COVID-19: Using Technology to Maximize Virtual Learning

Posted by Michael Griffiths, Jason Magill, Emily DeWeirdt, Elam Lantz, and Kriti Wij on April 6, 2020.

In our last post “Learning Technology to the Forefront” we discussed launching and enhancing an integrated learning technology strategy as part of your organization’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many virtual platforms are highly mature and can be mobilized quickly as organizations and the workforce adjust to new realities. 

In this post, we will discuss some options to consider as you aim to replace in-person learning, meetings, and events with virtual and digital alternatives. As people adjust, it is important to act quickly while also thinking strategically about the needs of your organization, employees and culture. A shift to virtual will involve flexibility as workers continuously adapt and strive to enhance their use of these platforms.

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Exponential HR: Six practices HR can do right now to enable breakout performance results

Posted by Arthur Mazor, Jodi Baker Calamai, and Gary Johnsen on April 3, 2020.

“As we are well into the 21st century by now, industries and organizations are facing a growing number of economic, social, political, technology and customer issues.  These disruptive forces are challenging business strategies and ways of working. A new set of expectations from society, customers, and the workforce demand a shift in mindsets, new operating models, and innovative workplace practices. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends Report, based on insights from nearly 10,000 global leaders, found that 84 percent indicated they need to rethink their workforce experience to improve productivity and they are facing new pressures to move faster and adapt to market conditions more than ever before.1

While many organizations are transitioning to new business models, deploying innovative operating practices, upgrading technologies and adapting to marketplace changes, HR often remains attached to older ways of working that are no longer enough. For HR to be able to thrive in the face of these new business challenges and outcomes involves a fundamental change at its core. It is time for Exponential HR.  An HR organization that can move faster, innovate, anticipate challenges, adapt quicker, and stay laser focused on business outcomes can thrive and, indeed, achieve sustained performance. HR operating models and ways of working designed 5-10 years ago for a different time are now ready for renewal and it is time to reimagine HR.

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Coronavirus Relief Bill Enacted

Includes new paid FMLA and sick leave mandates

Posted by Robert Davis on April 2, 2020.

On March 18 President Trump signed into law H.R 6201 (“The Families First Coronavirus Response Act”), a bipartisan bill that includes temporary paid family and sick leave mandates for government employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.  Additionally, the bill imposes new requirements for group health plans to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing without any cost-sharing requirements.

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Lean. Strategic Planning. Design Thinking. Agile. What does it all mean in becoming Exponential HR?

Posted by Arthur Mazor, Gary Johnsen, Justin Clark on April 1, 2020.

“To win the marketplace, you must first win the workplace”
Doug Conant, Former President and CEO Campbell Soup Company

It is an exciting time to be part of HR.  Right before our eyes, HR is transforming into ways of working never seen before.  The 1990s are well behind us and it’s fair to say that at most enterprises HR now has a strategic role in leading the business. This is a blessing, a challenge, and the biggest opportunity to create value that HR has ever experienced. As HR has moved into the boardroom and solidified its role in the C-suite, visibility to business imperatives is much clearer for HR and the opportunity to shape those imperatives from a workforce angle is greater than ever. In return, leaders are expecting that workforce programs evolve more rapidly and drive greater, measurable value.

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HR Technology’s Role in Activating a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Posted by Kathi Enderes, Matthew Shannon on March 6, 2020.

With multiple generations working together and virtual connectivity to talent across the globe, today’s workforce is more diverse than ever. Organizations have much to gain from tapping into this diversity of experience and perspectives. However, 9 out of 10 organizations we surveyed struggle to create an inclusive culture that leverages the power of that diversity to benefit the organization, the workforce, and customers.1

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Washington policy update: March 2020 Benefits and Compensation Bulletin

Posted by Robert Davis, Christine Drager, Maria Moliterno on March 27, 2020.

  • Supreme Court to Review Latest ACA Challenge: The Supreme Court has announced that it will review a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Individual Mandate is unconstitutional. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in a different case that Congress cannot require individuals to purchase health insurance, but nonetheless allowed the individual mandate to stand because it was a tax consistent with Congress’s taxing powers. In 2017, Congress amended the ACA to eliminate any penalty associated with the mandate, which prompted this latest lawsuit.  Basically, the argument is that the individual mandate without a penalty is not a tax, and thus is unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed, but refused to rule on the issue of whether the individual mandate could be severed from the rest of the ACA. If the Supreme Court upholds the 5th Circuit’s ruling and determines the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the ACA, then the employer shared responsibility rules and group health plan mandates would be invalidated as well. A final decision is expected sometime in 2021.
  • GAO Issues report on Executive Retirement Plans:  The Government Accountability Office issued a report in January 2020 on the oversight of Executive Retirement Plans. Some employers sponsor retirement plans covering only a select group of employees. These types of plans are designed to ignore statutory limits on compensation and amount of benefits but at the same time do not include the same statutory protections offered for qualified private sector employer sponsored plans.
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Work disrupted, education disrupted

Posted by Robin Jones on March 25, 2020.

The pace of disruption caused by digital technologies in virtually every business sector is accelerating as AI and robotics gain ground in the enterprise. Cloud, mobile, and social computing have already driven workplace changes that have made the skills gap a pressing issue for managers. The rise of cognitive technologies adds urgency to the challenge of ensuring that employees have the talent and skills needed to create value. Robin Jones, principal in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital Practice and Leader of it’s Workforce Transformation practice, recently sat down with MIT Sloan Management Review in an interview for a special collection on Developing the Future Ready – Resilient – Workforce. Robin starts by citing research, which shows that a majority of employers believe that at least half of their workforces will need to be reskilled for new jobs in the future.

“Work is being changed in some very fundamental ways,” says Jones. “Nearly all the work that we do will involve people working with either a smart machine or a robot. Many businesses are really challenged by this shift, even as they provide employee training and development. And educational institutions are a lagging indicator of this disruption. We need to think about the approaches we’re taking, the resources we’re investing, how quickly we’re moving, and [whether we are] fit for purpose. Are we asking the right questions when we’re thinking about this challenge of education and work disrupted?”

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Mind the gap: Rewiring the organizational approach to HR technology

Posted by Chris Havrilla on March 20, 2020.

Organizations put a lot of faith in HR technology. And collectively, they spend billions of dollars on it to drive change and generate value.1 But most organizations aren’t getting the value they expect. While almost 75 percent of respondents in Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends study rated HR technology as important or very important, just 6 percent believe their HR technology is “excellent.”2 That is a huge gap. In order to use technology effectively to help enable the transformation necessary to be competitive and meet the needs of the business, the workforce, and customers, organizations—and especially their HR leaders and technology professionals—need to act now to close this gap, or likely risk falling even further behind.

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Leading Practices for Remote Learning during COVID-19

Posted by Michael Griffiths, Julie Hiipakka and Elam Lantz on March 19, 2020.

The coronavirus outbreak is resulting in an ever-increasing list of companies, conferences and other engagements to turn to remote learning. For some organizations that already leverage remote  learning, this may not be a significant change. But for others whose rely on face-to-face collaboration, in-person knowledge sharing, or management by proximity, providing learning opportunities virtually may not come naturally.

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Social Distancing for COVID-19: Learning Technology to the Forefront

Posted by Michael GriffithsJason Magill, Richard Mitchell, Minoo Italia and Elam Lantz on March 19, 2020.


Serious businesswoman working late at computer in office

The impact that COVID-19 has had on peoples’ lives and work in recent days has been precipitous and significant. As organizations rise to meet the challenges associated with this disruption, one powerful strategy they can employ is leveraging the capabilities of digital learning technologies to enhance new ways of working and support business continuity by providing an engaging alternative to in-person programs.

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