The speed at which technology is evolving and business needs are changing is at an all-time high. So it only makes sense for workplace skills to be evolving just as quickly, right?
In an ideal world – yes, the people of your organisation should continually be developing their skills to succeed in the workplace. In the real world however, there are deadlines to meet and schedules to stick to, and we don’t all have the luxury of attending courses and training sessions on a regular basis.
Fortunately there’s a solution. Workplace learning strategies are essential for your organisation, and a strong one can ritualise team learning. To build a powerful strategy you must put a framework in place that fits within your organisation and will effectively develop the capabilities of your people.
Whether you're in government or the private sector, the success of your projects depends on the collective skills of your team to solve problems and deliver impact. But bear in mind that it’s not a sprint, it's a triathlon - and you only win the race when your strategy, framework, and culture are strong.
So where do you start? Read on to find out more about the ins and outs of employee development, including a 5 step process for building your own workplace learning strategy.
Workplace learning and employee development is all about growing your organisation through individuals. In a nutshell, it’s a framework for helping people in your team develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. These skills can be:
- Technical or operational, such as meeting compliance needs.
- Soft-skills, such as people management.
- Related to culture or mindset, such as attitudes to new technologies.
Workplace learning is a broad term, but in the workplace it comes to life through development programs focused on building skills. These could be eLearning tools or regular training and graduate programs.
Important steps for building a positive learning environment
1. Foster a culture of development.
Tools are a core part of developing your team's understanding, but attitudes and behaviours are what will make or break the success of your tools.
Create an environment where everyone, from managers to HR teams and trainers, supports an attitude of learning and development. To do this:
- Lead by example. Roll out initiatives where managers are addressing their own development needs through regular trainings, or the use of their own learning tools.
- Demonstrate commitment. Ensure managers commit resources to supporting learning and actively contribute to the development of employee learning through planning sessions, taking notable interest in the ongoing development of teams.
- Allocate learning time. Rather than learning being an out-of-hours work activity, integrate training time into work hours, through a monthly workshop or dedicated training time.
2. Integrate feedback into your learning and development framework.
Have you ever put in the hard yards only for it to go completely unrecognised? The truth is that your hard work was probably appreciated but you just never received feedback on it. Feedback is encouraging, motivating, and helps people in your organisation grow - even if it is on the more “constructive” side!
Effective learning management means regularly giving and receiving feedback, and creating a supportive atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to learn and reflect on their development needs.
Give your team training to write their own objectives and outcomes. Ask them to identify their own learning needs, and proactively suggest ideas for activities to help develop these skills. Then select managers on your team that can help coach and support each team member's outcomes, and have regular check-in points for reflection on their objectives and their progress.
3. Make ethics and compliance training part of your learning and development strategy.
All businesses have to consider ethics and adhere to corporate compliance standards, and these should be included in the learning and development tools you implement, either as part of regular trainings or your eLearning strategy.
As part of implementation, the most effective way is to make compliance and ethics training part of the onboarding process for any new team members. Have team members revisit training as well, either every 6 months or annually, to make sure the material is always top of mind.
And don’t forget to keep your compliance training engaging and fun for your learners! Contact us about our ready to go organisational compliance training program or consider seeking out a customised solution involving tools like animation or gamification.
4. Ensure learning information is confidential.
As an employer, you have an obligation to make sure your team members are safe and that their information is confidential. If you have eLearning tools in place, work with your provider to make sure data is stored securely. For an individual team member's objectives, learning outcomes and feedback, set expectations and guidelines in place with managers on confidentiality.
Go beyond just implementation as well – make a point of communicating your privacy protection and confidentiality standards, so every team member is reassured that their information is safe with you.
5. Optimise the accessibility of learning materials.
After you've gone to all the hard work of building and implementing your workplace learning strategy, the next question is when and how your learning tools will be used. For example, if your learning materials are just stored on company computers, rather than a multi-platform learning management system, your team will be less likely to review and revise information.
To ensure your team makes the most out of your learning and development tools, download our free eLearning accessibility checklist here.