s never all that fun or engaging, either. Rather than waste time on an equally endless flow of complaints, laughter, and other distractions in a classroom setting, custom eLearning cuts to the chase, delivers the training efficiently, and can be updated whenever new winds blow through from the regulatory agencies. Human resources is typically responsible for knowing which type of training needs to be done, but can also be tasked with putting the “human” back in HR. Opting for more empathetic, engaging, and impactful ways to lead can make all the difference in executing mandated training.