Why There’s No One-Size Fits All Solution to Workplace Learning

In order to build and scale a learning culture, leaders need to take the time to uncover problems that new employee skills can solve.

As organizations continue to grapple with hiring and retention, the spotlight has been placed on employee training and development now more than ever. Leaders recognize the positive impact of practical workplace training on employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity. However, businesses need to understand that not every workplace training program will work for their business, and they need to tailor it to what will work best for their employees.

According to a survey report released by Emergn in 2022, workplace training programs lack effectiveness and alignment with the skills employees want most—with only 23 percent of learners and 22 percent of leaders reporting that they viewed their organization’s current workplace training as extremely effective. Leaders offer training that they think learners need and want, but they may not have direct input from learners. This is why there is no one-size-fits-all solution to workplace learning and why hiring the right partner to help is key to aligning learning programs based on each team’s wants, needs, and goals—all while keeping employees’ interests in mind for maximum engagement.

Identifying the Skills Employees Want to Learn the Most

When Emergn asked what employees most want to achieve from workplace training, an overwhelming majority said they want to gain new skills. Improving confidence in their current role followed closely behind. Notably, less than 20 percent of learners stated that their goal of engaging in training was to get a new job at another organization—a reason often cited by opponents of investing in training.

In order to build and scale a learning culture, leaders need to take the time to uncover problems that new employee skills can solve. It is important to speak to employees directly about their learning goals. Each team should survey their employees before crafting a learning strategy and curriculum, catering it to their goals. Because employees will most likely have different career goals, getting their input can ensure their aspirations align with the company’s overall goals. Collecting feedback throughout the learning process and at the conclusion of training can help adjust strategy for the next iteration of training. Not only does aligning strategy to learner goals increase employee satisfaction, but it also substantially impacts participation levels.

Then, leaders can discuss how to implement their team’s success across the organization for continued growth at a larger scale. What went well? What didn’t go quite as planned? What skills do employees want to learn and develop next? How can a culture of learning be supported year-round? Asking these types of questions will help ensure that any future training will continue to meet the needs of employees and their teams. Organizations will develop a learning culture that keeps employees engaged and helps contribute to the overall organization’s success.

Increasing Job Satisfaction and Company-Wide Achievements

With workplace learning, job satisfaction generally increases, and self-esteem improves when employees better understand the workings of the company. Emergn found that 75 percent of learners say strong workplace training would have a very high or high impact on their decision to stay with an employer. Training can also enhance morale on the job and loyalty to the company. Emergn found that when respondents see major benefits from workplace training at their organizations, 65 percent have observed increased productivity, 56 percent have observed increased capacity to adopt new ways of working, and 55 percent have observed increased job satisfaction and employee morale.

Making training relevant to each individual on a team is critical. Companies are more likely to retain employees who view their training as relevant to their jobs and subsequently have a positive commitment to their company. A successful training program consists of management providing employees with accurate information and communication about the training, as well as a program that ensures that training is relevant to their jobs. Doing such will ensure that employees are happy with what they learned and excited to keep growing within the company.

Creating an Engaging and High-Quality Learning Journey

Too often, training programs fail. According to one study, only 12 percent of employees apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs. Although this can be for a multitude of reasons, it is often because companies and teams do not utilize modern training solutions for today’s workplace. While it’s essential that modules are easy to access and use, more often than not, employees do not have the time to complete them. According to Emergn’s survey report, 42 percent of respondents say finding time to complete training hinders them from participating in workplace learning offered by their organization. By working with a modern tool that can excite employees and get them motivated to prioritize workplace learning, organizations can create a more profound learning culture, getting management and C-suite-level leaders involved in messaging and implementation for maximum employee engagement.

When organizations make learning a part of their culture, they need to ensure that they’re offering a high-quality program to keep employees engaged and help them grow. By bringing in that high-quality program and optimizing the learning strategy to fit a specific purpose within the company, higher-valued results can be delivered across the company. Additionally, effectively implementing learning to teach employees at every level (from recent hires to senior management) will keep everyone involved in the process and on top of their skills.

Organizations should empower everyone to take an active role in their development with individualized learning approaches. By making sure the time, tools, and resources are available for all employees to fill their skill gaps, companies can build a flourishing workplace learning culture from the ground up. Bringing on a modern tool can help employees uncover the skills they want to learn the most and match them with what is needed to improve the organization’s goals—all while keeping employees involved for maximum engagement.

Steven Angelo-Eadie
Steven Angelo-Eadie is the Head of Learning Services for Emergn. He has been involved in IT for over 30 years but began to focus on helping teams improve their agility while working with Microsoft on the Domain-Specific Languages and Software Factories projects in 2004. Since then, he has educated thousands of people across the globe and led many Agile education programs in some of the most complex and prestigious organizations. Steven is deeply committed to helping people and organizations improve the way they work, he passes on his knowledge and enthusiasm to leave lasting capabilities and confidence.