Trying to decipher how the future of work would look has become a frequent subject of discussion. Especially in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, where "the continuous automation of traditional industrial practices using smart technologies" is taking place. A major part of these discussions centers around how technology is going to reshape human capital management.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the change from conventional working methods to those needing technologies. Organizations are now faced with these shifts, forcing them to prepare their workforce for this transition.
According to a McKinsey & Company article, “The future of work will require two types of changes across the workforce: up-skilling, in which staff gain new skills to help in their current roles, and re-skilling, in which staff need the capabilities to take on different or entirely new roles.”
Any successful organization has as its foundation its human capital. Hence, a prosperous future of work heavily depends on training employees both for the present and for the future. In this way, allowing them to become more adaptable to their workplace's changing demands and promote the constant upgrading of knowledge and skills.
At AcuiZen we understand that the future of work and the future of the workforce need to go hand in hand. Therefore, we make it simple to digitalize and blend work-related actions with learning interventions. Organizations benefit from rapid digitalization and data analytics to boost operational excellence, whilst individuals develop expertise on-the-job.
Given the dynamic nature of work, an important dimension that we take into consideration is the need to keep employees connected and informed. That is why we have a centralized hub where employees can access important information, messages, updates, and documents. This makes access to knowledge seamless, intuitive, and easy. The system enables employees to instantly receive and respond to notifications and update status of ongoing tasks.
The application can be accessed both on a desktop and via a mobile phone. This ensures that desk-less workers can be digitally integrated. It helps create a supportive environment in which everyone feels as though they are part of a team - even if they work remotely.
To conclude, organizations need to realize that the future of work is already here. A standalone approach is no longer efficient. If we focus on new ways of work without moving the workforce along for the journey it will most certainly be counterproductive. We need to have the workforce together with you on the journey in such a way that it is a “learn as you go” approach.
Written by Daniela Alvaran
The founder of AcuiZen, a digital application for the workforce to communicate, collaborate, and continually upskill argues that one of his biggest takeaways when researching the neuroscience behind learning was the importance of retrieval practice.
This same thought is shared by various experts in the field, including psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus. Ebbinghaus claimed that:
"With a considerable amount of repetitions, it is much more advantageous to distribute them correctly over a period of time than to group them in a single step."
In other words, arguing that the same amount of repeated study of the same information spaced out over time leads to higher long-term retention.
In today’s fast-changing world of work reskilling and upskilling has become an absolute necessity. Thus, when we apply the concept of retrieval practice it is important to note that reskilling and upskilling are not just about absorbing new information. Instead, it is about forming the neural connections between the existing and new information. This is best done by deliberately retrieving the new information from where it has been stored and by putting it in use through practice. Yet, when this is not practicable, the other option would be to incorporate some form of quizzing to assess retention. When done at spaced intervals, it aids the formation of the neural connections and cements the learning.
Moreover, JC argues that one of the main reasons for the poor return on investments from most training programs is that the emphasis is almost always on the provision of information, ticking the boxes, and maybe issuing a certificate. The result of these approaches is that organizations end up training or certifying individuals who are not ready for the job.
At AcuiZen we consciously address this issue by incorporating a mechanism to provide post-learning interventions. By sending out a series of relevant message-based quizzes at spaced intervals we ensure better outcomes by using the science of retrieval practice.
To conclude, retrieval practice is a concept that aligns with our philosophy at AcuiZen. We believe that the most effective way for frontline workers to retain information is through learning by doing and not by cramming information!