The past few years have seen advancements in technology that have forced businesses to change how they operate. Businesses are also navigating their relationship with a growing new generation of employees who care more about the opportunities and work experiences that can influence their growth.
This has has been forcing organisations to have a hard look and change their strategies and approaches toward talent acquisition and employee engagement. Workers skilled in things like creative problem-solving, versatility, and technology literacy are wanted in all businesses.
However, organisations are finding it difficult to retain such workers. Even though monetary benefits were initially used to attract and retain talent, things are now changing. The modern workforce is looking for growth and promotion opportunities.
In addition, research has shown that tailoring your learning and development programmes to match the requirements of your business as well as your employees is the best way to retain talent. The modern workforce is looking for such opportunities.
Employees and L&D Programmes
One of the biggest mistakes when designing L&D programmes is looking for a one-size-fits-all programme. Instead of doing this, you need to look for personalised solutions that allow you to tailor and choose a type of employee training that meets the different requirements of your employees.
You should also make sure that the programmes you choose are tailored to meet the goals of your business. Personalised L&D allow employees to learn new things in a format and access areas of development that best suit each one of them. This is essential when it comes to retaining new skills.
Even though personalised L&D are difficult to build, they are important in helping businesses promote a learning culture across all levels of the businesses. This helps employees learn what they need for them to get promoted.
A one-size-fits all might seem cost-effective, but it does not work for every employee. If you are running a business with a limited budget, then you can try outsourcing training and development programs based on the needs of your employees. This will be a cheaper alternative compared to developing the programmes yourself.
Strategies for Tailoring Your L&D
Learn About Your Employees
For you to tailor your L&D to what will help employees get promoted, you need to first learn about your employees and understand their goals and requirements.
There are different strategies to use when learning about your employees. One of the most effective ones is choosing a relaxed setting to ask them anything you would want to learn about them. This makes it possible for employees to communicate and express themselves openly.
You can achieve this through informal meetings with your employees. During such meetings, ask them about their challenges and progress on the tasks that they are working on. You can also ask them about things they like and do not like about their work.
To ensure that your employees are free when talking to you, do not start directly with work-related questions. Instead start with regular questions about life outside of work and then progress slowly to questions related to their role. Learning about them will be vital in tailoring your L&D and improving employee engagement through upskilling.
Create Learning Moments For your employees
We have all gone through classroom training to get to where we are. Even though this kind of training is important when it comes to building a good foundation, it needs to be applied regularly for it to be effective.
Unfortunately, this cannot work when creating regular learning material for your employees. Instead, you should focus on creating on-the-job training, also called learning moments, embedded into the daily tasks handled by your employees.
They can even work with their seniors to gain experience and understand the kind of tasks that they handle. This way, they stand a chance for promotion. They would not even need any other training after assuming their new roles.
Learning moments do not have to involve a full day of training. They can be small but significant. They, however, ensure that employees are engaged even when handling their everyday tasks. This way, they can learn different skills, making them eligible for a promotion.
making your Contractors/ Freelancers permanent
Different businesses have different requirements when it comes to their workforce. At different times of the year or through different seasons, you might find yourself hiring freelancers or contractors.
These are people who are used to paying the self-employment tax without any issues. So how do you tailor your learning and development programs to take care of freelancers and contractors? Well, the first thing is to determine if they could come on board full-time.
When training your full-time employees, incorporate the freelancers and contractors as well. Even though you might not hire them at the moment, you might require their services in the future. Your work will be made easy when hiring someone you have trained before.
Constructive & Regular Feedback for Employees
Constructive and regular feedback play an important role when it comes to implementing L&D. You need to make sure that you have laid down the right strategies to provide feedback to your employees.
When providing feedback, you should be careful with criticism. You do not need to directly show an employee that they have failed. Instead, provide solutions and suggestions. Do not directly show them their weaknesses.
Of course, you are supposed to provide feedback to each employee individually. You can also come up with a dedicated employee service award programme for the best performers. This can encourage positive competition in the workplace that boosts productivity.
Learning Experiences Matched to Employee Needs
It is important to note that different employees have different requirements when it comes to learning. Notwithstanding, different factors determine their reception and preferences toward training.
Some of the things you should look at include career motivations, work ethic, experience, and the tasks they handle. You also need to look at all the generations in your company. For instance, the needs of millennials are different from those of Gen Z.
This relates directly to the point above – learning about your employees. It can help you easily match the L&D to their needs. You can even group those with similar requirements together to make things easier for your company.
Doing this shows that you value your employees and their requirements. Valuing employees is important in growing the value of your business.
Evaluate Your Training Capacity
Tailoring your L&D to what will help employees get promoted is a complex project that consumes a lot of time and resources, especially for companies with many employees.
You need to therefore evaluate your capacity to ensure that you have not overloaded your employees or even the company. Before you start, evaluate the level of involvement and support you want to provide your employees with.
In addition, ensure that you have come up with training strategies to handle the whole project. When and how should the training be offered? Do you want senior employees to get involved in the training? This way, you will have a seamless learning and development program that meets your expectations as well as those of your employees.
L&D Should be Part of your Company Culture
Finally, you should make sure that learning and development programs are embedded into the company culture. This is important in making sure that you have happy employees. One way of making your employees are happy is by implementing lifelong learning and development.
For instance, companies such as Heineken, PwC, and Caterpillar have made reverse mentoring a part of their culture. This is a learning programme where a junior employee acts as a mentor to a senior one. This way, the senior management can stay in touch with the new generation and bring in the younger, newer skills, and perspectives. It is also important in reducing the gap between senior leadership and junior employees.
When it comes to promotions, you should look at the employees who have undergone training. They also need to have performed well throughout their learning process. You can look at this as a reward for the effort they have put into getting trained.
Employee learning and development play an essential role in the success of a company. However, you need to make sure that the programmes implemented are tailored to meet the requirements of your employees. Apart from making them better at what they do, these programmes will also go a long way in improving their productivity.
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