D.C. Area CLOs Share Human Capital Challenges at Local Forum: Learning Leaders in the Public and Private Sectors Discussed Practical Strategies for Engaging Employees and Developing New Skills in an Ever-Changing Workforce

By Pace, Ann | Talent Development, May 2011 | Go to article overview

D.C. Area CLOs Share Human Capital Challenges at Local Forum: Learning Leaders in the Public and Private Sectors Discussed Practical Strategies for Engaging Employees and Developing New Skills in an Ever-Changing Workforce


Pace, Ann, Talent Development


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Employee engagement is a hot topic in the training and development arena today, so it may come as no surprise that a panel of learning leaders from the greater Washington, D.C., region unanimously identified effectively engaging employees as a current challenge and key focus.

The panelists--Jody Hudson, chief learning officer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); Fred Lang, director of training and knowledge management at the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC); and Kimo Kippen, chief learning officer at Hilton Worldwide--convened on March 4 at the Learning Tree International-hosted forum, "Engage the Experts: What's Working in the Learning Industry," to discuss solutions to current organizational and human capital challenges.

"It's not about us-versus-them," Lang noted. "We must have a dialogue with employees to find out what's important to them." Lang urged attendees to tap into employees' full potential and make it possible for them to use all of their skill sets, not merely those for which they were hired.

Hudson cited the importance of combining training with development opportunities, specifically through the use of rotational assignments across various teams, departments, and locations. These experiences cultivate employees' professional evolution and help them to connect the dots throughout the organization.

Engaging the business, collaboration, innovation, and "unlearning" arose as additional essential themes.

Kippen explained that unlearning can occur when employees are provided the tools, resources, coaching, and assignments that give them richer knowledge and new experiences. Reverse mentoring--when a more senior employee seeks knowledge and skills from a newer and younger employee--is another method for developing new competencies in the midst of a changing workforce. …

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