How to Make Workplace Learning Work for Your Workforce

Making learning fun, accessible and relevant is crucial to motivating employees to reach their full potential.

two women and two men colleagues learning together on a lap top.

Only two-thirds of organizations currently feel that they have the capacity to address skills gaps in their workforce effectively. While the recent rapid implementation of technology in people development has undoubtedly improved the workplace learning offered in many organizations, this trend shows that leaders are still not hitting the nail on the head when supporting their employees with building core skills.

Amid revolutionary changes to the nature of our workplaces, expectations for the support workers should receive from their employers have evolved. Organizations should be offering a new strategy for learning that meets the variety of demands on their workforce’s time, ensuring practical knowledge building in the least amount of time possible and, most importantly, engaging them.

Making learning a part of everyday work

The modern learner has just 1 percent of a typical workweek to focus on training and development. It would be tough for managers to extend that time, as for every extra minute spent on learning, a minute must be lost in other areas of an employee’s work. The most effective path to walk is making those precious seconds count by ensuring that learning is effective and efficient.

At Access Learning, we believe this begins with promoting a learning culture within your organization. When leaders value learning as much as any other part of the day-to-day activities, employees are increasingly likely to use the time they dedicate to self-development productively. For today’s digital-forward workforce, promoting a learning culture begins with a learning management system that is easy to use and offers relevant training for each member of staff. For lending company Pepper Money, this involved creating a platform that allowed learners to see at-a-glance the courses they needed to complete, due dates, and current progress. A streamlined approach incentivizes employees to use their short career development time effectively, reducing the barriers to learning by ensuring that it fits their other responsibilities.

Guaranteeing that learning sticks by gamifying the process

A recent Access People poll highlighted that three-quarters of workers last learned from Google, TikTok, or YouTube. Not long-term e-learning programs nor full-day training sessions: short, bite-size content that gets from source to end-user in a matter of seconds. Leaders cannot miss the boat on this one; how we learn has fundamentally changed.

People development leaders should consider ‘gamifying’ existing learning strategies to attract the short attention span of the modern learner. Gamification can be defined as adding game mechanics into nongame environments, which in this case could include adding gameshow-style quizzes to workplace learning courses and, crucially, allowing learners to access programs from their smartphones. Access Gamebrain, for example, is an option for leaders looking to increase employee engagement with learning through a mobile app that ensures learning sticks through play. Much like implementing a digital learning management platform, gamification reduces the barriers to learning by meeting the modern learner where they are and offering a training program that meets their needs, increasing engagement and improving information retention.

Making learning fun, accessible and relevant is crucial to motivating employees to reach their full potential. This is essential in today’s workplace environment, in which the Great Resignation has made offering a comprehensive learning and development program an essential aspect of employee retention, with companies increasingly differentiating themselves from each other on this aspect of the employee experience. Organizations that update their people development strategy to suit the modern learner can be sure to become more competitive and retain strong talent for the long run.

Christian Foerg is the General Manager of Access Learning.