Career Guide


Incremental Learning

The key to bridging what you need and what you have

Today's fast-paced VUCA (vulnerable, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world and the future workforce require capable employees to meet the demands of the industry. With Industry 4.0 looming in the distance, companies are now facing a critical gap between industry needs and skills.

Soft skills such as complex problem-solving, emotional intelligence, people management and negotiation are highly in demand to keep pace with the era of disruptive innovation and digital transformation. Hence, the need for highly skilled talent to keep up with the times.


Develop talents from within

While hiring new talents might provide a company with the necessary skills needed, hiring is costly and there are other factors to consider when recruiting, such as personality and character. The solution: develop existing employees.

For HR leaders, the challenge lies in crafting relevant and engaging learning programmes to fill in the skills and capabilities gap.

Learning strategies need to map where the organisation is currently at (current state) and the next phase it intends to be at (future state).

Ideally, these should not just be one-off learning programmes but continuous development programmes with new skills being taught at each phase.

Whats more, with the current job market, continuous skills development is important for a person to remain employable and relevant.

Thus, it is important to expand the learning framework to nurture a learning environment across the organisation. It ensures employees remain motivated and are interested to learn when they see that the learning benefits them and is useful in their daily job tasks.

This structured learning model can be a stepping stone for employees to climb the corporate ladder.


Lifelong learner

As a young employee whos just joined the workforce, I am always overwhelmed by my skills gap.

One day, I decided to speak to my boss about it as I feared it would either affect my performance or I might be perceived as underperforming.

His advice kept me going and gave me the determination to push on even when I felt overwhelmed. According to him, there is no specific time frame for anyone to learn all the skills.

You will learn along the way, because learning is incremental as new insight is gathered everyday and it is a long-term process.

I am sure many young graduates out there feel the same as I did.

Be comforted that every expert was once a beginner too and that skills are to be developed progressively.

As such, a continuous development programme is very much needed to support this learning process.


Collecting competencies

Ive always wondered, How do I master the competencies needed to succeed in my current role before moving on to the next one?

My research has led me to the conclusion that an average-skilled employee takes a longer time to move up the career ladder compared to a highly skilled one.

For these types of employees [average-skilled], an incremental learning approach works best in strengthening their existing competencies for their current role and upskilling them with new competencies to elevate their role within the company.

When learning a new skill, a learning curve is needed for the learner to implement the skill in his/her work routine.

When he/she is comfortable enough with the first skill, a new skill is then introduced and the practice continues.

It is a step-by-step learning that can move them from novice to master, and this process does not happen overnight.


Step-by-step learning

The learning process gives individuals the flexibility to experiment with different strategies on how to utilise their newfound skills until they find the best fit.

Hence, it is important for the learning process to be continuous. It needs to be mapped alongside the individuals competency, motivation, and strengths.

For example, when designing a learning calendar for employees, employers should take into account the competencies needed to help employees in their current role as well as how to equip them with the skills needed for the next level in their careers. And these competencies should be taught throughout the year, starting from the most basic to a more advanced level.

Recognise this learning process across the board. Encourage employees to seek personal development, and this will eventually translate into efficient business practices.


On hindsight

Realising the importance of having skillful and flexible talent, our Learning and Growth Team has been working alongside many HR leaders to design and deliver effective development programmes and provide the best learning experience in line with their organisational goals.

At Leaderonomics, we strongly believe in experiential learning through learning by doing.

Our customisable boot camps, workshops and learning calendars might be the integrated business strategy solutions you are looking for to equip your organisation for the future.


Farah is a learning and growth partner at Leaderonomics. She has a strong passion in capacity building, focusing on youth empowerment. She loves working with undergraduates and helping young graduates kick off their career journey. To connect with the team who can help your organisation create a lifelong learning experience for your people, write in to info@leaderonomics.com. To share your thoughts on talent management for the future, write in to editor@leaderonomicss.com.

This article is available at www.leaderonomics.com, where you can download the PDF version.

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