Skills and deep sense of values are key for the future workforce, says BT’s Caroline Waters

Skills and deep sense of values are key for the future workforce, according to Caroline Waters, director of people and policy at BT Group.

Opening the World of Learning 2012 conference, Waters told delegates that technology is having a profound effect on the way we work, as are intrinsic factors such as global warming.

Waters took delegates on a journey from the macro-level changes that are transforming the global workforce and workplace to the practicalities of delivering learning to a large, multi-generational workforce.

She said BT has a life stage approach to policies and practices – providing employees with what they need based on their stage in life and in their professional development. ‘People want autonomy and choice and within different generations there is huge diversity in how people want learning,’ she told delegates.

Learning communities work really well at BT, she said. These communities help colleagues to share and talk together and through this the company is trying to create a lifetime engagement with learning.

For BT, this engagement produces results, out simply the most engaged teams deliver higher productivity. Open Reach teams at BT are 23% more productive than their counterparts, for example.

Waters said BT has a lot of challenges with remote working including how to optimise team structures, support individuals in the team, get them communicating effectively, motivating them and reaching out to prople you see very rarely.

The factors that work for everyone are critical. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are key factors in motivation. Autonomy helps mastery and with that comes confidence and a sense of fulfillment.

LearnPatch caught up with Waters after her talk and asked her about learning across generations and the new challenges for L&D teams.

Listen to the interview:

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