Why Learning Is The Foundation Of A Solid Talent Strategy

Developing A Corporate Learning Strategy - Why Learning Ιs Τhe Foundation Οf Α Solid Talent Strategy
Summary: The opportunity to develop skills and knowledge is high on the list of important factors to today's workforce. The most progressive organizations are recognizing learning is as much about recruitment and retention as it is about development.

3 Reasons Why Developing A Corporate Learning Strategy Is Vital For Your Business

From gaming rooms and nap pods to happy hours and catered lunches, businesses go to great lengths to keep employees happy. But what’s left when the luster of these office perks wears off? Today’s employees—especially but certainly not exclusively, Millennials—are motivated more by the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge than by trendy perks, informal work environments, and even money.

In fact, a recent Gallup report revealed that 59% of Millennials say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job. According to Deloitte, Millennials who are satisfied with their development opportunities are twice as likely to stay with a company than those Millennials who are unsatisfied.

Today’s workforce is loud and clear about what they want and expect in a job—and when you consider a shrinking talent pool and rising costs of replacing employees—it would be crazy not to listen. To meet millennial expectation, learning must move beyond its current state, which is too often outdated and irrelevant. For L&D professionals, this means providing the right kind of learning experiences to support their employees’ lifelong pursuit of upskilling and reskilling—which differs in some ways from traditional learning.

Applying the tenets of adult learning, such as ensuring that it’s highly relevant to the learner’s needs and provides an opportunity for self-assessment, is a must—regardless of the learners' skills level, title, or where they are on their learning journey. To ensure that employees can succeed at what their employer needs today and tomorrow, L&D leaders must design learning experiences and ecosystems that align with learners' needs.

Here are 3 considerations to keep in mind when creating a corporate learning strategy:

1. Learning Modalities Are Not The Same At All Stages

When learners are in the identification (the early ‘what is’) stage and awareness (the intermediate ‘why’ stage) areas of proficiency progression, they benefit from performance development reports that are more structured. This doesn’t necessarily mean through traditional modalities like classroom training. Video courses, for example, can provide the kind of structured sequence these learners need in the foundational stages. When learners are in the fluency stage, where they have a deep understanding of the content, they’re more likely to need performance adjacent learning tools. These comprise less-structured experiences and access to broad, in-depth content. They often prefer content in modular form (i.e., that provides quick answers through easy search), as close to the workflow as possible and in modalities that facilitate a non-linear (point-of-need) learning experiences.

2. Design Learning Environments For Multiple Proficiency Levels

A corporate learning strategy that fails to understand the proficiency progression of the user will fail to deliver the most relevant experiences for their learners in the most contextually appropriate ways. For example, delivering highly structured experiences aimed at developing fluency, or higher-level learning, is likely to be unsuccessful. Delivering experiences aimed at an identification or beginner-level of proficiency with too much content or not enough structure will also be problematic for learners as they move towards awareness and understanding.

3. Factor In The Realities Of Learning Today

L&D teams must free themselves from the notion that formal learning (in-person or online) is the only way to deploy a corporate learning strategy. In fact, in most cases, formal learning won’t succeed for those who have a general understanding of the topics at hand. By embracing performance-adjacent learning tools, which aim to minimize friction and disruption by making it easy to access information and return to a normal workflow quickly, business leaders can create L&D programs that are both relevant and empowering for employees.

Unlike college courses or traditional on-the-job training programs, today’s learning isn’t happening in a predetermined time and it doesn’t end on a schedule. Given how important learning is to workers, nor should it. The desire to learn is there and smart business leaders have already started making it a priority, rather than a sporadic occurrence. After all, retaining good talent depends on it.