Fostering experiential learning through technology

By advancing and training internal employees, companies can save time and resources, while also boosting company culture and employee loyalty.

Between recent top graduates and well-trained employees seeking new opportunities, competition is heating up among employers looking to hire and retain the best talent. And this competition is expensive. The typical cost of turnover is 21 per cent of executives’ and specialty positions’ salaries and 20 per cent of the salary of workers earning $75,000 or less. Losing an employee earning $75,000 will cost companies roughly $15,000! So what if there was a way to reduce costs from turnover and avoid the daunting search for new employees? Luckily, the solution is right under employers’ noses.

By advancing and training internal employees, companies can save time and resources, while also boosting company culture and employee loyalty. In order to achieve this, companies need to question typical learning methods, forming new ecosystems and environments that foster experiential learning, innovation and growth. When employees have the right support system to advance, the ‘talent gap’ is just a perceived impediment.

The “cost” for investing in employee growth is lower than people think.

While many business leaders worry about the price of paying for continued learning classes, time needed to map the projections of each employee, and even hiring internal career coaches to sharpen resumes, few realise that there are multiple technological options they can implement at a fraction of the cost of in-person training.

With affordable tools, companies can build talent from within instead of having to compete for new hires from a limited supply of experienced workers. Organisations need to shift their focus from hiring based on technical background alone, and instead identify strong leaders that can grow with the company long-term.

This shift in focus allows companies to enhance their succession planning, which is especially critical considering the many Baby Boomers who will soon exit the workforce and increasing number of Millennials who are taking on executive leadership roles. With today’s changing technology, identifying high potentials and arming them with the technical and leadership skills for tomorrow is an endeavour that must begin here and now.

Employers need to identify what kind of growth and advancement their employees seek

According to a study conducted by CEB, more than 70 per cent of employees say they are dissatisfied with the growth opportunities at their companies. Some companies only train employees a few times a year, when instead they should be looking to foster ongoing and consistent innovation in the workplace.

In order to keep employees happy and retention rates high, companies should look into cultivating new ecosystems and environments that help them grow on a continual basis. Not only will business leaders expand their existing talent from within, they will also avoid the stress of constantly fighting with competitors for new talent.

Technology is the key to fostering employee growth and happiness

While workplace development can help strengthen employee performance, facilitating it can be a big chore and require resources companies simply don’t have. Luckily, technology saves the day by providing tools to help foster the constant learning opportunities employees seek. These types of platforms will help business leaders eliminate the need for constant in-person support and, instead, help provide technical resources beyond a one-time course curriculum.

Such platforms also oftentimes provide flexible courses for employees, allowing them to customise learning opportunities according to what they are seeking. It can also add a layer of rivalry with competitive scoring to get the workplace engaged in their day-to-day activities. Additionally, these tools provide various resources such as reusable code bases, best practices, examples and more to keep employees up-to-date on the happenings within their industry.

Such technology may even allow for monitoring of employee engagement and knowledge advancement to get visibility into the full education life-cycle that employees yearn for. In fact, there are several new performance management systems on the market that allow employees to view the extent of which their performance has improved following engagement in a learning opportunity. This information can be shared with employees’ managers and their teams to ensure the team is strategically aligned and progressing toward set key metrics and organisational goals.

The best employers prioritise collaboration and experiential learning

By implementing these tools into daily work life, businesses can prioritise collaboration and experiential learning, both of which are highly valued to those just entering the workplace. Such solutions can also help employees and leaders alike stay updated on the ever-changing world of technology. Offering existing talent opportunities like mentorship and on-the-job learning can expand their skillsets, thus filling the growing demand for knowledge of advanced analytics.

Today, businesses are in a world where there are nonstop technological changes which happen at a rapid pace. Workers, especially those in the IT industry, are expected to keep these skills up-to-date, and to do so, they need to improve their knowledge on a daily basis. According to a 2016 study by Instructure, a technology company that develops learning software, 89.6 per cent of surveyed employees felt that changes in their field required them to update their knowledge and develop new professional skills. Additionally, only 12.1 per cent of surveyed employees felt that their current job was 100 per cent preparing them for future work, while 85 per cent felt their current job was preparing them for 70.9 per cent for future work. Clearly, employees are aware that they need training and development in order to keep up with today’s rapidly changing business landscape. For this reason, continuous learning opportunities are a must within the workplace.

Offering training and professional development programs provides employees with the resources and tools to perform better and prepare themselves for greater responsibility. A company’s commitment to continued learning raises overall workforce expertise, as employees engage in building their knowledge in various areas. Once employees gain expertise and perform their jobs more effectively, their job satisfaction grows and the likelihood of retention increases. In fact, employees may even become brand ambassadors for the company, sharing their learning and developmental experiences with potential high-calibre candidates. All of these benefits result in decreased turnover and hiring costs, higher productivity, deepened collective knowledge and enhanced branding as an employer of choice.

Joshua Sutton, CEO and Founder of Pandera Systems
Image Credit: GaudiLab / Shutterstock

, , , , ,

Leave a Reply