A fresh take on ideas and trends in Human Capital

Ask Me About Trigonometry, I Dare You.

I’m pretty alright at maths. I’m not brilliant, I’m not terrible, overall I’

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I’m pretty alright at maths. I’m not brilliant, I’m not terrible, overall I’d say I’m pretty average at it. When I was taking my Maths at secondary school I managed to achieve a B and that was probably the last time I was assessed on my maths skill, I remember while studying for that I spent a good 2-3 months learning trigonometry. While trigonometry is a very important aspect of maths I don’t recall using it since then. This isn’t to say it isn’t useful in everyday life I know it can be, what I’m saying is I’d definitely need to look it up to understand it again but according to my qualifications I am qualified to some level in trigonometry.

How familiar does this sound? Did you maybe get trained in something 3 years ago through work and now couldn’t tell me anything about it? This seems to be inconsistent throughout careers. Lawyers are expected to practice and display they’re ability until they’re qualified. Pilots have to register a certain amount of flight hours under supervision until they can fly solo. Doctors not only have to practice within a medical setting for several years until they become a doctor and even then they have to keep up to date with the most modern medical practice. I think you’d find it disturbing if your doctor was still using an out-dated surgery practice. But within more office based careers it appears once you’ve been trained in it that’s that and you’ve learnt it. Maybe it’s because the outcome wouldn’t be as fatal that more importance is placed on the former examples but really maintaining learning practices in any career would promote good practice.

Keeping up to date with learning means that an individual is constantly aware of what gaps are in their knowledge and what they are succeeding at. This clearly aids they’re development and engages with the task at hand, whether this is their career, education or even sport. For an organisation this is important as a lot of data can be gathered on the hundreds, or thousands, or employees they have and without a system in place alienation of employees can happen resulting in a drop in performance. Anybody that cares about their career wants to improve themselves and an organisation needs to facilitate that else that person may move there career somewhere else. By analysing the gaps in someone’s learning means plans can be tailored towards them to keep themselves up to date as well as the organisation. The organisation may also benefit from monitoring trends of the training needs in their workforce.

Nobody has asked me about trigonometry since I was 16 and as a result I’ve near enough forgotten about it. An organisation’s Learning Management System (LMS) would keep track of important information, whether secondary school maths is included there depends on your organisation I guess. A LMS can notify, can monitor progress and can then offer training needs. It’s important to highlight that simply sitting in a talk for 3 hours doesn’t mean you’re trained in that subject, employees need constant engagement if they are to be motivated in their development. A LMS is a great connector of data, it can work at all levels of an organisation and will operate continuously. Very much like a social network it will interact with the behaviour that an employee is displaying and adapt, if training is being done in that area that LMS will pick up on it. This is a great improvement from ticking a form and filing it away, this can be constantly interacted with and acted upon. This connection can even start from before an employee even works for the organisation, using an Applicant Tracking System you can gather all the essential data on a candidate and once they’re successful this can be directly transferred to the LMS. Think about that, it means from day one that employee has development needs and the organisation would be able to address them straight away. An employee can only succeed so far without support from their organisation, now imagine there being the exact right support from day one.

In the world of HR data now if you’re not moving forward you’re moving backwards. Keeping updated with demand and what is required of an organisation is critical if you want to succeed and reach the potential of your organisation. This is even becoming true for some Learning Management Systems, the Blackboard system I only know too well from my university days is always starting to be replaced at some American colleges because it’s become unsatisfactory. Paying attention and developing people within an organisation has always been important but now the technology is here to take that development to a whole new level.