A research by People Matters in 2018 spoke of a book by Peter Senge where he coined the term ‘Learning Organization’. His rationale behind this term was that organizations that are learning and are flexible, productive, and adaptive to change will excel. The book was published in the 1990s, when L&D based business strategies were just a concept, and now we can see coming true in 2020.
In 2020, organizations are training manual QA tester to learn automation, python experts are receiving training of data science, and every graduate employee is undergoing a certificate course for which their companies are providing allowances. Organizations have changed their remote working strategies and provided their employees with ample facilities and flexibility in work to learn new skills.
Companies are sponsoring e-learning and employees are using their time to do courses on Udemy, Allison, Coursera, etc. These e-learning platforms have also tied up with various universities and have launched excellent programs that provide knowledge equivalent to regular graduate and post-graduate courses.
Many organizations have introduced L&D programs by constantly measuring the progress and modifying their programs to stay relevant. Let us take a look at the trends that have changed the way employers and employees look at learning:
- Personalized Training Program: People want a program that they feel can help them personally, hence one-size-fits-all programs with very generalized content might be easy for the company to curate but won’t help employees. Axis bank teamed up with Coursera for the same reason.
Coursera has a wide range of online programs that every employee can benefit from. This step by Axis bank has helped employees choose a program suitable to their profile while ensuring a better ROI.
- Aligning Organization’s Goal with Individual Goals for Better ROI: Organizations often aid employees in taking up a course for their personal growth, that can also help them in their profession. Capgemini has started with initiatives such as Group Learning and Development to help employees understand their client’s needs. When the goals of employees and organizations are aligned, the output tends to be more profitable and productive for the organization.
- Leveraging Training Program as an Incentive to Attract Candidates: Companies like Amazon are known for their excellent L&D programs, which is why candidates desire to work for Amazon. Let candidates view your training and development programs, and the incentives that are provided on your company’s career page. This is a great way to attract candidates who have the zeal to learn and helps in engaging the best talent. Also, like Infosys, companies can offer a hike to employees who have successfully undergone a re-skilling program that can benefit their work.
- Digital Delivery: In a remote working environment, almost everyone has laptops and smartphones and therefore they need L&D programs that will be compatible with smartphones, laptops, and other devices so that they can learn anywhere. Oracle offers a variety of online technical courses. Offering technical courses online is difficult as they often need on-sit training. By delivering these programs digitally, they have not only removed barriers of time, equipment, and place but have made the program more accessible.
- Curating Learning Programs: An ideal learning and development strategy in modern organization should be able to cater to all levels. A top-down or bottom-up approach can help in curating such programs. Feedback from employees is also an essential component of any learning and development process. It gives employees a sense of involvement in the strategic decisions of the company and increases participation. Oracle works closely with Stanford Centre for Professional Development to design their courses. Wipro has its own data scientist program called ’Wista’, which is an integrated post graduate program in analytics. They have designed this program keeping the needs of their employees in mind.
Employers also need to assess the skills of employees before and after introducing the program to map the effectiveness of the program. This can be easily done with the help of online skill assessment tools that have questions based on the exact skills the employees have learned. imocha has one of the most comprehensive skill libraries covering 2000+ skills, and helps screen candidates to identify their skills proficiency, saving countless hours and closing the hiring cycle 4x faster. The tests also provide a detailed report immediately.
- Micro-Learning: In 2020, employees are already dealing with challenges and struggling to maintain a work-life balance. In such a scenario, they are not likely to take up a training course in which they have to invest a lot of time and effort. Instead, micro-learning programs can be introduced. Companies can conduct very short learning programs or workshops which will help employees refresh their knowledge without exhausting them. Employees can also visit websites like Coursera, Allison, Udemy, etc. where such small courses are available at reasonable fees.
In 2020, learning and development processes are becoming a part of the work culture. While you provide your employees with the best resources to learn, make it a point to focus on developing a company culture that encourages learning. Developing a culture of continuous learning is the best way to develop a strong relationship between employees and employers.