Continuous learning is essential to a positive work environment. It’s not only beneficial to employees, but it also can help businesses increase revenue and build a strong team. In the past, training often started and stopped with onboarding. Once someone knew the basics of their job, there was no need for further education. At least, that was the attitude. Now, many employers have discovered the benefits of continuous learning at work.
Why Should Employers Care About the Employee Learning Experience?
A good training program that lets your employees grow is considered a benefit. It will help you attract top talent from the outside. It also allows the top talent you already employ to reach their fullest potential.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the largest generation currently occupying the U.S. labor force. They account for more than one in three workers in the country. They also care deeply about skill development.
Gallup released a How Millennials Want to Work and Live report that found that 59% of millennial job seekers place a high value on positions that come with opportunities to learn. The report also revealed that 87% of millennials view career progression as one of the most attractive qualities they see in a hiring opportunity.
Well-trained and informed employees allow businesses to run smoothly. There are fewer costly errors, and productivity tends to be higher. Individuals with a broader skill set will be better able to take on more involved roles within a company, which can reduce the expense of external hiring.
Training also affects employee retention. Popular recruiting website Glassdoor reported that for every 10 months an employee stagnates in their job role, it makes them 1% more likely to leave the company.
Continuous learning can have a profound effect on your business. Now that you know the benefits, what can you do to motivate your workers to keep training and growing their skill sets?
10 Motivational Methods that Will Keep Your Employees Learning
- Make Learning a Part of Company Culture
Your company culture should nurture a desire to learn. This turns education into an expectation rather than a side activity. That means you need to make a deliberate effort to provide the tools and incentives your workers need. Create goals and expectations and ensure that all levels of management understand the importance of learning and work to make it as easy as possible.
- Offer Clear Career Paths for Employees
Career paths give employees a clear list of instructions to reach their professional goals. It will add value to every course an employee completes because it will push them closer to a job role or skill set that they want. It also allows them to work more efficiently by choosing courses that they need rather than irrelevant ones. Training without a career path is like driving to an unfamiliar location without a map or GPS.
- Understand Your Employees’ Needs
Every employee is an individual. You must understand their needs in order to figure out what will motivate them. For example, those who are more dominant in their leadership styles may be motivated by competition. Those who are patient may be driven by understanding the reasons for a request. Extroverts may be motivated by the opportunity to learn in a group.
- Encourage Development at All Levels
Learning should be encouraged at all levels. That means even the newest or lowest-paid employees should be presented with opportunities to further their education. Training should cover team or job role requirements as well as offer courses for personal development. One way to do this is to provide a robust training program along with tuition reimbursement for degrees or certifications.
- Have a Formal Training Program in Place
Every company should have a formal training program in place. This needs to be more than sitting a new hire down with a seasoned employee to learn the ropes. Each worker should have access to the training they need in a consistent way. It’s also important to ensure that your existing program covers everything it should, especially as technology changes. If you don’t have a training program or if the one you use hasn’t been updated in years, it’s likely time for an upgrade.
- Allow Time for Training at Work
Some employers are reluctant to give up time at work to allow employees to train. Even the best courses and training opportunities will mean nothing if your workers don’t have time to use them. Make sure your system includes scheduled times for employees to attend training or work through material. Some companies even offer one full day each month that’s dedicated to learning.
- Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Communication is essential to learning. Your workers need to be able to talk to you or their managers to discuss training needs or problems. They should feel comfortable requesting training if it is needed. They should also be able to discuss career paths and expectations. Not doing so can make employees feel trapped or unable to request the necessary resources to advance in their job roles.
- Increase Accessibility with an LMS
The more accessible your training content is, the more likely your employees will be to use it. Today’s learning management systems (LMS) are designed to be highly accessible and user-friendly. Many include mobile functionality, so employees don’t have to be on-site to retrieve training material or complete courses.
- Integrate a Coaching or Mentoring Program
Working through a career path or training course can be intimidating without support. Make sure you have a coaching or mentoring program in place to supplement training resources. This will give your workers someone to support them as they work to expand their knowledge. Mentors and coaches can also identify and address any problem areas before they become an impassable obstacle for the employee.
- Educate Employees on the Benefits of Training
One of the best ways to motivate employees to train is to let them know how it will benefit them. Show workers how training is connected to promotion and advancement. Let them know about any incentives or training days that are available. Highlight how specific types of training can further their career and even go with them as they move up through the company or even if they decide to leave later.
The Difference Training Can Make
Training can make a huge difference for companies of all sizes. It prepares the workforce to face challenges and can cut down on hiring costs. It also inspires positivity and keeps employees engaged. An LMS is an excellent way to start organizing your training program. Check out LMS.org to read reviews on LMS platforms and find one that offers the right fit for your organization.