Why Career Training is More Important than Ever (and Where to Start)
In years past, career training could have been reserved for getting new hires up to speed as quickly as possible. But today, companies must go above and beyond onboarding to create a true culture of learning.
But, what’s a culture of learning? It’s an organization where ongoing training and development are a priority. And companies with learning cultures are rewarded with nearly 100 percent loyalty and engagement from their employees, according to a recent study by Instructure.
There are many reasons why developing a culture of learning is crucial for the modern workforce, including:
- Younger talent with different priorities - in a recent study, millennials ranked training and development 300 percent higher than cash bonuses.
- Mass exodus of baby boomers - as older workers retire, more millennials will need to be groomed (aka trained) for management positions.
- Shorter tenures, more job hopping - young workers are staying at jobs for less than three years on average, meaning having an expert in one field today doesn’t mean he or she will be there tomorrow.
- Skills gaps in the workplace - from technology advancing quickly to recent grads not being fully prepared for the real world, there are many skills that companies have a hard time hiring for.
Fortunately, technology is also empowering companies to provide development opportunities through e-learning.
Ongoing e-learning: Companies should make it a priority
While HR may (rightfully) feel that it already has its hands full with onboarding, performance reviews and recruiting, career training should never fall by the wayside.
The most effective way to offer the ongoing learning and development workers crave is through an online learning platform, sometimes called a learning management software, or learning management system (LMS). By developing and deploying all employee training in a cloud-based application, training can be performed just about anywhere, on laptops, desktops, tablets, or smartphones.
Corporate e-learning doesn’t have to be complicated
Implementing an e-learning program for employees doesn’t have to be daunting. And fortunately, not every course will need to be created from scratch. Here’s why:
- Many LMSs come pre-loaded with courses on popular topics that can easily be modified to suit your needs.
- Lynda.com and OpenSesame have thousands of courses that can easily be added to your learning management system for an instantly robust online library.
- E-learning platforms are designed to be easy enough for users to create a course in a matter of minutes.
Ironically, soft skills are the hardest to train for. How do you go about training for problem-solving, collaboration, and even empathy? While teaching soft skills a classroom setting could be awkward at best, assigning career training on these topics via e-learning allows you to combine the personal, one-on-one feel of an in-person session with the added benefits of scalability and reporting.
A word about analytics
Workers aren’t the only ones who will learn from e-learning, however. With robust reporting features, learning and engagement platforms can inform which courses are working, where employees are getting stuck, and other high-value intel that will inform even more effective training in the future.
Online career training can encourage social learning
While some informal learning may happen around the watercooler, there is much HR and L&D professionals can do to help facilitate social learning in their corporate training. Why not monitor and guide social conversations to ensure misinformation is not being spread around like funny memes?
Look for a corporate training software solution that enables peer-to-peer learning through comments and feedback on courses and videos. When learners can see what others are asking at a certain point in the video, they are more apt to pay attention and may even reply with some brilliant insight that drives the key message home for other learners.
Built-in retention tools help new knowledge stick
We’ve all got a million things swimming around in our brains at any given moment. So, it’s impossible to expect that learners will remember 100 percent of the materials lost. In fact, most learners will forget 75 percent of what was trained six days after taking the course.
To help improve retention for the career training you provide to employees, you can:
- Make sure training is timed appropriately - don’t assign courses too far in advance of when the information will be used.
- Leverage retention tools - use embedded quizzes and follow-up quizzes to keep the information top of mind. Ninety percent of knowledge is retained from the immediate application.
- Turn the student into the teacher - enlist the help of employees in creating training courses and videos to help their peers achieve maximum knowledge.
Career development can happen organically with e-learning
Online training resources provide workers with anytime access to a library of career development content. When employees have the freedom and flexibility to learn on their terms, some of the results you may find are quite telling.
- Who went above and beyond the courses assigned to them?
- Who is spending the most time (on their personal time) investing in their own development? (Hint: you could be looking at management material!)
In addition to wanting more career training, the modern workforce also requires ongoing feedback. Fortunately, training and feedback go hand-in-hand.
Assign training and improve work performance
To further streamline management operations for managers and HR leaders, some LMSs integrate with performance management software, making it easier than ever to assess potential skills gaps and assign relevant training in a matter of minutes.
Whether managers assign additional training monthly, quarterly, or during every 1:1 check-in, integration between performance management and e-learning systems can help managers and HR leaders seamlessly develop and engage workers — and fast.
Transforming your company into one that provides the career training workers require won’t happen overnight. But, it will be well worth the effort when it comes to engagement and productivity.
Look for an e-learning software solution that provides the flexibility, scalability and ease of use your team needs to provide ongoing development that leads to enhanced company outcomes.