Why Learning Keeps Employees Happy
Keeping employees happy can feel like a never-ending struggle. You develop a fun company culture, invest in reward systems to show their value, and yet still, something is missing. That missing element may be learning. Employees want to grow, both in their position and their career, and learning is an important part of that growth.
Consider why this is a critical element for employee happiness and then uncover a few ways you can bring learning into your company.
Employees Want to Learn From Their Managers
Whether managers and leaders believe it or not, their employees look up to them and want to learn from them. So much so, that the 2018 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report found that 56 percent of employees would take a manager suggested course. What’s more, the same survey found that 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career.
The desire for growth and learning is clear and your employees may already be telling you they want it. Daniel Dobrygowski explains in Harvard Business Review, “When an employee says she is looking for a manager she can learn from, the employee is implicitly saying that she values opportunities for growth. No one wants to feel stagnant or like they’re not achieving anything.”
Millennial Employees Prefer Learning Over Salary
Salary is quickly becoming less important than growth, as forward-thinking Millennials realize that learning will take them further in their career than a big paycheck. Not only do 42 percent of millennials value learning and development above salary, but 42 percent also say their employers provide these learning opportunities, according to a 2018 Udemy study.
Employees Want to Prepare for the Future
Employees want to be prepared for the future of their work, whether they’re with their current company or have moved onto something new. In our fast-evolving digital world, being trained for the “future of work” has become a source of stress, as automation, artificial intelligence and skills retraining become topics of conversation. In fact, 2017 Job Skills Training and Career Development Survey found that 43 percent of Americans say they’re “concerned about the changing nature of work.”
Providing this type of learning may keep employees happy, allowing them to better prepare for the career of their future.
Three Learning Ideas to Try
If you’re ready to make more time for learning in your organization, here are a few learning ideas to test with your employees. Remember to poll employees regularly as well, at least once each quarter, to make sure the learning formats you’re using are resonating.
- Online, Self-Paced Programs
If employees want to learn at their own pace, an online program may be the best option. This allows them to make time for learning when they can, moving faster or slower through the program, depending how busy their week is.
If you have specific learning needs, use a tool like Bigtincan Zunos to develop your own employee training and courses. You can create interactive quizzes, upload docs, PDFs and videos, add anything from the web, and include links to internal docs, spreadsheets, and files. With total power over the content of the course, you can be sure your employees are getting the training they need, keeping them engaged and allowing you to enjoy greater ROI.
- Blended Learning
The blended learning model is a format that allows you to reach every employee. The idea is simple: learning is provided to employees using a mix of online and in-person, giving everyone two different ways for taking in the information.
To get the most out of blended learning, consider this specific approach, from Blended Learning: A Training Strategy That Fosters ROI:
“An effective approach is to present a video or podcast followed by classroom discussion to clarify certain points. In effect, classroom learning is best reserved for structured activities that will benefit from live interaction such as a question-and-answer period or that emphasize the application of a given principle.”
A mentor program may be the easiest to put into place quickly, and provide employees with opportunities to learn from managers, leaders and one another. To make mentorship most successful, it’s important to have a few elements in place:
- Clear goals and objectives for both the mentee and the mentor.
- A predefined format, like one-on-one mentorship or group mentoring.
- Encouragement to get employees involved and invested.
- Regular feedback on the experience and process.
If you want to start a mentor program, check out this helpful guide from JustWorks.
Employees Want Learning
Employees want to learn, and when you provide them with what they want, they’re more likely to be happy with the company and their position. Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Instead, find the best learning format for your workforce and invest in helping them grow.
Jessica Thiefels is an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications like Forbes and Fast Company. She also writes for Business Insider, Virgin, Glassdoor and more.