How leaders in Malaysia are envisioning the future of L&D

Will the L&D function be obsolete in the future? What are some of the most critical skills for employees in the future of work? Here's what leaders are saying.

On 29 and 30 November this year, Human Resources Online attended HRD Corp's long-awaited conference - the National Human Capital Conference & Exhibition (NHCCE2022). The event, held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre, saw a gathering of more than 2,500 speakers and participants from across the region.

As the official media partner, we were privy to a range of engaging and deep conversations among Malaysia's HR fraternity on the era of HR 5.0 – where we learnt more about how organisational leaders are embracing (and preparing for) the workplace of the future.

In this final part of a two-part series, HRO summarises some of the interesting trends and takeaways on the L&D aspect of the discussions. [Read part 1 here]

What does it mean to embrace the skills advantage?

Data by the World Economic Forum shows that 50% of employees will require significant upskilling by 2025. Why is this so?

It's because core skill sets that are needed are evolving. Cognisant of this, 73% of companies surveyed are looking to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities to the majority of their employees, we learnt.

Skills requirements for existing roles have also changed drastically over time. In that vein, L&D leaders play a pivotal role in identifying the skill needs of the future. Today, the function is:

  • Getting people to use learning solutions
  • Driving DEI
  • Keeping remote employees engaged
  • Driving skill building
  • Facilitating internal mobility

With that in mind, one of the sessions highlighted the four types of learner personas that prevail:

  1. The organisational-driven passive learner
  2. The social-influencer learner - someone who wants to learn based on their peers' recommendations, and wants to share what they have learnt with others.
  3. The self-directed driven learner - they are proactive in their learning journey, taking charge of the process.
  4. The growth learner/lifelong learner - someone who learns with a purpose towards growth.

The goal, it was noted, is to grow everyone from an organisational-driven passive learner, into, eventually, a growth learner/lifelong learner.

There are also three thrusts leaders should keep in mind in turning all employees into active learners:

  1. Ensure high-quality learning content - consistent, up-to-date content that is created and curated
  2. Empower employees for their career development
  3. Make learning habitual - build it into everyday tools

Looking at learning agility, we identified some of the most important skills for the future of work:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Investment in personal resilience and self-management
  • Knowing how to work with people

In years to come, coaching and development will be even more important. The following were highlighted as the factors in the evolution towards an agile workforce:

  • Technology
  • Flexibility
  • L&D
  • Sustainability

One big question raised by the floor - which many attendees resonated with, was: will the L&D function will become obsolete in the future, and will it be fully automated via LXP or driven by businesses? Taking 2050 as a rough timeline, the panel noted that machines will, indeed, take away a lot of roles in years to come. Leadership qualities such as empathy and human touch will, in tandem, grow in importance.

Keeping that in mind, however, it was highlighted that the L&D function will not be obsolete. There will be more solutions-based scenarios for the function to address, as the landscape changes.

L&D will continue to focus on how to make employees remain competent.

#ICYMI In part #1 of this series, we shared the highlights from conversations on how HR and business leaders are reinventing the future of work, tackling generational diversity in the workforce, and more. Read all about it here.

Photo / Provided by HRD Corp

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