Why Accelerating Workplace Learning is Important for Businessl
Has learning and development in the workplace been put on the backburner? The latest research from Deloitte indicates that this is often the case. Of the approximate 1,200 global organisations that were surveyed, it emerged that 74% currently focus on traditional learning methods that don’t empower employees to acquire new skills thus falling behind the ever-changing and fast-paced world of business. In fact, just 38% of workers say they have opportunities for growth and learning at their place of employment.
Findings supporting the acceleration of workplace learning – and what businesses have to gain from it – were presented in May this year at the Bersin by Deloitte’s IMPACT 2017 conference in Florida. The research, which included a new four-level maturity model serving as a blueprint for the global learning environment, shows that organisations at the highest level of maturity are able to move beyond traditional capabilities – allowing the organisation as a whole to focus on the continuous upskilling of its employees.
According to Dani Johnson, vice president and learning and development research leader for Bersin by Deloitte, “Most organisations haven’t adapted employee development systems to respond effectively to the accelerating pace of change – change driven by an increasingly global economy, rapid technological advances and a more networked world . . . Our research shows organisations should shift away from viewing learning and development as separate, external activities delivered by the learning and development function to the workforce. Instead, they should focus on making employee development the responsibility of the entire organisation – creating a true learning organisation.”
Due to the fast-paced lives we lead today, many employees are overwhelmed, distracted and impatient. Flexibility in where, when and how employees learn is therefore increasingly important. Statistics show that workers get distracted every 5 minutes, and 2 out of 3 workers complain that they don’t have enough time to do their jobs. Is it any surprise then that only 1% of a workweek is all employees currently spend focussing on training and development?
The disruptive nature of our modern lifestyles is forcing companies of all shapes and sizes to reinvent their learning strategies, infrastructure and employee experience. Nowadays employees spend a large portion of their time working in non-traditional ways to accommodate their busy lifestyles (such as working remotely, for example). The way employees access information is also vastly different to yester years with many looking for answers outside of traditional training and development channels to help them do their jobs better. While present day employees typically enjoy the prospect of 60-year careers, the half-life of skills is falling rapidly which means that companies need to rethink how they are delivering learning and development opportunities.
Let’s analyse the six significant shifts that mature learning organisations are making, according to Deloitte’s research:
- Using technology to experiment and innovate by completely change the types of learning and development opportunities they offer and enabling learning in the workplace via technologies that are integrated into employees’ work.
- Using data to measure outcomes instead of activity and collecting more data at more frequent intervals from more sources to better understand their organisations and where there is room for improvement.
- Creating the right conditions rather than the right content by focusing on infrastructure, feedback loops and collecting data to help employees make better decisions about their work and their own development.
- Employing design thinking and creating opportunities for reflection.
- Empowering employees.
Now let’s go a little deeper and look at the advantages of these high-maturity organisations:
- High-maturity organisations are more than twice as likely to rate high than low-maturity peers in terms of business outcomes; this includes efficiency, financial targets and anticipating change and innovation
- Customer satisfaction is higher within high-maturity organisations.
- Organisations that empower employees to continuously develop new skills are able to utilise opportunities for development and provide feedback and data to employees to improve themselves as well as their work.
- Employees of mature organisations are more likely to self-organise and be more productive as well as adapt in order to further their own development hence improving business outcomes.
The bottom line is that the integration of learning and work ultimately empowers companies to naturally and holistically evolve in order to compete more effectively, due to the fact that business conditions are continually changing.
iLearn offers a hyper-personalised approach to learning that supports interactive learning. The company has just launched the first MICT SETA-approved blended learning Learnership this year. Innovatively merging all the advantages of online learning with the tried and tested benefits of classroom learning, the new Learnership will have learners engaging with the course content online in their own time and with other learners in a structured face-to-face learning environment, guided by expert facilitators.