5 Learning Journeys Critical to Enterprise Performance
by Emily Tran
How can your organization improve employee engagement and job performance? Typically, answers might include setting quotes and standards, hiring supervisors, promoting client feedback, internal recognition of productive employees, etc. However, studies actually show that better employee training and learning increases engagement and job satisfaction amongst employees.
Learning and training is the development and delivery of information that acts as the catalyst to positive employee behavior. Many enterprises will attempt to revamp engagement after years of slow or poor performance, but many will only focus on employee onboarding—and while it’s a great place to start, it’s only one part of the equation.
For 2020, HR leaders and CEOs need to focus on the overall learning experience. In this blog, we will explore the 5 different learning journeys that are critical to creating strong employee engagement and performance.
The Shift From LMS
The era for learning management systems (LMS)—a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning process— has slowly begun to fade out. The learning market is heavily focused on uncovering more choices for content. Employees want to be able to experience learning instead of being thrown loads of information to absorb.
Aragon emphasizes that learning is not a one-and-done operation. HR leaders and CEOs should not expect a week of orientation or training sessions to perfect employee work performance or the overall atmosphere of work. This is an on-going and continuous process that takes effort and time to build rather than sporadic peaks of engagement. Let’s dive into the five different types of learning journeys to address.
1) Employee Onboarding
New employees and new customers need to be onboarded and have a set of basic knowledge to get started, and that’s why onboarding is so essential. Most enterprises have a standard and consistent method of training new employees, and this learning journey usually falls under the responsibility of HR and the business unit. Essentials to consider for this journey include:
- Video tutorials. This type of visual learning provides individuals with the opportunity to absorb, replay, and grasp material before moving onto the next item, and it also makes learning more interactive. Digital playbacks allow employees to refresh their knowledge if needed in the future.
- Operational manuals are a traditional approach that can be helpful for setting clear expectations. They also appeal to learners that long for structure and clear direction in their training. Both operational manuals and video tutorials allow for employees to move at their own pace.
- Employee communications is critical in enhancing employee onboarding. Getting employees set up on the technology they will use to collaborate with their colleagues, clients, supervisors, and partners is essential. Establishing who to go to for what when questions arise is also part of the equation. A strong communications foundation will lead to increased engagement.
2) Employee Professional Skills
Typically, onboarding is the most heavily-invested in learning journey. But enterprises need to go further and develop the skills that are essential for professional success—skills such as time management, organizational skills and how to prioritize various tasks, communication skills, and more. Individuals want to be able to grow in their job but also in their behavior and attitude in the professional world. Off-the-shelf courses, mentoring, and apprenticeships are three strategic ways to help employees develop their professional skills.
3) Employee Role and Job Skills
This is where on-going learning plays a key role.
The employee role and job skills learning journey is focused on how to give employees the specific skills they need for their role. No two jobs are alike, and so the learning materials shouldn’t be either. Your business unit likely already has a specific method for teaching job skills, but Aragon has identified several methods enterprises could expand upon to cater to all new individuals.
First, integrate the usage of custom content and how-to videos for a range of responsibilities. Custom content will help employees understand that their role has a very specific influence on the greater picture. How-to videos will aid inefficiency and the minimization of questions during the learning process.
Second, apply microlearning—the delivery of knowledge in small chunks at a time. This has become more vital as professions grow in depth of the skills and knowledge needed. By implementing microlearning, employees won’t have to recall from training months prior. They’ll be able to focus on the information at hand.
Third, take advantage of the evolution of social learning. The learning journey can be improved from the mistakes and lessons of others in the same or similar roles. Enterprises should leverage the sources and knowledge the community is providing for faster and more informed answers.
Lastly, AI is playing a larger role in this learning journey by way of learning assistants. While still early, Aragon expects that question-and-answer chatbots for specific roles will be a great interim step to faster knowledge for people. This approach assures success and can be developed and deployed relatively quickly.
4) Compliance and Operations
This learning journey relies on interactive operations manuals to help reinforce key compliance and operations-related information such as company laws, policies, and regulations. Customer courses, microlearning, how-to videos, and the social community will help employees gain the knowledge they need to have a successful compliance and operations journeys. The business unit, with the help of learning and development, will lead this journey.
5) Customer Knowledge
The customer support team will be critical in leading this journey. Enterprises that focus on customer knowledge have a higher amount of engagement because customers feel more informed in their purchases and confident that the company is looking out for their best interest. By providing how-to videos, in-depth training courses, and a wealth of knowledge from the customer community, employees will have a better understanding of how they directly impact customers. This can help employees feel more closely tied to their company’s mission.
The bottom line is that enterprises cannot neglect the importance of enhancing and continuously improving employee learning. The more value HR leaders and CEOs place on the training their people undergo, the more likely performance—internally and externally—will be improved. As technology advances, enterprises will likely have more ways to expand the resources they provide. For 2020, prioritize these 5 learning journeys, and measure the difference that results in employee performance and customer engagement.