By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce, and 87% of millennials say development is important in a job. With automation on the rise, individuals are aware of the importance of staying relevant in their chosen line of work.
Employee development is a critical workplace component for both individual and organizational success. But successfully building a learning culture is not an easy task. There are several challenges to overcome along the way. Here are just three:
1. Getting Executive Leadership Onboard
Executives are the most public figures of any organization. As such, they have the power to shape culture and advocate for continuous learning and growth throughout the employee group. However, learning and development programs are often seen as a “nice to have” rather than a “need to have.” Sometimes even the leaders who see the value in learning and development just don’t know where to start.
To get your organization’s executives onboard, ensure that they are aware of the consequences of failing to support employee learning. The average shelf life of a skill is 2.5-5 years, so your organization should be consistently up-leveling employees’ skills to remain competitive in the marketplace. Additionally, learning programs keep employees engaged and diminish the risk of losing top talent. Replacing talent can be expensive and time consuming, so employee learning is good for the bottom line. When times are tough, discuss the gaps in learning culture that may have led to a business failure or downswing, so that executives recognize the opportunities that learning provides.
2. Involving Managers in Employee Learning
Manager involvement is one of the biggest drivers of employee engagement in learning. This group is responsible for coaching and mentoring. As such, they can help create an environment for continuous learning and guide employees to career-enhancing learning resources. According to a LinkedIn survey of approximately 4,000 professionals globally, 34% of managers surveyed say online learning that allows their teams to learn at their own pace would motivate them to encourage employee engagement. In addition, managers want a solid system to help them recommend learning opportunities.
To get managers involved, share learning success stories from their peers, especially where employee learning saved time and helped close a skills gap on the team. Providing concrete examples of how peers have successfully adopted a learning culture to drive business outcomes makes it easier for managers to implement and iterate the same ideas within their teams. Ensure that managers at all levels are aware of the learning solutions available and how their teams can take advantage of them. Make it easier for them to capitalize on existing routines, such as regular one-on-one discussions or annual performance cycles, to encourage individual learning.
3. Increasing Employee Adoption
Employee adoption of learning programs is the #1 challenge for talent development, according to LinkedIn. Employees value career development more than ever before, and 94% say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. Employee engagement would increase if it were based on the learning experiences they want, when and where they want them. LinkedIn survey results show that 58% of respondents prefer to learn at their own pace.
To meet the needs of these modern learners, consider an on-demand digital learning platform that can help employees gain access to the right learning content when they need it – and be sure to drive awareness of it. LinkedIn’s survey shows that 52% of modern learners engage in learning at the point of need, 47% in evening and weekend hours, 42% at their office desk, 30% when alerted to updates, and 27% while commuting to and from work. They like to learn in the moment, through whatever tools are most convenient to them. You’re much more likely to get employees engaged in regular learning if you provide on-demand opportunities.
The IEEE eLearning Library Front List is a valuable resource for online courses on the latest technology topics. With more than 400 hours of on-demand, self-paced courses in core and emerging technologies, the IEEE eLearning Library can help your organization’s employees stay on top of the latest developments in related technologies, creating greater market opportunities. Plus, upon completion of each course program, your employees will earn valuable CEUs/PDHs to maintain their licenses. Request a quote for your organization and give your engineering and R&D teams access to our ever-growing library of online courses today!