The Great Resignation is spurring a focus on employee wellness. But instead of office yoga and meditation rooms, there’s a new emphasis on investing in people’s careers, a healthy work environment, and growth. Elay Cohen, author, and CEO of sales enablement platform SalesHood shares five ways companies can invest in their employees’ learning and professional development in 2022. Today, if you’re not giving employees the opportunity to learn and grow, they may leave. Read on for some proven, modern approaches to employee enablement and engagement, including tips and strategic guidance for personalizing employee learning paths, peer-accelerated learning techniques, how to enable managers to think more like coaches, and more.
Demonstrate Investing In Your People
It’s time to invest in your people. We ran a survey of hundreds of companies and asked them for the themes of their company kickoffs in 2022. Popular themes included “Investing in You,” “One Team” and “Together Again.” Employees want to see and hear their leaders talk about what plans they have to develop their skills and competencies and enable them to be successful in 2022. Leaders will win over their teams and keep their employees loyal by communicating investments made in training, mentorship, and professional development.
- Recommendation: Make investing in your people a top priority and theme in 2022 supported by funded initiatives.
Create Space for Asynchronous Peer-Accelerated Learning
Employees learn from each other and from the best. Peer-accelerated learning is a fast path to improved employee productivity and loyalty. It’s also a way to nurture mentorship both formally and informally—both of which can be hard to do with more employees working from home. The best companies are using technology to develop experiences for peer-accelerated learning. For example, salespeople are increasingly practicing and recording their pitches using video role-play technologies. And employees are increasingly being asked to record videos of success stories and lessons learned. Innovative people-first companies are asking their employees to record videos introducing themselves in order to create a virtual directory of knowledge and experience. Make peer-to-peer collaboration a company value, demonstrating the intent and purpose of peer-accelerated learning.
- Recommendation: Set aside funds to reward and recognize peer-accelerated learning programs and activities.
Develop Netflix-Like Personalized Learning Paths by Role
Netflix and other streaming services have learned the importance of catering to discreet audience segments. So should you. Many companies aren’t thoughtful enough about creating experiential learning that maps to specific roles. Many use old Learning Management Systems to provide one-size-fits-all curricula to their employees, leaving many looking for more. The value of learning paths by role is to create prescriptive knowledge and career paths to inspire people to think ahead and plan for their future. Prescriptive role-based learning paths will also help employees accelerate their ramping, ongoing development, and promotions. Content should be organized and sequenced for asynchronous employee consumption and collaboration.
- Recommendation: Set up learning paths by role with personalized content to accelerate learning, coaching, and career development.
Celebrate Employee Successes and Learning Accomplishments
Celebrating employee success and learning is a highly impactful way to build culture and loyalty, and there are many ways to do it. . Recognizing employee successes should be a regular and frequent practice in any high-performing and inclusive culture. Leaders should formalize their employee recognition program by asking for input from employees and sharing employee success stories in broadcasts and communications. A common approach is to “gamify” accomplishments with branded badges that can be shared internally on employee profiles and externally on LinkedIn profiles. Another modern way to scale employee recognition with asynchronous collaboration is with video stories. Companies can invite and reward employees for sharing employee recognition videos. It’s a great way to crowdsource employee recognition stories.
- Recommendation: Set up a monthly employee recognition program with employees sharing recognition videos and win stories.
Enable Managers to be Great Coaches
Another way companies can invest in their people is by investing in their managers. Provide coaching and team development guidance to managers so they can be more effective at doing their jobs. Many companies overlook the enablement of their front-line managers. Regardless of role and department, front-line managers should make a consistent practice of doing one-on-ones and team huddles. Managers should also be given the data they need in order to be constructive and data-driven in providing feedback to their team members.
- Recommandation: Invest in setting up a front-line manager program to develop manager coaching skills supported by templates and tools to scale.
Conclusion: Whether you’re a small or large company, investing in your employees is key to a successful business in a hybrid work world. Finding ways to help employees grow and learn will keep them productive, engaged, and happy in a pandemic world marked by employee burnout and large numbers of resignations.