Now, more than ever, a dynamic and agile learning culture is essential for any successful organization. Given the current state of the world and workforce, this idea can seem counterintuitive. After all, we’ve weathered two-plus tumultuous years of working remotely, rode the Great Resignation roller coaster, and now we are hearing warnings of a possible recession. Isn’t investing in company-wide, on-the-job training a luxury? Quite the opposite. While the impulse during unsure times may be to cut back and clamp down, doubling down with upskilling and reskilling is one of the best investments a company can make because they are investing in their biggest asset: their employees.
Today’s workers who feel valued and supported with on-the-job training are far more likely to remain at their current job. According to Udemy’s Global Skills Gap Report, 97% of Indian employees surveyed are excited to learn new skills. And in our fast-changing, digital economy—where a skills gap is a persistent reality—employees who receive ongoing training are an organization’s best defense for staying relevant and keeping ahead in an always-changing and competitive market.
Here are what I call the “three I’s” to help build a transformative culture of learning:
Innovative: L&D (learning and development) has changed dramatically over the past few years. Old-school L&D once meant that employees were required to complete company-required training (whether or not they wanted it) within a certain time frame. Many of us have gone through just such training that may have felt forced upon us and even irrelevant or unproductive. Rather than offering L&D as time-bound and rigid, thanks to today’s advanced technology, employees can weave learning into their work day simply when it’s most convenient for them. Flexible and effective skill development is one of the most innovative new forms of employee learning that allows them to learn new skills while getting support from online mentors and fellow students. Innovative learning also means ensuring that you’re doing your research to offer the best and most relevant L&D options for your team members.
Individualized: Again, an L&D class attended by 50 employees sitting in a conference room for eight hours is so 2018. Not only does remote work make this set-up impossible, but the current and much-improved reality is that professional training can be far more personalized and flexible. There are tens of thousands (and counting) courses available to professionals looking to learn new skills in their field, or even get trained in an entirely new skill set for lateral and upward movement within their company. Organizations would do well to make a wide range of skill-specific courses available to ensure their employees are trained in whatever will help them do their job better, achieve greater business outcomes and grow within their company.
Integrated: On-the-job learning has evolved so that it’s no longer segregated from daily work, which can interrupt an employee’s daily workflow and delay completing time-sensitive projects. Instead, a thriving learning culture means that it can be integrated into an employee’s regular routine. It also means an employee can quickly get upskilled and then immediately put to use what they’ve learned. Finally, a successful learning culture means that every single employee—from a UX designer to a programmer to a database administrator—knows that these resources are available not only to help the company stay competitive, but also to help them develop and grow professionally.
Vinay Pradhan, Country Head – India & south Asia, Udemy Business