The Josh Bersin Academy, the world’s only global development academy for HR professionals, today marked its one-year anniversary by announcing soaring member enrollments as HR and talent management professionals from all over the world seek advice and support in the wake of Covid-19. The Academy’s community forums, executive working groups, and timely programs and resources have struck a chord with HR leaders and their teams as they deal with the most dramatic shakeup of working practices in a lifetime. The number of new Academy licenses more than doubled from March to April, and new licenses more than tripled from April to May.
Since the Academy started in May 2019, HR professionals from some of the biggest global brands – including Lego A/S, Novo Nordisk, Jardine Matheson, and the Indian Hotels Company – have collectively spent 24,500 hours (equivalent to three years) participating in programs covering the latest HR challenges, exchanging ideas, and discussing a range of workplace issues in the Academy’s community forums. More than 65,400 conversations have taken place in the Academy this year.
“We’ve seen huge increases in membership and engagement over recent weeks, as HR leaders take stock of Covid-19 and begin to figure out what this all means for employees and the workplace, both now and in the longer term,” said Josh Bersin, dean of the Academy. “It has become clear that the Academy is so much more than a professional development academy. It has become the home for HR – a place to discuss disruptions, emerging trends, and crises like the unprecedented one we’re facing now.
“Make no mistake, this Big Reset will forever change relationships between employers and their people,” he added. “Ways of working, budgets and priorities, leadership styles, trust and ethics — even the role of HR itself — are all up for review. It’s why we’re seeing new members – both companies and individual HR professionals – signing up in such high numbers now.”
Timely Offerings in Response to Pandemic
The Josh Bersin Academy supports the HR profession in three primary ways: cohort-based learning programs focused on modern HR challenges, an always-expanding library of resources, and a vibrant global community with specialized forums.
Following are representative ways the Academy has responded to the COVID-19 crisis:
- In March, the Academy created a Covid-focused community channel to give members a place to discuss in real-time the challenges they were facing. Conversations topics have ranged from the essential steps of business reset plans to maintaining employee engagement to communication strategies.
- In early April, the Academy launched the Remote Work Bootcamp, a program designed to help HR teams support remote work in their organizations.
- Throughout April and May, the Academy has released a variety of new resources on topics such as new thinking on leadership, remote hiring, and creating psychological and physical safety, plus playbooks on remote working.
- In early May, the Academy organized four Big Reset working groups comprised of approximately 150 HR and talent leaders from around the world and across all industry sectors. These groups are meeting weekly and taking deep dives into these areas: culture and organizational resilience, changing business and workforce models, learning and development, and return-to-work playbooks.
“We have been tremendously impressed by working group participants, who are willingly volunteering their time to share experiences and ideas,” said Mark Spratt, vice president of client success. “Each of the groups is developing timely, practical resources that will be shared with the Academy’s wider membership in weeks to come.”
Pricing Designed to Democratize Access
While the Josh Bersin Academy has been adopted by many well-known global companies, it is designed to be accessible and affordable to individual professionals as well. Individuals and small HR teams can join the Academy for as little as $25 per month per member.
“The mission of the Academy – to provide HR professionals from around the world a community they can rely on – has proven to be extremely important in these times,” said Dr. P.V. Ramana Murthy, global head of HR for the Indian Hotels Company, the owner of the Taj brand and a subsidiary of the Tata Group.