Chances are your business no longer operates the same way it did two decades ago. You don’t have tons of floppy disks on your desk, you’re not using a fax machine, and you probably keep most of your stuff on the cloud.
But what about your employee training program? Do you stick to outdated age-old training strategies that involve long, “one-off” learning sessions? If so, you are doing a disservice to your business and your employees.
To be able to honestly tick the “learning in the workplace” box, onboarding and compliance training won’t cut it. Your employees want lifelong training.
Why is Lifelong Training Important for Workers?
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 68% of employees prefer to learn at work. As the report shows, employees understand the importance of continuous learning in the workplace.
The reason behind this may lie in the fact that the majority of the workforce is made up of millennials and gen Zer’s. Instead of pursuing fancy job titles, younger generations are attracted to opportunities that offer professional growth and development.
They seek development opportunities at work and are thirsty for lifelong learning. To them, these opportunities go hand in hand with the salary and other perks. A business that acknowledges the benefits of training employees has a much better chance of attracting younger talent.
Your Employees Are Used To Having Information At Their Fingertips
Many employees of today belong to the native digital generation. Compared to the generations that came before them, they have a different approach to learning. Younger employees are used to having access to an infinite knowledge base.
They are used to “googling” instead of asking. One could say that the World Wide Web itself is a form of lifelong learning. If an employee asks you a question, chances are they tried to find the answer online before coming to you.
They have access to thousands of online courses that can help them develop their skills, and they know it. One of the reasons your employees want lifelong learning is the fact that they are already used to it.
To establish yourself as a forward-thinking business, you need to put a lot of effort into training employees—continuously. For instance, to show your employees that you value lifelong learning, you can start an employee engagement program. You can use tools such as wikis, video sharing, microblogging, and training management software.
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Your Employees Want to Contribute
Many workers want to contribute to their company in a more meaningful way; they are not content with simply executing. They want to solve problems, and they want to find new ways to do it.
Workers have more time to be creative as more tasks become automated. To meet the needs of your employees and help them achieve fulfillment, you can employ staff training that makes the most out of their complex cognitive skills.
Continuous training allows them to acquire more advanced skills. Naturally, they will use those skills to contribute more meaningfully to your business.
Your Employees Want to Evolve
There are fewer vertical hierarchies as businesses become more agile and flexible. The typical timeline in which a candidate gets hired, works hard, and earns a promotion is becoming a thing of the past.
But your employees still want to see themselves evolve. To accommodate them, you need to allow them to move horizontally in your company.
Horizontal career growth doesn’t presume that your employees don’t have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. Horizontal career growth revolves around creating value for your business and your employees by increasing your employees’ knowledge.
Horizontal career growth allows for seamless cross-department collaboration and efficient internal communication. Most importantly, it allows your employees to grasp every development opportunity. Employee lifelong training goes hand in hand with horizontal career growth.
Your Employees Want to Make Make an Impact
Millennials and gen Zer’s pay great attention to the ethics and the motivations of the company they work for or want to work for. As seen in Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey, younger employees believe that companies should be making a positive impact on society and the environment.
Younger employees feel strongly about their beliefs and convictions. And they want to work for companies that are not afraid to take a stance.
More and more companies are taking a stance on social and environmental issues. One could argue that their employees are one of the driving factors behind this.
It’s important for them to work for a company that is truly dedicated to improving people’s lives, and lifelong learning does exactly this. Moreover, education is a cause in itself. Lifelong learning helps people, governments, and businesses.
If you want to elevate your company, you need to do more than offer your employees training once in a while. Training shouldn’t be something you only do when you are introducing new tools.
Continuous employee development and training are top priorities in the age of digital disruption. To meet the needs of your employees, you need to start creating direct links between your employees’ learning goals and their performance.