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The Key to Engagement: Focus on Learning

The power of learning is essential and timely. Learning programs for employees are best delivered not just as a series of must-dos, but within an overall culture — filled with opportunities and experiences that engage employees. The challenge for employers now, given that many workforces are remote, or a combination of remote and on-site, is how to do it.

In one of our webinars, Unlock Employee Engagement with 5 Powerful Ways to Learn, we focused on problem-solving as well as future-casting. I want to share some of the highlights here, the key strategies and tools you’ll want to know. These are effective for organizations of any size and can help you streamline the complexity of employee training and development and turn it into an enormous driver of engagement.

5 Learning Strategies

In the webinar, we looked at the five most effective ways to provide learning opportunities for employees and strengthen the culture and resilience of your organization as well. I’m breaking them down in nutshell form here. But trust me — you’ll definitely want to dive into the bigger picture on these.

  1. Use learning to bolster business continuity. Business continuity depends on institutional knowledge — and one way to maintain that is to make sure institutional knowledge is shared. One strategy: Reach out to your experienced employees and have them share the skills and expertise involved in their roles via short videos, for instance, which can be incorporated into your learning program. In the long run, it’s better for the whole organization to understand what everyone does even if no one leaves.
  2. Harness learning for blended teams. So many workforces are either remote or a mixture of remote and on-site. But learning needs to reach them no matter where they are. Further, providing digitally delivered learning programs not just for individuals but for teams is a powerful driver of cohesion and collaboration.
  3. Incorporate peer-to-peer learning to build resilience and connection. Dickens Aubourg, the director of client learning for Paycom, has produced great thought leadership around peer-to-peer learning. He encourages organizations to expand their vision of peer-to-peer and orchestrate opportunities for teams to problem solve, brainstorm ideas and share learning modules to boost morale, creative thinking and, most of all, an undeniable sense of connection around shared experience and growth.
  4. Provide microlearning and constant access to boost engagement. Microlearning is a surprisingly potent way to deliver information and knowledge. It’s sharply focused on a specific skill or topic, kept under 5 minutes and often delivered in a short video. The bite-sized format invites people to access it at their own convenience, making it far easier to continue learning at a period when we are all short on time and attention.
  5. Leverage learning as the key differentiator for engagement and retention in 2021. TalentCulture’s recent survey on how HR professionals are using technology in people management revealed that 61% would use technology to provide more employee learning opportunities if they had the time. But it’s no secret that employees want opportunities to learn — 94% of employees say that if their company invests in helping them learn, they will stay there longer, according to a study by LinkedIn.

We’ve seen how digital HR technologies, and indeed, tech in general, has empowered an enormous and sudden shift in circumstances for the world of work. And that puts an imperative on digitally delivered learning programs.

Another sea change is coming as well: Deloitte’s 2020 Human Capital Trends survey found that 53% of all respondents anticipate that nearly all of their workforce will need to change their capabilities and skills within the next three years. The good news is that the learning programs are out there — to train and develop at scale and across this extremely varied terrain.

Employee learning and development initiatives should be simple. With Paycom Learning, you can easily create and distribute training, provide the learning experience workers want and more all in one tool.

 

 

About the author
Author picture, Meghan Biro
Meghan Biro
Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized HR tech analyst, author, speaker and brand strategist. The founder of TalentCulture, she hosts #WorkTrends, a popular Twitter Chat and weekly podcast. Her career spans across recruiting, talent management, digital media and brand strategy for hundreds of companies, from startups to global brands. Meghan can be regularly found on Forbes, SHRM, TalentCulture and a variety of other outlets. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @MeghanMBiro.