Written by

Seon Barbera

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April 25, 2016

Is It Time to Rethink Your Employee Training Program?

In our connected world, learning and development professionals know that employee training is constantly evolving to keep pace with technological advancements and an increasingly diverse workforce. Today’s learners prefer personalized information and expect it to be delivered quickly, efficiently, and seamlessly across devices and channels. It’s no wonder that knowledge sharing among peers and social learning are becoming more pervasive, particularly among millennials and the YouTube generation.

According to the e-learning industry, 85 percent of corporations have some type of learning management system (LMS) installed, but many are unsatisfied because of ROI analytics, lack of functionality or poor ease of use.[1] A learning and training culture that develops engaged and productive employees is on everyone’s minds, but some companies lack the proper strategy or implementation when it comes to training. In some cases, throwing out the old model for instructor-led employee training in favor of a more agile and fluid approach is the best approach for reaching today’s learners.

Coaching and mentoring

Businesses that invest in employee development see improved employee retention, engagement, productivity and performance. A learning culture that scales and is recognized across the organization can drive into that goal. Research also shows us that more than 70% of learning occurs informally while on the job,[2] and there are many other factors to consider.

In USA Today’s annual Future of Education feature on its Education and Career news site, Phil Friedman, President and CEO of CGS, discusses coaching and mentoring as one way to combat loss of internal knowledge. He says that finding ways to maintain the expertise of the 75 million baby boomers who are nearing retirement is absolutely critical. Setting up a system of formal or informal coaches and mentors can help solve that challenge.

Crowdsourcing knowledge

Another learning and development trend that helps combat knowledge drain for more engaged, productive employees is crowdsourcing internal expertise. Emerging new learning technologies continue to drive into the constantly changing and ever-evolving ways in which employees share knowledge, which in turn helps organizations meet their business goals. In fact, failing to efficiently and systematically share knowledge can cost a company in revenue. Fortune 500 companies lose approximately $31.5 billion a year by failing to share knowledge.[1]

fortune 500, share, knowledge,

“The trend is taking off, and we see it getting bigger,” said Doug Stephen, SVP of Enterprise Learning at CGS. “One example is a fast-moving consumer goods client; the brand increased its investments in crowdsourcing by almost 50 perfect in 2015.”

In an age when a YouTube video has the potential to reach thousands or millions of people, many high-performing organizations and employees have found that video content is a powerful method for knowledge sharing. Organizations can also encourage knowledge sharing that does not detract from core responsibilities by gathering feedback and communicating insights digitally, by employing e-coaching technologies or by using remote learning. The only requirement for these techniques is a mobile phone.

Social learning

Social learning is a natural answer for millennials and other digital natives, but older employees stand to benefit a great deal from this trend as well. Utilizing closed social platforms such as Yammer or Slack as a business process management, collaboration or communication tool can be a productive move for certain companies or teams. Internal forums or processes can also be helpful. Regardless of the technologies and methodologies, sharing knowledge between employees creates a better-informed and more cohesive workforce.


Creating and managing a successful employee training and development program takes work. There is no magic formula. It requires a precise focus on data and understanding how to turn it into actionable analytics that will improve the process. It also involves understanding learning trends and tools, as well as trends in workforce, culture and technology. But emerging trends and technologies create more than training challenges – they create exciting new opportunities to engage employees like never before and foster a productive workforce that will meet business objectives.

 

References

[1]

"Education and Career News site MediaPlanet," USA Today, [Online]. Available: http://www.educationandcareernews.com/career-development/thanks-coach-re....

[2]

"Want Your Company To Succeed In The Future? Invest In Employee Skills Training Like Deloitte LLP," Forbes, [Online]. Available: http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/05/14/want-your-company-to-su....

Written by

Seon Barbera

Topics