Technology for Employee Learning: 3 Ways To Improve Continuing Education
Adopting technology for employee learning may have moved to the back burner at many organisations as HR leadership focus on employee recruitment and retention strategies. But losing focus on employee education can be very detrimental to talent attraction and retention.
According to a study by the ADP Research Institute® The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce (1), 82% of employees have “positive” feelings about a future where “people will use tech to learn anything, anytime, anywhere.” Today’s employees are clearly eager to learn and acquire new skills, and the adoption of technology to enable employee learning allows organisations to elevate employee happiness while improving their ability to retain talent.
For example, according to London-based CityAm (2), out of 2,000 people considering switching companies in the next year, a primary motivator is a desire for professional growth, with 41% of employees considering defecting because they want to push their career forward, while another 32% just feel “bored” by their job.
To strengthen your retention strategy and reduce the risks of employee churn, improving your organisation’s professional education programs could be just what you need to heighten employee engagement and keep your employees happy right where they are. Thanks to an abundance of new technologies for professional education, implementing new programs should be easier than ever before.
Here are three technologies that HR leaders can employ to both engage and educate the workforce:
- Mobile Technologies
Not all employees learn in the same way, and not all have time to gather for a traditional lecture. So facilitating on-demand learning via a mobile application could lead to significantly better knowledge retention for employees across a wide variety of industries. HR Leaders can also use the opportunity to gain valuable insight into employee knowledge on an enterprise-wide and individual basis.
The Atlantic (3) reports that auto parts chain Pep Boys has implemented a voluntary-use, mobile-based education system that trains employees on theft. Employees can choose to complete game-like learning sessions via smart phone in “just three minutes a day.” In addition to a $20 million theft reduction within a year of implementation, Pep Boy’s HR team gained access to a trove of insights on employee engagement with the application.
- Social Platforms
According to LinkedIn (4), only an estimated 4.2% of corporate learning hours are delivered in a social- or community-based setting. According to SimplyPsychology (5), the value of a community setting for learning, known as “social learning theory,” has been observed for several decades as a tool for increasing the likelihood that individuals will adopt new behaviours. By integrating social concepts with your technology for employee learning, you can encourage community-based learning and strengthen the potential for teamwork.
For example, travel brand Maritz implemented a social- and community-based technology for continuing education, according to a Forrester case study (6). By implementing healthy competition between employees in a social network-inspired learning platform, Maritz managed to make skill assessment fun and create transparency around company strategy.
- Comprehensive Resources
Creating lasting behavioural changes can be the most effective way to realise returns from employee education efforts. The Aberdeen Group and Wombat Research (7) found that “changing employee behaviour” can reduce the likelihood of information security breaches by 45 to 70%. By providing employees with the appropriate technology tools to build better habits, you can provide value, increase engagement with learning opportunities and affect large-scale changes in behaviours.
The University Medical Centre (UMC) in Lubbock, Texas, for instance, has taken a personal approach to improving employee knowledge, according to HealthcareIT News (8). To implement large-scale behavioural changes as part of information security awareness, employees are provided with comprehensive resources “to use at home for finances, ID protection and online privacy” in the hope that employees extend their new-found knowledge to the hospital.
And it seems to be working. Phil Alexander, information security officer for the hospital says employees have become more aware of cybersecurity, asking questions.
In a tightening talent market, businesses must focus on ways to retain and attract talent, including the use of improved employee education opportunities. With the acquisition of technologies for education, HR teams can manage costs of improved educational efforts and increase the impact of those continuing education opportunities.
For more information on technology for employee learning, download the report: Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace
Written by: Jasmine Gordon