How To Design Lifelong Training Courses Your Employees Actually Want
iStock.com/fizkes

9 Tips To Design Lifelong Training For Employees

The benefits of continuous employee training are undeniable. Companies that establish a culture of lifelong learning enjoy a high-performing and adaptable workforce, and reduced employee turnover. Ultimately, lifelong training prepares your employees for the future workplace. And it can determine whether your company stands the test of time (and competition).

Getting employees on board with lifelong learning shouldn’t be a problem; modern employees are eager to develop their skills. Lifelong training examples include not only job-related hard skills but also soft skills that promote both career and personal growth. But if that’s true, why do your training offerings have lukewarm reception? Are you doing something wrong?

Getting employees to stick around is tricky, even when they are well disposed toward training. In this post, you’ll discover how to design lifelong training for employees that is both well received and beneficial.

1. Study Your Data

The data you have collected from previous courses can reveal what gets in the way of learner participation and engagement. So, to design lifelong training courses that meet employee expectations, you need to study your data first.

If you’ve been using an LMS, like TalentLMS, to deliver training, your reports are a great way to monitor learner behavior and gather indirect feedback. Is there a surge in dropouts lately? How long does it take employees to complete their training? Look for trends that indicate that employees have lost interest in training. Low participation rates are often a sign of job dissatisfaction and a precursor to turnover.

You can also collect direct feedback through surveys and one-on-one conversations. Employee feedback will pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of your training courses. You might realize that the problem is not your training courses per se, but lack of motivation. For example, employees might enjoy the learning material and structure of the courses. But they need an extra incentive, like a clear prospect of career advancement within the company.

2. Pick The Right Delivery System

A crucial aspect to consider when designing lifelong training for employees is how you deliver training. The right delivery system has the power to increase both engagement and completion rates.

If you’ve been working with written-based content, you’ve probably already discovered that there’s little potential for excitement. Classroom-based training is an effective and interesting delivery system. Still, it lacks flexibility in terms of time and location.

The ideal delivery system is easy to use, accessible, and frustration-free. Employees should be able to navigate through their courses easily and from multiple devices. Plus, they should be able to choose among different types of content to create personalized learning experiences. An LMS for continuous training offers all these capabilities and more. Make good use of the features available to deliver unique training experiences your employees will want to come back to.

3. Enable Self-Directed Learning

Forcing training on your employees won’t bear fruit in the long run. Enabling employees to take control of what, how, and at what pace they want to learn can help you create training courses that promote lifelong training in the workplace.

Self-directed learning empowers employees by letting them take ownership of their learning and career development. They get to choose which skills they want to reinforce and the areas they want to specialize in. Instead of following a predetermined learning path, they design their own.

Self-directed learning is a leap of faith on your behalf. But your employees need to know that you trust their judgment and their intentions. Let them create a training plan and choose the learning assets that work best for them. More often than not, the result is high learning engagement and deep learning.

4. Make It Easy

Training should fit seamlessly into your employees’ workflow. Even when their schedules are packed, or they’re on the move. So, no, making it easy isn’t about dumbing down your courses. It’s about offering a continuous training program that is easy to access and easy to consume. Enter microlearning and mobile learning.

Microlearning steals just a few minutes off your staff’s time. They can go through the bite-sized learning material real quick and return to their job duties. No muss, no fuss. Microlearning assets have high educational value and come in many forms, from how-to videos to infographics and quizzes. Employees can turn to them during any stage of their learning journey—either to acquire new knowledge or to reinforce what they have already learned. This way, microlearning becomes their trusted ally in lifelong learning.

If you deliver training through a mobile app, all the better. Enabling employees to access training on their own time and using their preferred device offers tremendous flexibility. Which, in a fast-paced workplace, plays a determining role in lifelong training success. Besides, mobile usage has become second nature to modern employees. Delivering lifelong training on mobile is the best option.

5. Keep It Interesting

How can you motivate corporate learners to keep coming back to their training with so much going on in their lives? You make it fun for them. When employees see training as a break from their routine rather than an obligation, you’ve won half the battle.

One way to do this is to make your course feel more like a game. Use rewards, badges, points, and other gamification elements to fuel their motivation. Even if your employees aren’t avid gamers, they’ll enjoy the process of collecting points and unlocking levels.

Don’t hesitate to mix content formats or even delivery methods. Apart from the standard learning assets like videos, infographics, or quizzes, throw in a couple of live webinars and ILT sessions. You can also add games, simulations, and branching scenarios. With so much choice and variety, there’s no room for boredom and quitting!

6. Involve Managers In Training

If you’ve been wondering how to encourage lifelong learning in the workplace, the answer might lie in your management. According to a 2019 LinkedIn Learning report, 75% of employees say that they would join a course their manager assigned [1]. Another 46% discover new courses via their manager.

However, managers can do more than to keep employees in the loop about your training courses. They know the skills that your workforce is missing or should further reinforce to achieve their full potential. Their input is key to building training courses that are relevant to your workforce.

Apart from that, managers act as mentors and point employees in the right direction, depending on their competencies and goals. They can also link continuous training to opportunities for promotion and career mobility. And, of course, managers keep employees on the right track by monitoring their progress on the job and providing regular feedback.

7. Leverage Peer-Based Learning

According to the 70/20/10 model for Learning and Development, 70% of our knowledge comes from hands-on experience, 20% from interactions with others, and only 10% from formal training.

Peer-based learning is an integral part of lifelong workplace training. Employees explore different perspectives and find new ways to solve problems—ways that go beyond their standard way of thinking. Can you think of a better way to keep the spark of curiosity and lifelong learning alive?

Create opportunities to encourage peer-based interactions as much as you can. Luckily, you’ve got plenty of choices. You can assign collaborative projects or develop eLearning games where employees compete with each other.

You can also create course discussions in your LMS or social media groups. Or, incorporate live Q&A sessions where corporate learners can engage in real-time discussions with instructors. Even mentoring and coaching qualify as peer-based learning.

8. Cross-Train Employees

Training is your most valuable investment, so don’t hesitate to create more of it. Yes, that’s right. The best way to create lifelong training for employees is to expand your training offerings across different departments. After all, there’s no meaning in lifelong training if it doesn’t promote well-rounded knowledge.

Don’t wait for your employees to tell you that they’ve had enough of job-specific training. Employees know that the workplace landscape changes fast. They want to develop skills and traits that will help them shift between different roles and responsibilities. If your training doesn’t meet this requirement, they will soon lose interest.

Cross-training drives learning motivation because it opens the door to new opportunities. It’s also a great way to renew your staff’s energy and enthusiasm at work.

9. Reward Continuous Learning And Development

Stress the importance of lifelong learning in the workplace by giving employees the rewards and recognition they deserve. Sure enough, employees who participate in training are genuinely invested in their professional development. But a few gestures of appreciation will keep them going strong.

One way to reward employees is to offer a certificate after the successful completion of each course. Certifications are much appreciated because they officially validate newfound knowledge and skills. You can also reward employees with a day off or vouchers for a free service or product.

Last but not least, don’t forget about the good old pat on the back. Acknowledge their commitment to lifelong learning by congratulating them either in private or publicly. If you want to take it a step further, create a “wall of recognition” where employees can list their certifications. Public recognition might motivate other employees to join the training too.

Conclusion

Failing to create lifelong training for employees will bring your company face to face with poor performance and high turnover. So why don’t you gather your L&D team, rethink your training strategy, and give it another try?

Sources:

[1] LinkedIn Learning's 2019 Workplace Learning Report: Key Findings

eBook Release: eFront
eFront
Train your employees, partners and customers with eFront, the powerful learning management system that shapes to fit your needs.
Close