If you want to build a dynamic workforce packed with talent and motivation, you need to understand what drives employees. Regardless of whether a person is working on a packing bench, a marketing panel or an accounting team, they all want one thing: opportunity. This is why learning management is so important for modern businesses.
Employee churn tends to be at its highest when people feel there’s no upward mobility. This doesn’t always mean promotions or pay raises. From a day-to-day perspective, workforce development is all about progression. It’s about teaching employees how to solve problems and perform their job better, not just because it benefits the company, but also because learning is essential for personal growth.
To put it simply, workers are more likely to leave if they’re not personally invested in their roles. Over the years, we’ve come to realize that salary has less to do with satisfaction than assumed. Studies have shown that most people would consider leaving a company for a more rewarding job, even if it paid less.
That should tell you everything you need to know about the significance of learning management. Finding great talent isn’t easy, but holding on to it can be even tougher. It requires perpetual investment in employee development via onboarding and on-the-job employee skills training. Nevertheless, successful retention could save you thousands of dollars every year.
We’re going to explore the best ways to keep employees engaged, passionate and motivated at their job.
Effective learning management needs an element of a personal touch. You’ve got to recognize each employee as a unique individual, with their own drives and interests. Approaching the workforce as a homogenous entity is a fast track to failure. If you don’t like being treated as a number, don’t expect your staff to be happy with it either.
The first step, then, is to draw up individual development plans. This takes time, because you’ll need to sit down and chat to each employee directly. Ask questions about their personal interests and what they’d like to get out of working for your company. It’s important not to assume or guess these things, especially when you go right to the source.
While it’s equally important to be realistic about what can and can’t be achieved, the reality is that successful businesses involve progression. For every hardworking employee, there should be opportunities to take the next step on the ladder. Employers need to identify this step, define its required employee skills and set measurable goals and timeframes for promotion and progression.
Track & Monitor Performance
There’s little point investing in learning management without the right reporting capabilities. Development isn’t a randomized process; it’s constantly tracked, monitored, analyzed and evaluated. Reliable metrics aren’t just helpful for managers. They also make sure employees are aware of the same information about their progress, status and skills.
If motivation is vague or ill-defined, it won’t work. By letting employees know exactly how far they have to go, you give them something specific and tangible to work towards. This can help them keep a positive attitude during the process. They can monitor their own progress, while taking satisfaction from knowing they’re acquiring new employee skills that are moving them closer to their career goals. This is why quantitative metrics is a vital tool for talent management.
They’re also a necessary part of testing the efficacy of learning methods. If you don’t keep a record of progress, how can you know if the money you’re investing in development is worthwhile? Talent management software is a major asset, as it automates various aspects of the learning journey. Smart employers use it to build up a complete history of achievement.
Offer Practical Feedback
If the first stage of improvement is identifying practical steps to achievement, and the second is measuring progress, the third has to be communication of feedback. The way a business constructs its responses is of great significance, because there must be a balance between criticism and praise. This should be the case even when employees fail or perform poorly.
If job performance is below average or less than expected, but there’s room for positive change, feedback needs to be honest and constructive. Employers shouldn’t simply point out flaws without also suggesting ways to correct or improve them. Negative information isn’t helpful in isolation. Always link weaknesses or failures to practical, helpful changes, while doing so in a positive, constructive manner.
Giving feedback can be a difficult process, as most employees fear the consequences of poor performance. It’s important to reassure staff of the value of such criticism, while making it known that your top priority is development, rather than punishment. Combine direct feedback with data from performance metrics and personal development plans. Proper communication is the essential component of giving feedback that’ll help employees grow without instilling the fear of failure.
Create “Off Job” Opportunities
One way to help employees acquire new skills is to give them opportunities that reach beyond their job description and their current abilities. It’s become common in modern businesses to keep workers compartmentalized. They operate within narrow boxes, rarely straying outside of their departments. Yet, the further an employee progresses, the more their responsibilities diversify.
For instance, you can’t train a worker for a management position without exposing them to tasks that cross departmental lines. So when you do spot potential, create tasks and roles that increase awareness and knowledge of the wider organization. It’ll present new challenges, introduce unfamiliar scenarios and greatly expand their ability.
If the business isn’t willing to do this, it’s necessary to ask why. It can be tough to move away from rigid, impenetrable hierarchies, but employers must become more flexible if they want to survive in an increasingly fluid world. Contemporary employees have more power and influence than ever before, and they won’t settle for jobs that limit their competencies.
Help with Connections
Employers should provide plenty of opportunities to connect with external networks. For some companies, there’s a fear of outside contact. It brings a risk of employees being poached and tempted away. However, it’s never helpful to curtail or restrict these outlets. Successful enterprises trust their workers to learn and bring knowledge back to the business.
Whenever possible, introduce employees to potential mentors and coaches. Give them the support and resources needed to acquire professional accreditations and new employee skills, expanding their resume. Send them on training courses, set up workshops and schedule networking events. The more places they can draw motivation from, the better they’ll understand your business and its goals.
Learning management doesn’t stop with KPIs. You’ve got to invest in individuals. In the short term, it might feel like you’re putting in more than you’re getting back. However, passionate, committed employees make excellent long-term ambassadors for your brand, and they can use their extra knowledge to do their job better. Talent development may be built on short-term steps, but the future is where it flourishes.
Be a Model Example
Finally, businesses must realize growth and development are necessary at every level. In fact, one of the best motivators for employees is to see senior figures engaged in their own training. It’s all about creating a company culture that values consistent improvement. Make working for your company a journey, and make every day exciting by introducing new challenges.
Employees recognize the value of the development process when they share in the knowledge that their superiors are not infallible. By showing a willingness to grow, both personally and professionally, managers build credibility and trust. If you’re not convinced, know that every major brand in the world (including Google, Apple, and Microsoft) follows this strategy.
The Role of Talent Management Software
These days, it’s very difficult for larger companies to handle learning management without the support of software. With the right talent management solutions, it’s possible to capture and process huge amounts of data. Records relating to wages, conduct, performance metrics, KPIs, complaints, personal goals and more can be stored in a centralized database.
This gives every department access to complete employee learning histories. There’s no need to chase up paperwork, or consult with each HR point of contact in turn. You can just log into the system and get a real-time picture of progress for every individual. The result is faster responses, better decisions and optimized relationships.
The best talent management software provides employees with a window into their own journey, and keeps managers informed. It automates manual processes and reduces task turnaround times,while also boosting the visibility of organizational changes. It’s a valuable, worthy and, we’d argue, mandatory component of modern businesses.