A few decades ago, students would leave school and attend the university or college of their choice to study for the certificate, diploma, or degree relevant to their target job. After graduating, they would join the workforce and apply the knowledge learned while studying throughout their career, and typically remain in the same role, doing things the same way for many years.
However, things have evolved, and the world is changing faster than ever. Many jobs that existed a few decades ago have become redundant, while a range of new roles is now available. Constant access to information available online, the widespread use of social media, and the prevalence of a global economy and multinational conglomerates are some factors that are driving the necessity for workers to upskill and reskill constantly.
Why Upskilling and Reskilling are So Important for the Workforce
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that 1.1 billion jobs are liable to be radically transformed by technology in the next decade. A separate survey conducted by Gartner also shows only 20% of workers are confident that they have the necessary work skills for future success.
Companies with skills shortages may find it more challenging to grow and innovate while also experiencing a negative impact on the quality of products and services delivered. This skills gap is not due to a lack of talent but rather from a shortage of people who possess the necessary skills to enable an organisation to succeed in the future. The key to overcoming this skills gap to pave the way for future business success is for Learning and Development Managers to focus on creating a learning culture within their organisation.
How to Build a Culture of Learning
1. Personalise the Learning Experience
Nowadays, information is widely available in a variety of mediums and formats. And this allows learners to learn in the way that is most effective for them. When providing a learning program for employees, Learning and Development Managers should consider the diverse and innovative ways adults learn.
2. Turn Learning into a Habit
Learning is an integral aspect of all jobs due to the fast pace at which the business world evolves. In an ever-changing environment, workers must be able to adapt to keep up. The most effective way for Learning and Development Managers to do this is to make learning a habit within the organisation. To achieve that, managers must ensure learning is easy and accessible and continuously remind employees about the learning opportunities available. Setting goals and incentives is also key to motivating employees to learn continuously.
3. Make Learning Social
Learning is most effective when there is a social element to it. That is even more important for adult learners, as observation, interaction, and imitation are crucial for learning. Learning and Development Managers should facilitate social learning opportunities such as online collaboration, providing the opportunity to share content, and encouraging feedback and discussion.
4. Create Experiences for Learners
Learning and Development leaders should create learning opportunities that align with the unique goals and motivations of employees with the skills gaps in the business. Learning materials should provide variety across length, depth, and complexity while facilitating collaboration and on-the-job learning experiences.
5. Measure Progress
Data analysis is essential in identifying and addressing the skills gap within the business. It can be extremely useful to assess the differences in perception of skills between how employees rate themselves compared to what their supervisor thinks. That helps Learning and Development Managers identify where to apply learning resources. And to increase the effectiveness of training, it can also be effective to ask employees for feedback on what learning materials they find most engaging and consider social engagement rates. That helps optimise course materials and increase the engagement rates of employees.
6. Facilitate Mutual Engagement
Despite the widespread concern over market-wide skills gaps, employees are more motivated to learn than ever through podcasts, videos, conferences, and online courses. Leaders within the business should encourage and support their employees’ interest in self-driven learning. They can use this to benefit the business by guiding employee learning in a direction that matches the organisation’s needs.
Building a Culture of Learning in Your Organisation
Cahoot Learning‘s online learning community platform can help your company transition to a learning culture by delivering engaging learning programs that will lead to a happier, more motivated, and more effective workplace. Find out more about how our cohort-based learning platform can benefit your business.