How to show your employees the value of learning
The results are in and the modern employee is busier than ever before. Although to those of us passionate about the benefits of learning, the benefits of L&D are obvious, with looming deadlines, difficult targets, and ever-growing ‘To-do’ lists making up the majority of our learners’ workdays, using their precious time to engage in personal development can feel like a chore. However, when it comes to learning, showing our employees what’s in it for them isn’t as impossible as it may seem. Let’s look at 7 ways to show employees the true value of learning.
Advertise learning as a perk in job ads
As learning professionals, we know that the opportunity to grow and develop new skills is less of a gift than a chore, it’s all about how we present it. Promoting a learning solution as the perk it really is, particularly in a job posting is one way to show its true value. And it works. 83% of employees would choose a new employer over their current one if it offered more training and development (1). Mentioning a personal development offering in a job posting is more likely to not only attract more applicants to the posting but also increases the potential that those candidates are interested in their own proactive skills development and growth within the company.
Work with line managers to create individual personal development plans
It is no secret that no two learners are alike. This means that a personal development plan won’t hold the same value to one employee as it will to the next. For a learning professional overseeing the development of many employees, it can be difficult to provide every learner with an equally valuable learning experience. Getting line managers involved in the training process is a great way to tailor an employee’s personal development plan to ensure it provides them with the skills they need to improve their day-to-day performance and reach their personal and professional goals. Because line managers have a close professional relationship with our learners, getting them involved ensures that employees’ personal development plans and learning materials are valuable, relevant and fit-for-purpose.
Make learning engaging with short-form, informative content
In the modern world in which something’s worth can be measured by its level of instant gratification, one of the easiest ways to see the value of a product or service is by reducing the amount of time it takes to use it. Learning a new skill is incredibly valuable and immensely satisfying, but if developing that skill takes too much time out of employees’ days, they will soon tune out and the perceived value of the learning material will drop. Providing learners with short-form, bite-sized and easily digestible learning content will decrease the turnaround time on developing new skills and increase the overall perceived value of the organisation’s learning platform.
Engage more users with multi-format content
Now that we have discussed the importance of the length of time it takes to consume learning materials, we must now look at how that material is consumed. If an employee is given the opportunity to choose how they engage in their learning experience, learning opportunities suddenly become far more personalised and therefore more valuable. Providing learners with multi-format content such as audiobooks, podcasts, and bite-sized eBooks makes a user’s learning experience far more valuable because it puts the choice of not only what they will learn but how they do so in their own hands.
Give learners the opportunity to take advantage of moments of curiosity with mobile content
Learning opportunities are most valuable when our employees truly need them and that means they are not dependent on location or time of day. Some of the best learning happens outside the hours of 9-5 and one of the best ways to create a culture of proactive learners is by making learning available at the point of need. This means that learners need access to downloadable, mobile-friendly learning materials they can take with them anywhere and access when curiosity strikes.
Choose a learning solution that helps promote great content
One of the most common reasons the launch of a learning solution fails is through lack of promotion. Learners cannot be expected to take a proactive interest in engaging in their own development if they aren’t aware of the opportunities their organisation has made available to them. Not only should learning materials and the platform itself be promoted to employees throughout the company, but so should the organisation’s investment in the growth and development of the people that work for it. The benefits of L&D are infinitesimal and promoting the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor of personal development will spread the knowledge of its true value.
Emphasize the benefits of soft skills
Because of the focus on promoting the importance of tech skills in university as well as many organisation’s lack of focus on hiring for more interpersonal skills, there is a glaring soft skills gap in many companies across the world. This alone is a concern, however, as technology and artificial intelligence make their way further and further into the workplaces of today, developing the very skills that make us human will be the difference between the individuals and organisations alike who stay afloat in the years to come. On top of that, organisations with a focus on developing the soft skills of their employees tend to see an increase in productivity, innovation, creativity, and even sales. Promoting the benefits of developing soft skills such as communication, problem-solving and time-management can help communicate just how valuable your organisation’s learning solution really is.
For our employees, the opportunity to develop and grow in their own time, in their own way, is invaluable but without ensuring the content they consume and how they consume it is fit-for-purpose as well as promoting the benefits of engaging in developing their skills, employees will be unable grasp just how valuable an opportunity it truly is.
Participate in our 2020 L&D landscape survey and receive a free copy of Bookboon’s L&D Landscape Report 2020. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete but will provide a wealth of insights for both you and us: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LDlandscape2020