Organizations are treating modern learning and development programs like band-aids. They buy programs and invest a little time in execution in hopes of a quick fix, but these programs aren’t sticking. The reason? A company culture that fails to inspire employees to learn daily. If you want results with L&D, then it’s time to give your program the placement it deserves: front and center in a company with learning-first culture.
Make it a priority
If learning isn’t part of your company culture, then there’s no better place to start making changes than the top. Leadership in your organization must buy into the importance of advancing employee skills and knowledge. If leaders aren’t willing to value their own personal growth, then why should employees?
Show employees that learning is important by creating more learning opportunities within the organization. Investing in continuous learning with a modern LMS is a start, but it doesn’t end there. Give employees the opportunity to work on special projects a few times a month or send them to conferences or classes to learn from others in their field.
Treat it as an investment
Engagement rarely changes overnight. The time and money spent on training and development is a long-term investment. Just like the cycles of product adoption with consumers, employees will go through a similar process with learning and development. You'll find early adopters that jump on board right away, while others may be slower to buy in.
Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder of Bersin by Deloitte, says to look at your first year as a test run. People are just getting used to your programs and new learning expectations. The second year is when you can start seeing some success and more measurable results. One way to increase engagement is to listen to your early adopters' feedback. Make sure your program has a clear way to track what people are engaging with the most and what they want to learn, then adjust accordingly.
Make it enjoyable
A simple reward can go a long way. Let employees know you value the time they put into learning by gamifying your training and offering meaningful incentives. Increase rewards for completing longer programs, and up the stakes for those willing to go above and beyond by investing extra time in personal development.
Advance the effectiveness of your gamified training program by adding a Leaderboard to encourage friendly competition. Before you know it, people will be competing against themselves and their peers in order to improve their scores and climb the Leaderboard each day.
When you make learning a priority, the results you want to see from learning and development will follow suit. Employees will take it seriously, leadership will value the time put in, and overall you'll achieve the business impact and return on investment you were banking on all along.
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