IBM tackles learning in the workplace

Johannesburg, 08 Nov 2004

IBM discussed human capital management and learning solutions at a breakfast meeting held in Johannesburg last week.

The programme included discussions on the future of e-learning, learning and collaboration, enterprise learning strategy, workplace learning and human capital challenges.

Victor Jeurissen, global practice leader for IBM Management Development Solutions, discussed e-learning trends and compared them with his latest findings in SA.

"E-learning is the use of innovative technologies and learning models to transform the way individuals and organisations acquire new skills and access knowledge; 70% of employees` learning is learning by doing," he said.

"Learning is a collaboration of information, interaction, collaboration and in-person."

Jeurissen admits that learning has the power to transform organisations but the management of learning is challenging. To combat the challenge, companies need to "establish learning accountability, align learning with organisational goals and priorities, and harness the power of technology to enhance learning".

"Target learning is to create a proven track record with good results. 75% of CEOs think employee education is the most critical success factor relative to other people issues. Learning directly supports the top agenda of CEOs, business groups and customer responsiveness," he said.

Jeurissen noted that three factors shape the future of learning: market forces, work and lifestyle and technology.

"The environment in which organisations compete is changing. There are volatile markets, increased global competition, growth through innovation and new business models. There is more and more need for updated information. Individuals operate with high level of urgency and little time for formal learning.

"Technology enables powerful and pervasive learning environments. Advances in technology foster natural human instincts for learning, he said.

Roger Meterlerkamp, regional leader for IBM Human Capital Management, discussed the latest human capital management used by companies around the world.

"CEOs have a strong desire to transform their organisations but believe they have a limited capability," he said.

"CEOs recognise that the skills of their people, their capacity for change and leadership will ultimately determine their success. Re-education and retention is an urgent cry and CEOs recognise they must take into account a new generation of employees."