Today's employees have high expectations for their organization's learning and development programs. Modernizing your learning program will not only lead to higher employee engagement and retention but also allow you to build a more agile and higher performing organization. So what are some simple steps L&D leaders can take to cater their training program to the needs and demands of today's workforce?
Here are four ways to make your L&D initiatives more engaging to the modern learner:
1. Make content bite-sized
Today's employees expect rapid, easy access to the information they need to do their jobs. The modern workforce uses Google in their personal lives to obtain rapid answers to their questions, so they expect this same type of efficiency at work. The modern learner simply won't sit through a lengthy on-demand training course to find one thirty-second clip with the insights they need. They'll just swing by their colleague's desk instead. By offering training content in small, bite-sized chunks, you will drive adoption of your learning initiatives, improve employee productivity and enhance the overall employee experience.
2. Incorporate video
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials will account for 46 percent of the total workforce by 2020. This so-called YouTube generation is accustomed to consuming information visually. As the percentage of these video-centric millennials in the workforce rises, it's important to engage them in their preferred learning mode. By incorporating video content into your L&D program, you can better engage your workforce through enabling self-paced learning and fostering global collaboration.
Saba's recent 2017 State of Employee Engagement Survey also pointed to the increased consumption of video content for employee training purposes being a likely trend for 2017. Video content that provides easily-digestible training or opportunities to learn received a similar "thumbs up" from HR leaders and employees, with 68 percent of both groups reporting that video content will continue to increase in importance.
3. Making training available on the go
According to a 2014 CEB report, just 21 percent of employees expect most of their learning to happen in the classroom, and 57 percent of employees expect learning to be more "just in time," or as needed. Given the average person also checks their mobile device 110 times a day (yes, really), mobilizing your learning is no longer a luxury. The modern workforce expects access to training anytime, anywhere and from any device. To engage the modern worker, mobile learning is a must-have.
4. Facilitate social and collaborative learning
In Saba's recent 2017 State of Employee Engagement Survey, we found that the majority of HR leaders and employees agree that in order to more effectively communicate with the younger workforce, companies need to increase social media capabilities. Nearly three quarters of both HR leaders and employees believe that social tools that help employees on teams collaborate from different locations is more important or much more important than it was even two or three years ago.
The informal, collaborative learning that happens every day amongst colleagues is just as valuable as your formal learning program. Collaborative learning is gaining traction and attention among learning professionals lately, but it's always been a part of how we learn. There are many small, easy steps learning professionals can take to help foster a culture of collaborative learning.
Companies that modernize their learning initiatives are better able to connect and engage their employees, driving retention while also helping deliver greater ROI from L&D investments. With these four small steps you will be well on your way to providing the collaborative, engaging learning programs that today's employees require.