The workplace of the future promises to be much different from that of the present. We are moving toward a more diverse, mobile workforce brought about by international expansion, which will in turn demand a whole new set of skills.
According to research published by the World Leaders’ Summit in London, half of the full-time global workforce will consist of those who work freelance or through some alternative remote arrangement by 2020. Companies like Amazon, Dell and IBM are already making efforts to increase their remote workforce.
One of the challenges, however, is determining how employers will keep up with professional development when they may never actually interact with workers in person.
Addressing the learning needs of the growing flexible workforce requires organizations to seek and maintain cost-effective training options. Liveops, an organization that provides virtual call center contractors across multiple industries, has launched Skill Builder — a customizable distance learning platform designed specifically for enterprise level professional development.
To learn more about Skill Builder, HR Dive talked with Liveops CEO Keith Leimbach.
HR Dive: Liveops is transforming it’s training offerings. What does this look like?
Keith Leimbach: We are refocusing on agencies again and commercialism of our services. We understand that there is widespread adoption of the flex worker, and so we want to help people building a career in a particular space to be able to do so. Skill Builder will provide tools to allow professionals to scale up their careers by proving their skills. In this way, they will remain employable.
HR Dive: How did the idea come about for Skill Builder?
Leimbach: Liveops wanted to be intentional about how to design learning that would honor how people grow and improve their ability to collaborate. We actually developed this platform for staff over many years. Now the focus will be on our customers and their employees. Essentially, were hearing from many companies that this could solve a problem for them, so Liveops was able to package this as an individual offering.
HR Dive: What problems does Skill Builder solve for organizations?
Leimbach: Professional development programs are largely based on measuring results. Skill Builder can establish and take advantage of the modalities of what people want to learn today. Whether individuals choose to learn online or via mobile apps, adjustments can be made to meet learner needs.
HR Dive: Skill Builder may be used by a wide range of industries; how can it meet the needs of every organization?
Leimbach: Skill Builder can be tailored to the needs of each organization. We can focus learning content on specific things that their employees need to know to be successful. For example, a roadside assistant may need to know how to arrange for a rental car, and needs to know how use the systems presented to conduct these tasks. They may also learn how to manage customer objections, handling difficult calls, customer service empathy, etc.
How do we accomplish this? Our curriculum developers work with each client. Core training is established. We are also able to re-purpose some of the training modules that apply to most industries (like insurance laws). Then we get the content developed, put into different modalities, and update it as needed.
HR Dive: What makes Skill Builder new or better than what’s out there currently?
Leimbach: We know of nothing out in the market currently that compares. It can be extremely expensive for the average company to find out what’s needed, develop the training, and create different modalities for learners. We have many of the learning content already ready to use.
We also have a team of certified trainers who can be called up to get immediate feedback. Learners benefit from real time, recorded sessions. They are rated for quality. Skill Builder can help anyone build a career, not just get a job. This can be an attractive incentive for people to join organizations and stay. There are multiple resources available for career growth.
HR Dive: What are some of the challenges that Skill Builder can help those in the gig economy overcome?
Leimbach: It’s genuinely powerful for Americans to find remote work opportunities and continue to grow their careers. Skill Builder provides analytics that show ROI. It’s a way for companies to manage and track results. The same goes for learners. The problem with other learning systems is that they must have some baseline way to measure performance metrics.
For industries that face challenges with measuring results — we need to be able to give employers more options. Individuals working in the gig economy can prove their value to companies, gain immediate feedback through practice sessions with trainers and continue to focus on the skills that will help them remain marketable.