The world of education has undergone seismic changes over the last couple of years. The technical, or Fourth Industrial Revolution, is transforming the way we learn, as much as it is necessitating the need to learn.
This is evident by the widening global skills gap caused by the displacement of workers who are left without the skills they need to perform new and more technical roles. But disruption also creates new opportunities, and up- and reskilling employees through online learning is a proven solution. How do you get employees to join in your vision? We offer some practical tips to get them motivated to learn this year.
5 Ways to instill a love of learning in your employees
1. Make the learning relevant
When trying to answer an employee’s question of “what’s in it for me/why should I bother learning new skills,” a good starting point is to do a skills gap analysis with them. Aka skills mapping, this exercise will point to how newer skills will become more relevant and important for success in the changing workplace. It also helps employers choose the right training course to develop those skills.
Motivate employees by showing how the knowledge and skills they gain are clearly linked to their career goals and will impact their career progression, compensation, rewards, and benefits.
For example, the person in charge of your marketing may be excellent at brand development and advertising campaigns but lack the latest digital strategy knowledge to lead your business through disruption. Here, a practical course in innovative Digital Transformation will greatly benefit them (and the business).
2. Demonstrate the personal benefits
As Albert Einstein said: “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” And he’s right; stagnation in the workplace leads to burnout, attrition, and a drop in employee engagement. The remedy comes from a number of studies that show a direct correlation between adult learning and improved well-being. The benefits of learning as an adult include:
- Enhanced knowledge and skills
- Greater general employability
- An improved sense of identity
- Higher ability to cope with life
- A greater sense of purpose
- A greater sense of overall happiness
- Economic benefits
- Mental health benefits, including warding off dementia and reducing depression and anxiety
3. Show how learning is much more fun than it used to be
Today’s immersive online education opportunities offer a dynamic and engaging learning experience that can help improve the understanding of learning material and allows employees to learn at their own pace.
The multimedia nature of coursework allows students to learn in their preferred learning style, whether that be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. This can help to make the learning experience more personalised and the information more memorable, leading to increased retention.
Online learning often includes simulations and virtual reality experiences that can help students develop practical skills that are difficult to learn in a traditional classroom setting. According to a study by Brandon Hall, learning online takes 40% to 60% less employee time compared to traditional learning in a classroom setting. This is mainly because employees can access training online whenever they need to, without it interrupting their workflow.
4. Make learning convenient and accessible
When studying online it’s important that the institution has a humanised approach to learning. This entails offering a holistic online learning experience that connects learners to the right people, at the right time, to the right information and to the right products. It’s about creating a safe space for peers to collaborate, engage with industry experts, share their experiences, and tackle real-world challenges together. This ensures the skills that are developed make sense academically and can be directly and immediately applied in the workplace.
Technology enables the on-demand availability of study material, even on mobile devices, and this, in turn, creates microlearning opportunities – learning new information in small chunks at a time. This means an inventory control manager doing an Operations Management short course, for example, can listen to a case study on their way to work or take a quick quiz during their lunch break.
Because self-directed study can be isolating, online educators leverage online learning tools like discussion forums, chats, and live workshops to create opportunities for learning through debate, collaboration, and teamwork. These online learning communities instil a sense of belonging and camaraderie, keeping students engaged and motivated.
5. Offer regular feedback and reward life-long learners
An employer that is as excited about an employee’s learning journey as they are, is a powerful motivator. Make time for informal chats and feedback sessions to encourage employees to make the most out of their coursework and be excited to plough back what they learnt into the company.
Back at the office, leaders can use badges, leaderboards, and certificate displays to recognise progression and small wins, foster competition, and motivate and introduce curiosity into the learning experience among other employees.
Get your employees learning!
The use of a comprehensive Learning Management System (LMS) provides immersive learning experiences that can upskill or reskill employees at a fraction of the price, at a time that best suits them, and with little disruption to the workplace. It’s a win-win situation, where both employees and businesses ready themselves for highly competitive and disruptive work environments.
Whether it’s Business and Management Development, Leading with Impact, Data Analysis or High Impact Sales, MasterStart has partnered with leading local and international universities and business schools to provide transformational experiences through online learning.
Hop on a chat or contact us to reserve your spot in one of our online short courses and invest in levelling up your employees and your business this year.