People, Talent & Transformation: Empowering Your People to Learn and Grow

People, Talent & Transformation: How to Empower Your People to Learn and Grow

Supporting employees to learn, grow, and fulfill their career goals is essential in attracting, retaining and engaging talent. We were honored to have industry experts and HR professionals Craig Oliver-Walsh, Serena Gonsalves-Fersch & Dan Curtis share their experience and insights at the 2022 FuelX Talent Mobility Conference on how leaders can empower and enable every employee to own their personal learning journey.

People are demanding more from HR

Craig Oliver-Walsh, Talent and Organizational Development Senior Manager at Dover Corporation, shared his thoughts on what has helped employees at Dover take charge of their own learning and development:

“Before Fuel50 we were using another learning platform, but the adoption rate was low. We hit the reset button and thought about it, and what we decided to do was switch to having virtual sessions that were delivered online, in their local language… and this was all tied back to our leadership competencies and our culture characteristics as well. Now it was more powerful and tangible because we were talking about it in terms the organization understood. The great thing now is that people are demanding more from us but we’re able to see from our people’s engagement… which courses are popular. Now we can target the things that are meaningful in our organization… and now that we’re in a Fuel50 launch state… people say, ‘That’s great, but you’ve given us all of these opportunities, and now we want more.’ Now people can expand their learning without us having to do the pushing all the time.”

Make employees ‘stick’ to your organization

Serena Gonsalves-Fersch, Global Head of Talent Management at SWO (SoftwareOne) Academy, discussed the challenges around a changing eco-system and landscape from the talent perspective, and what her organization has done to address that:

“It’s no secret that the gap between the demand for tech talent and the supply of tech talent is absolutely vast. It’s also no surprise that it’s been a revolving door where people go from Google to Apple to Microsoft to AWS… we’re all fighting for the same pool of resources. I know we talk about The Great Resignation, and I think a lot of it had to do with [the fact] that everybody was scared to leave their jobs during the pandemic, so it was pent up [demand] for a couple of years. Companies right now are forming, merging, acquiring, and even folding at a faster pace than ever before.

Technology is changing at a faster pace than ever before… we’re all fighting for the same people, so what can we be doing differently to source them, to develop them, and to retain them? That’s the challenge facing all of us today. For us… we have new talent, and we look at people from the grass-roots level, from non-traditional [channels and places]… and areas where they wouldn’t necessarily have a way into a career in technology… you hire them first, then you develop them, then you make them ‘sticky’ to the organization, and then you have tools and platforms like Fuel50 to carry [the learning and development] on…”

People, Talent & Transformation: Empowering Your People to Learn and Grow

Analytics and insights are essential

From Dan Curtis, Head of Talent at Travelodge Hotels Limited, when he was asked about how Travelodge Hotels Limited has been impacted by both Brexit and Covid, and what they have done to cope with those challenges:

“We have just under 600 hotels and about 11,000 employees… and a head office with 450 people… we lovingly crafted a digital journey for what we were going to do, although it might take five years, then Covid happened which massively changed how we had to train people… We didn’t change it [the digital plan], we just accelerated it… The concept [during the lockdown] that we would close our hotels and then reopen the… well, we had never closed them before, and through various lockdowns we had to open and close them [again].

Our biggest challenge has been that there isn’t a consistent, shared, lived experience with colleagues across the business… [because] some may have been furloughed for a year… that’s been a challenge in itself… then there’s the technology… we had a big plan for technology, but we just had the LMS – and the access to the LMS was in the office where the manager was doing payroll and everything else… so, we had a big journey just to expand our digital, with the caveat that we must have the analytics and insights that will help us frame what we do.”

Check out how Fuel50 gives intelligent organizations skills-powered insights to enable powerful decision-making here.

It’s about ‘really’ understanding your people

One of the many key takeaways from the discussion was the need to truly understand your people. What do they want to learn? What areas would they like to grow in? What can the organization do to better support employee growth and development? Asking the right questions and understanding your people on a deeper level will give you insight on where to start making improvements. Craig Oliver-Walsh summed it up perfectly:

I think what initially drew me to Fuel50 in the first place was just to understand your people and understand a lot about them at a deeper level, because then you can start to understand where do we start? Because you could do a lot of things…  it’s about really understanding what is the biggest value.