• Philippa Dengler

HR Roundtable @ Microsoft: Lifelong Learning

Recently in Wallisellen, Switzerland, HR leaders and Learning & Development Experts from several Swiss-based companies came together to be inspired and to inspire others at an HR Roundtable event hosted by Microsoft.

The topic? Lifelong Learning.


It was a pleasure for me to present some of the findings from my research into lifelong employability as well as understand how technology is impacting lifelong learning and meet like-minded people who are passionate about enabling more people to engage in lifelong learning at work.

The following key points stood out for me:

  • There is little doubt that lifelong learning is a key part of staying employed for longer and that everyone is responsible for their own development.

  • But there is a great deal of uncertainty around what and how to fit lifelong learning into daily working life.

  • And companies are recognising they need to significantly change how they manage career development and personal development.

  • The norms and culture within a company can unintentionally prevent employees from engaging in learning outside of the training offered internally.

  • Line management plays an important role that shouldn't be underestimated - and can be supported.

  • Assumptions and stereotypes about age still have a considerable impact on learning and development in most corporations.

  • Technology is transforming the way we learn from highly curated to socially filtered content, single channel to omni-channel delivery, directed learning to co-creation and consumed in a formal setting to consumed anyway and at any time.

  • Companies can leverage big data to enhance the learning experiences of their employees and utilise many new collaboration tools to facilitate the curation, creation and consumption of relevant content.


....AND ... next time we need to allow more time for discussion and best practice sharing between the participants!

Thank you to my colleagues at Microsoft for inviting me and thank you to everyone who attended and made the event a success. These are important topics and there is much to be gained from sharing what worked and what didn't and being inspired by what is possible and what else there is to consider.

How about you? Which norms prevail in your organisation around Lifelong Learning and Career Management for longer working lives? How do these norms differ between business units, levels of seniority, gender groups, different age groups? I'd love to hear from you.

philippa.dengler@conscha.ch P.S. If you have an event designed to inspire action around the topic of employability or would like to organise one please get in touch!

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