Why Learning Programs Matter More Than Ever
Learning programs have never played a more vital role for individuals and organizations as they do now, even though the employer/employee relationship has evolved significantly over time.
Here are some of the reasons why:
The importance of culture
According to Daniel Coyle, “strong culture increases net income 756% over eleven years”. Organizations are realizing that an effective learning culture boosts employee engagement and increases curiosity. Strong learning cultures make employees feel heard, empowered, and united, facilitating the growth and development of individuals that trickles through to the organization.
Ladders are out, skills are in
Skills are now the primary method of career management and have rendered career ladders a thing of the past (along with shortened job tenures). Employees must constantly update their skillset to develop opportunities within their organization (or elsewhere), and employers must provide opportunities for their employees to grow in order to compete in the gig economy.
The need for retention
There is only so much talent in the market. As organizations grow (and many of them grow rapidly!), they need to maintain the talent density that made them successful in the first place. To do that, they need to provide personal and professional development opportunities to millennials who value autonomy and growth in the workplace.
Upskilling and reskilling
Many organizations have realized that the war for talent was too costly. Instead, top companies like AT&T developed in-house learning academies to upskill and reskill their people. This has become a common way to offset the inordinate cost of competing for talent in the open market and a way for companies to show their loyalty to employees by providing career development opportunities within their ranks.
An uncertain future
The pandemic has rendered the coming weeks, let alone months and years, uncertain. That is not pessimism, just the reality facing organizations as they decide on business strategy for the future. For that reason, organizations need to be footloose and adaptable, ready to pivot and evolve when necessary and equipped with an agile workforce that can handle it. Strong learning programs create and sustain cultures of continual learning that will be essential to surviving uncertain times and thriving in the future.
These are certainly challenging times, but the obstacle is often the way. Many organizations will emerge from this with a greater sense of unity, understanding of principles, and clarity of purpose. Learning and learning programs will be vital as we move into an unpredictable future.