How to create training that employees want

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How many times have you googled something that you didn’t know, or might have forgotten?

The world has embraced, and adapted to, technology, incorporating web 2.0 technologies – like Google – into every facet of daily life.

The approach to learning and development has also changed, forcing businesses to rethink their training strategies. When we look at the current climate, we are confronted by a glut of organisations, cutting down their headcount in an effort to improve their profit margins. This puts a lot of pressure, on the modern-day workforce, to work smarter and navigate their daily duties in a more efficient way, often wearing many different hats within a function.

The reality is that although there is a strong focus on getting the ideal individual on-board – who ticks all of the required boxes for the position, the organisational acumen – namely: Policies, Processes and Procedural knowledge (PPP’s) – are still required. This enables a new employee to fill the gaps and to perform optimally in line with the organisation’s needs. PPP’s also change quickly in some organisations. But, how do businesses deal with this shift?

There are some basic factors that need to be considered when upskilling the modern-day workforce.

What do employees need to learn?

The best way to resolve any problem is by understanding it; the “what, why and where” of the problems which occur. Once exposed, it is easier to monitor and manage, the driving improvements of the workplace. It’s always better to treat the cause and not the symptoms.

Strategic Content

Focus on the topics extracted from key areas of the content; those with the most impact on the business

Knowing what it is that your staff need to learn, is crucial to addressing the pain points within the business. A proper needs analysis will clearly show, where and why, performance issues occur within any organisation.

Focus on the quick wins at first, and then move onto the next focusses, until the organisation is thriving again. Keep the cycle going, and you will be able to see the impact and enjoy the ROI.

Packaging Content

As organisations evolve, in order to include Gen Z and Millennials’ in their workforce, shouldn’t they also adapt to their needs? Real-time information is an integral aspect of this adaptation. Think about what is online and accessible to them. Content in short, bite-sized chunks makes for better consumption. Short bursts of training, commonly known as micro-learning, are a great way to do this. Focus on the topics extracted from key areas of the content; those with the most impact on the business.

What’s in it for me?

This is the first question that anyone asks when given a task, whether they admit it or not. It’s human nature, we are programmed for self-preservation. Providing value for your employees will keep them engaged, throughout training the programmes. Value doesn’t have to be an incentive, the chemicals that are released in the brain, when competing are often enough.

Millennial Mechanics

Creating online knowledge repositories, which provide information in real time, will ensure that employees have answers when they need them. This also supports self-learning and creates a solid sense of comfort within the business. Employees can and (will?) feed their personal knowledge requirements. As Millennials are not afraid of proactively finding information, such knowledge repositories are set up in a format that they are used to – search.

Engagement

Gamification is encouraged when upskilling, the newer generations, in the workplace. This makes it exciting, and there, is also an immediate sense of reward; things as simple as points on a leaderboard, or a name in the top ten or the recognition of peers will encourage employees to complete the training.

Let’s face it, the learning landscape has changed, the audience has changed. Learners want more than just hours and hours of classroom training. They want control, control over what they need to know, as well as how they access this knowledge when they need to use it.

Change your approach now, don’t risk losing the young talent in your business just because your approach to learning does not suit them. Give them the knowledge, tools and the power to grow with your organisation instead. Provide the platform, and flexibility, for them to learn the way that they have chosen to learn.

Author: Gareth Thomas

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