Staff who have the opportunity to expand their learning will stay at their current job for longer, according to a report by LinkedIn. The study, which surveyed 4,000 workers worldwide on their view of workplace learning, found that 94% of people would stay at their company longer if it invested in their professional development. Yet the same report found that getting teams to find the time to learn was a major problem.
The benefits of employee learning and development reach beyond simply retention. It positively impacts employee engagement, improves company culture, and contributes to staff happiness. So if staff are having difficulty fitting learning into their working week – whether that involves reading an informative blog, taking part in an e-learning course, or shadowing a coworker – the knock-on effects could be damaging.
Then there’s the pandemic, which has accelerated the switch to remote working for a vast majority of workers and forced some organisations to overhaul their entire business model. This change in working routine and priorities makes it even harder for staff to dedicate time to learning. The added stress of navigating a pandemic does no favours for staff motivation either.
So how can you encourage your remote teams to keep learning when all the odds seem stacked up against them? Thankfully, the digital workplace tools they’re using to work from home are already geared up to facilitate staff development. Here are a few ways you can use them to inspire learning in your teams:
Actively promote learning to your staff
A supportive manager who advocates staff development is vital to creating a culture of learning. Indeed, the same report by LinkedIn found that two thirds of staff would feel more motivated to learn if they were asked to by their direct manager.
Managers can support their staff by actively reaching out to them to understand if they have any training needs or desire to learn something new. Remove any barriers to learning by promoting training days, upskilling events, and learning budgets on your company intranet, and encourage staff to take advantage of the learning opportunities on offer. Doing so will encourage employees to dedicate some time to their career development.
Speak to your staff and encourage them to expand their knowledge
Make training courses easily accessible
The number of hours people spent consuming digital learning content has more than tripled during lockdown, according to a recent report. The appetite to learn new skills is clear.
Make it easy for your staff to access the digital workplace learning courses they crave by adding direct links to them on your intranet homepage. It’s a simple quick-win that saves staff time searching for training courses, so they can focus those precious minutes on learning instead.
Add quick links to your e-learning courses to make it easier for your staff to access them
Gamify the learning experience
If staff motivation levels are waning, consider using gamification techniques in your training courses. Gamification is the application of video gaming principles – such as collecting points and earning rewards when reaching new milestones – to staff development programs. Behavioural research has shown that these techniques captivate and motivate people to continue learning, because the instant feedback and possibility of a prize drives their desire to progress.
Incorporate elements of gamification into your staff training program using the digital workplace tools your staff already use. For example, use tools such as intranet badges to reward employees whenever they complete a course; set up engaging quizzes to test knowledge; and create personalised learning paths where staff can visualise progress and see how close they are to achieving their next goal.