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Boosting Engagement With a Culture of Continuous Learning

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Tue Dec 14 2021

Boosting Engagement With a Culture of Continuous Learning
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Building a culture of continuous learning can be unnerving. It’s hard to know where to begin. Degreed released an Upskilling Strategy Audit to help assess L&D’s biggest challenges and figure out solutions. The results of the audit to date are telling. They provide a window into what’s lacking, working, and wanted at companies large and small. The general consensus is that people need and, more importantly, want guidance, diverse experiences, feedback and insights, and experiential learning opportunities.

Curating Learning: What’s Relevant?

A majority of those who responded to the Degreed audit have a process in place for learning teams and workers to curate content, and many are also able to create and discover content. But it’s a slim majority: 48 percent of respondents said that their people are expected to source their own learning opportunities. Similarly, another 45 percent of respondents rely on managers to curate learning experiences.

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How can you fill that gap between individual employee engagement and manager-curated learning? A smart technology platform can provide insights into what your people are learning in and beyond the flow of work as well as provide relevant learning recommendations—but only 23 percent of respondents of the Degreed audit are using smart technology.

With the power of technology, your people can easily access, track, and control their learning. This eases the burden on your L&D team and managers and empowers your workers to take control of their learning in personalized ways. Encourage your people to focus their development around the specific skills necessary for their current and future roles. When workers understand how skill development can benefit them in tangible ways, they are incentivized to prioritize learning in the flow of work.

Understanding Impact: What Works?

With L&D, limited data insights haven’t assessed value and impact, so figuring out what’s working has been difficult. Most respondents of the Degreed audit use a combination of workforce feedback and content completion rates. But you can do more by looking at active users, ranking new skills developed, and comparing learning measures with hard business metrics. With these new insights, you can improve business and talent strategies, assess workers’ skills, and be clear about what your people and business really need.

While content completions and feedback can be useful, they miss out on the bigger picture of progress that can be painted with the help of technology. Unite your learning systems to your workers’ professional goals by shifting from admin-focused to user-focused technology.

Looking Forward: What’s Helpful?

The rise of digital automation and the need for agility has put more pressure on businesses to identify future and emerging skills. When you create a culture of continuous learning, a big goal is to make development insightful, helpful, and relevant to your people.

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Nearly half of workers globally believe their core job skills will be obsolete within five years. When we take into consideration all the learning required across teams to learn new skills at an organization, it’s simply impossible to expect your L&D team to stay on top of every emerging skill.

A majority of respondents to the Degreed audit (62 percent) rely on managers to determine workers’ skill growth or don’t have a formal system in place. Among those that do, 27 percent use a competency model, which can become outdated before it’s even put to use. Compared to these methods, only 11 percent are taking advantage of a smart system that intuitively recommends upskilling and learning opportunities to prepare for the future.

More than half of business leaders say a lack of visibility into skills is their top barrier to workforce transformation. But data from books, online forums, podcasts, and more shows that people are already accessing learning across different platforms. Why not, then, give them insights and technology to build the capabilities they need? Focus on creating a centralized technical environment that is easily accessible so your people can continue discovering the content they need, aggregate it, organize it, and share it.

It’s no longer enough to encourage learning at work. You must create the right conditions for learning. In our fast-changing world, agility is vital for business success. It’s expected that skills and priorities will evolve as time goes on, but having resources for your people to turn to during this shift will prove essential for progress.

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