In 2001, Bill Gates sounded the arrival of the “first digital decade”. Come 2008 and the conversation shifted to the “second digital decade”. With rapid developments in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive computing and the like, we’re now racing towards the “third digital decade”.
Tighten your seatbelts – the next digital decade promises to be a lot more frantic, disruptive and unpredictable than those before.
But focusing merely on process optimization and digitalization is not enough. After all, behind every successful company stands a productive workforce. Helping employees prepare for meeting the needs of the next decades is the cornerstone of any successful corporate transformation. As technological changes narrow the shelf life of skills, versatility and the ability to learn quickly and constantly could turn out to be the most sought-after traits in professionals going forward.
“One of the most critical parts of our digital agenda is ensuring that our people are well prepared for the change ahead,” says Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte. “As part of our Allianz commitment to lifelong learning, we want to ensure that everyone at Allianz has adequate opportunities to develop the new skills and knowledge required for the digital world.”
Allianz employees, on their part, have shown enthusiasm for opportunities to skill up. The recently published Allianz HR Fact Book 2017 showed that 71 percent of the group’s 140,000 employees worldwide participated in at least one targeted training last year.
Leading the charge is AllianzU, the corporate university of Allianz. According to Head of AllianzU Tony White, the university will go deeper into providing digital upskilling opportunities to employees this year. “For example, as part of our three-part strategy to support employees through digitalization, all Allianz employees have had unlimited access to over 11,000 courses on LinkedIn Learning in five languages since the start of 2018,” he says.
Allianz is the first major listed German company to provide access to the online learning platform to all employees globally. On offer are collections of content specifically curated to help employees develop skills identified by Allianz as key for the future.
More than 30,000 employees have already embraced LinkedIn Learning. The range of topics is wide – from business and technical to digital and creative.
“The shelf life of employees’ skill sets is shortening due to the unprecedented pace of technological and digital changes. Developing a stronger and better learning culture in our company is key to remaining successful,” says Christian Finckh, Chief Human Resources Officer at Allianz. “Allianz is determined to provide our employees with the opportunities to constantly hone and enhance their skills.”
What worked at work in the past may not quite work tomorrow.
Work today requires the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. The HR Fact Book canvasses both cultural and digital developments in the Allianz world. For example, in 2016 and 2017, over 5,000 executives participated in the Inclusive Meritocracy Virtual Classroom, a learning initiative designed to raise awareness and educate leaders on living the People Attributes. This learning opportunity became available to all employees in 2018.
Other initiatives include the Women Sponsorship Forum, which had over 100 female leaders come together to focus on leadership, unconscious bias and development of digital acumen. The Allianz Management Program also brought together 60 international young leaders in a program developed in collaboration with the ESMT Business School in Berlin.
From this year, the global digital New Leader Onboarding Program will support new leaders in their first 90 days at Allianz.
More on the workforce and HR initiatives at Allianz in the latest HR Fact Book.
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