It has been said that it takes a lot more to maintain a happy workforce than it did years ago. This is supported by statistics, like the fact that nearly two-thirds of the workforce is actively disengaged from their jobs, and many others are using work time to search for other opportunities.
One of the better ways of keeping employees satisfied in their careers is to offer support for learning and development. Let’s face it, the convergence of personal and professional is happening more often in the workforce. People want support for their goals. How can your company develop enough programs to meet the unique needs of all its employees?
1. Make learning a core value in the workplace.
When learning is a value of the company, it becomes a normal aspect of the culture. This enables employees – who previously would be searching for new learning opportunities outside of work – to confidently pursue their professional development. Create a system to reimburse employees for continuing education. Send them to conferences. Purchase webinars if your budget is smaller. Encourage your staff to read articles throughout the day.
2. Identify learning and development programs that cater to employees at all levels.
Because learning styles can be so vastly different from one employee to the next, often driven by generational characteristics, learning and development programs need to be varied. Blend classroom learning programs with on-demand eLearning. Survey employees to find out what they want to learn and link this to their career goals. Not everyone wants to sit in front of a computer for a 60-minute webinar, and not everyone wants to go hear a local speaker.
3. Bring industry-leading programs and experts directly to employees.
Get your employees excited about learning and connect them deeper to the company by bringing learning to them. Set up brown bag lunch and learn sessions, offer special talks from industry leaders, and create a full learning environment that includes employees of all generations and interests. Taking that information from outside topics and relating it to your company’s processes provides a natural connection for your employees.
4. Promote and reward learning achievers.
To create a deep connection with employees, link their learning efforts to performance. If they participate, reward them for making this commitment to excellence. Set up promotions and bonuses based on learning initiatives. The incentives don’t have to be anything major. You can tie salaries to something like continuing education or certifications. A small gesture like a gift card to a movie theater will be appreciated, especially if you recognize employees publicly.
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