Learning is Fundamental: Building a Better Workplace Curriculum
Rachell Robson | 4 min read
Learning and skill development are fundamental to success in life and in the workplace. Organizations with a strong commitment to learning and development (L&D) are more productive, more profitable, and more attractive to talent than those without.
L&D initiatives support business success by boosting employee engagement, attracting new talent, and providing opportunities for your existing talent. 80% of employees report feeling more engaged when they are provided with well-designed and accessible L&D opportunities. Most job-hunting millennials consider solid L&D instrumental to their job choice.
Standard L&D programs offer onboarding and job-specific training for new employees. An excellent L&D initiative encourages employees to build their skills, develop their leadership potential, and offer them a clear path toward their professional goals. Retention rates increase when employees are given chances to learn and grow in the workplace, and company culture is more positive and productive in organizations that support employee success.
Beyond the benefits to your bottom line, investing in L&D sends your employees a message. It tells them you are all working together to ensure your organizational goals align with their personal goals. Their well-being and knowledge are fundamental to your future, so you will provide them with the training and learning resources they need. Investing in L&D shows your employees you’re as committed to their success as you are your own.
So, L&D is clearly a big deal, but does it have to be boring? The honest answer is, “Sometimes.” There will always be policies and compliance regulations to learn and onboarding exercises to complete. Certain training items must be checked off every employee’s to-do list, but not all L&D activity has to center on a presentation deck. Consider these creative learning ideas:
- Microlearning modules can be completed in 15 minutes or less.
- Gamification and story-based learning present the necessary material in more entertaining ways and allow employees to visualize knowledge applications and generalize them to their work.
- Video and virtual sessions offer employees the chance to switch things up by watching content instead of reading it, and these modules are easy to combine with other information delivery models.
- Audio content is easy to consume on the go. Company podcasts are particularly useful for informing and engaging employees with timely — or evergreen — content delivered at their convenience.
- Action-based learning allows for hands-on evaluation in which employees demonstrate proficiency in new skills.
Nick Kyle, Manager of Training at Bagel Brands, has incorporated Gen Z-targeted training methods (e.g., video modules limited to two minutes in length) to engage younger employees in creative L&D.
If you want to get even more creative, get bold with your L&D initiatives. Build development days into your company’s calendar for employees to spend working on their own professional development. Allow employees to choose their own learning activity, and make sure the day is clear for them.
Continuous learning is another bold approach to employee development that builds L&D activities into daily tasks. Many companies hesitate to embrace the creative learning initiatives their employees crave out of fear it won’t produce the requisite ROI. Expanding your focus on L&D, and taking bold action to enhance and encourage learning, is precisely what your business needs for the changing world of work. To invest in building or scaling your L&D program is to look beyond the bottom line while simultaneously cultivating the assets that will ultimately improve it.
Designing a workplace L&D program is half the battle, but without employee buy-in, your company’s L&D efforts will inevitably fall short of your hopes and expectations. How can you build employee interest in L&D? Create an environment in which learning is valued and encouraged by:
- Offering interesting and engaging material. Learners are more likely to retain information and generalize new knowledge when the presentation is both engaging and relevant. You need your employees to understand what they are learning, and they need to understand why they are learning it.
- Giving employees a personal stake in their L&D. When learning programs provide professional and career development opportunities, employees are more likely to engage with the material and pursue additional knowledge and learning in the future.
- Letting employees learn together. Embrace the communal nature of learning, and use it as a team-building venture. Celebrate learning milestones, for individuals and teams, as a group.
Learning and development are essential to recruiting and retaining talented employees, particularly considering current and continuing workplace evolution. Online L&D programs are increasingly important in companies with remote and hybrid employees. Learning management systems (LMS) and learning experience platforms (LXP) are virtual learning environments that increase accessibility and community engagement for all your employees. Get creative with your company’s curriculum. Offer a variety of learning opportunities, and be flexible with delivery options and completion schedules. And make L&D opportunities as beneficial to your employees as they are to your business.
Learn more about the benefits of an LMS or LXP for your business at wisetail.com.