At too many organisations, employees’ learning and development (L&D) needs get permanently put on the back burner – or consigned to an annual, team-based training day, that’s forgotten the moment staff return to their posts. But research shows there’s every reason for employers to take a smarter, more robust approach.
You only need to look at employee attitudes to get a sense of the value of L&D: LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning report revealed 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Similarly, the absence of structured L&D can have damaging effects – a survey by go2HR showed that 40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions in the first year.
While the benefits of investing in your workforce are hard to ignore, putting an effective strategy in place that generates positive results can be challenging. If you’re looking for practical advice, SAP Litmos has published an excellent guide for building your strategy and developing a culture of learning across your teams.
It’s available to read now – but before you jump in, read on, and we’ll unpack the three key pillars of modern learning discussed in the guide.
#1 Learning and development needs to be continuous
One of the most important considerations of L&D is that it needs to be ongoing, not a process you complete at the start of your role or just on dedicated team development days. Employees need to be able to challenge themselves to learn new skills and knowledge throughout their careers.
The benefits of continuous learning are twofold: employees feel like their employers are invested in their development, and it’s more cost-effective for organisations to train and upskill their existing employees than rehire. It can have a significant impact on employee morale, too – a LinkedIn Pulse survey revealed that having opportunities for development is the second most important factor in workplace happiness, after the work itself.
Successful, continuous learning needs to involve personalised and actionable development plans mapped to company objectives and individual career paths.
These action plans can include multiple forms of learning, from formal options such as university courses and online workshops to less formal options like research-based and on-the-job training. Critically, whatever employees’ development plans include, managers need to be involved and onboard – otherwise, employees might be hesitant to give up their working time.
#2 Learning and development needs to be content-rich
Content-rich learning means delivering intuitive, engaging content as part of your L&D strategy that makes it simpler for employees to learn. And with such a wide variety of digital courses available, it’s easy to offer employees valuable L&D plans without creating your own materials.
For common topics like customer service, leadership, and compliance, it’s often more cost-effective to purchase professionally developed, video-based content for your teams – giving managers more time for high-level strategic planning.
It’s an L&D trend that’s been especially useful as more industries have embraced remote working. Since the pandemic, 73% of L&D professionals expect to spend less on instructor-led training, while 79% expect to spend more on online learning.According to the LinkedIn 2021 Workplace Learning Report
Ideally, you’ll want to find a unified learning management platform that offers pre-packaged courses and resources in a single environment – one that makes it easy for managers to curate personalised learning plans and simplifies the learning experience for employees.
#3 Learning and development needs to be immediate
With more employees taking control of their learning and development, it’s important employers offer immediate access to the resources they need, whenever they need them.
“Employees use social media in their spare time to satisfy their curiosity right when they need it. It should be exactly the same with work. We must create corporate learning experiences that match consumer-grade experiences.”
And creating these fast, consumer-grade experiences is easier with the right technology behind you. Global consultant McKinsey suggests that technology platforms – like next-generation learning-management systems, embedded performance-support systems, and learning assessment systems – are the most significant enablers of “just-in-time” learning. They’ll help you deliver L&D content in convenient formats that are accessible from wherever your employees are working.
McKinsey also suggests that for such technologies to have the greatest impact, they should be fitted into your overall system architecture, supporting the entire talent cycle from recruitment and onboarding to career management and succession planning.
Embrace modern learning across your organisation – read the guide
Understanding these key pillars will set you in good stead as you launch your new L&D strategy. But there’s still a lot more to consider.
The SAP Litmos guide breaks the path to modern learning into three straightforward steps that’ll help you identify what L&D should look like in your organisation, and the actions you’ll need to take to put your plan into action.