According to a survey conducted by Office Team in 2015, 38% of HR professionals consider training and developing employees their greatest staffing concern. Of course, companies that manage to train and develop their employees win the jackpot.
Training programs boost employee satisfaction and improve employee retention
Employees appreciate being able to build new skills, improve their job performance and potentially evolve towards more challenging roles. It is interesting to note that ongoing education is valued by employees from all age groups as key to staying relevant in the job market.
Even more importantly, supporting and providing ongoing training opportunities show a company’s commitment to its employees’ growth. Employees feel their value to a company where employee education is promoted.
Finally, ongoing training opportunities can be publicized since they are an important perk in a company’s compensation programs. However, and unlike many other perks, ongoing education can cost very little.
Developing talent is the best and cheapest way to staff
From the HR perspective, developing talent is the best way to staff a company’s roles.
First, it is always cheaper to source skills internally. The more junior the position, the lower the recruiting costs, so hiring from more junior positions within the company automatically lowers the overall recruiting costs for the position, even after accounting for the replacement of the junior position.
Second, it is usually simpler and quicker to bring an internal hire up to speed – as the newbie already knows everything there is to know about the company. There are no precise statistics on the subject, but the idea that homegrown executives on average perform better than external hires is firmly shared by most managers.
Finally, promoting internal mobility through training leads to a more engaged and loyal workforce. While new blood remains necessary, ideally it should not represent the majority of the staff.
Overall, developing talent to staff ever-changing company needs is such a holistic circle that volumes have been written on the subject of employee training. Introducing learning opportunities through a digital workplace will maximize the value of all of your training programs.
Develop a culture of teaching and learning
One of the greatest ways to study is to learn from peers and managers. Unfortunately, that is also the most complicated learning method to establish throughout the company. However, it is not enough to engage a training consultant to provide a couple of one-off courses. We are talking about every day on-the-job learning.
The kind of culture where managers want to develop their team members and are valued for that effort, and where all employees are encouraged to learn new skills and share them, is not easy to create. And, as with all other corporate initiatives, the company internet is a great tool to promote this culture and elicit the desired behaviors.
Learning by collaborating and interacting with peers
Digital workplaces provide ways for employees to collaborate on work projects and interact with each other regardless of their location.
Social collaboration tools help in searching for answers, sourcing skills and experience, and interacting with peers throughout the company.
Create, maintain and enrich the company knowledge base
Perhaps the greatest benefit of a digital workplace for employee training lies in its knowledge management capabilities.
Training materials, like documents, presentations and recorded training sessions, can be stored in a dedicated workspace in your company intranet, making them accessible to immediate search, access and use by employees.
More importantly, in the same manner, the company’s knowledge can be encapsulated in documents, forums, wiki pages, blogs and conversations, and then stored in a searchable database that an employee can access and learn from as needed.
Communication tools for coaching opportunities
Communications channels in a digital workplace that are synchronous (like chats and video-conferencing) or asynchronous (like activity streams conversations and forums) can be used to enhance the training and coaching experience for all employees, whatever their location.
Detect training needs
A company intranet will allow you to survey employees and managers and identify the gaps in employee skills.
For example, if all your employees need basic Excel skills, the easiest way to identify the gap between the reality and the expectation is to conduct an anonymous self-assessment (or an assessment by team leaders) and consolidate the results at department level.