If You’re Not Helping Employees Learn, You’re Not Doing Your Job

When Frederick Taylor published his pioneering principles of scientific management in 1912, the repetitive and mundane nature of most jobs required employees to think as little as possible. Breaking down each task into basic components and standardizing workers’ behaviors to eliminate choice and flexibility could help managers turn employees into productive machines, albeit with alienated spirits.Fast forward to the present and we see that most jobs today demand the exact opposite from employees: the capacity to keep learning and developing new skills and expertise, even if they are not obviously linked to one’s current job. As academic reviews have pointed out, people’s employability – their ability to gain and maintain a desired job – no longer depends on what they already know, but on what they are likely to learn.In other words, higher career security is a function of employability, and that in turn depends on learnability. Thus Eric Schmidt notes that a major pillar in Google’s recruitment strategy is to hire “learning animals,” while EY recruiters observe that “to be a standout, candidates need to demonstrate technical knowledge in their discipline, but also a passion for asking the kind of insightful questions that have the power to unlock deeper insights and innovation for our clients.”Sadly, most organizations have yet to wake up to this reality, so they continue to pay too much attention to academic qualifications and hard skills, as if what entry-level employees had learned during university actually equipped them for today’s job market. Although learnability does boost academic performance, just because someone is job-ready when they obtain their educational credentials does not mean that they are also learning-ready.

Source: If You’re Not Helping Employees Learn, You’re Not Doing Your Job

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