CIPD Festival of Work: Mindset shift from training to continuous learning

If one thing jumped out at us from this week’s Festival of Work, it was this – HR has gone through a radical image transformation over the last 18 months, no longer seen as focussing on maintaining what companies had ‘always done’ but instead looking strategically at preparing the workforce of the future.

In one of the sessions, Lars Schmidt, US author and consultant explains his perspective on the future of work – he talks about the fact that everyone’s experiences of working remotely during the pandemic have been entirely individual – so therefore HR needs to be looking to personalise responses to employees – for example in communication and training and development.  In fact, Lars specifically points out that ‘training’ is now about ‘continuous learning.’

What does this mean for the future of coaching and learning?

It means that we have to ensure that learning journeys are personalised more than ever before; giving people the choice of 1-1 coaching, tailored online learning, and opportunities to connect and network with other locations.

Other sessions at the Festival of Work further addressed this change in learner engagement:  those in HR and learning roles are finding that they are changing their focus from ‘teaching and instructing’ to ‘coaching and facilitating’ individual conversations and development paths.  Peer-to-peer support has also been identified in particular this week as learners have struggled to remain motivated through isolation.  Bitesize learning, accessible from anywhere (think of the future of desk-sharing) and with a supportive community when you’re in need of some encouragement. 

Implications for us at Parent and Professional

Our membership packages enable learners (especially parents/carers/those seeking a better work/family balance) as much flexibility as they need – whether that be through the e-learning portal, coaching or group webinars for networking and inspiration. 

Our takeaways from this week’s Festival of Work include validation that self-driven learning – in particular through coaching – is what learners need right now to take control of their individual needs in personal development. 

You can read the highlights from the festival here: day one, two and three.

This week’s blog is written by co-founder of Parent & Professional, Helen Letchfield.