The secret behind the “Low-Stakes Assignment” technique
Dear HR Practitioner or HR Consultant,
HR Departments in most companies aren’t usually known as “digitally savvy.” Fact: HR has often lagged other functions in its use of new technologies.
But there are exceptions. During COVID, a new kind of HR Professional has emerged. They are rapidly closing the tech gap by acquiring solid online skills. The truth is, they are using the pandemic to add new capabilities at a surprising rate…doing things others can’t, and using their knowledge to get better, faster.
However, they aren’t merely sitting in classrooms or watching endless webinars. That’s old pedagogy they still use, but sparingly. Instead, they are taking a different approach: learning by doing…they find ways to pick up and practice new skills in safe, friendly environments, away from the office. That way, they lower the risk.
Consequently, they join in challenges that are fun, simply because there’s no immediate pressure to produce results by an employer. They learn faster because the stakes are low, with the help of expert colleagues, willing to act as mentors.
This is the essence of the “Low-Stakes Assignment” technique now being shared by education researchers. These academics noticed that the approach “supports and records the transition students make from hoping-to-know-how to knowing-how to imagine themselves in their professional field.” (Ness et al.) Savvy HR Professionals are using this approach at home (from their children), in churches, charities, NGO’s, sports teams, service organizations, plus many other organizations.
I’m Francis Wade, and my wife Dale and I have adopted the “Low-Stakes Assignment” method in the way we organize CaribHRForum. We happen to be the hosts and we have seen the technique help our members learn, grow, share and contribute.
We’ve been a digital-only organization since inception in 2003 and thousands of the region’s HR practitioners and HR consultants have benefited over the years. More recently, COVID catalysed all our efforts. Today, we have developed a number of ways to assist the region’s HR Professionals close the technology gaps the pandemic has opened up.
For example, in September 2020 we had our first virtual regional conference with over 70 speakers and 1350 registrants. General attendance was free, enabling many to attend their first HR gathering at this scale.
In mid 2019 we set up the region’s first and foremost community platform for HR practitioners and consultants. It brings together hundreds of professionals who interact with each other daily even though they have never met face-to-face.
In both cases, our members have picked up new online skills and are using them: some presented at their first conference. Others have found jobs, projects and new partners by improving their virtual networking skills.
To enable this result, we use lots of volunteers (whom we call associates). They take up positions where they can give back and grow at the same time.
These are just a few examples of how members are using “Low-Stakes Assignments” to develop new skills they can take back to their jobs.
And so can you.
We’re excited to give you the opportunity to develop your virtual skill-set along with other HR Professionals of like mind. At no cost, you can join our online community and start your journey.
If however, the timing is bad and you’d like to stay in touch and join later, be sure to join our CaribHRUpdates newsletter mailing list. We send out messages two to four times per month, keeping you abreast of the latest developments in our network.
We’ll see you inside!
Francis and Dale
P.S. Got some questions that weren’t answered? Click here: http://ReplytoFrancis.info