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Tagged with: Disengaged Employees, Leadership Training
It is quite challenging to keep leaders, and their team members prepared to succeed when change is a constant in the modern business environment. Your managers and supervisors need adaptable leadership skills suitable for managing the impacts of changing demographics in the workforce and continuous disruption. Your employees need skills that enable them to do their best work and pursue career goals. Each person has different needs, which include strengthening existing job skills, reskilling, upskilling, and cross-skilling. Whether you want to develop a better leader or help an employee become more productive, personalized learning is the answer. It is customized or self-directed learning that can meet organizational training and development needs efficiently and economically. The human-centered approach to learning is best suited for today’s organizations because it requires considering individual needs and interests.
“Tell me, and I will forget; show me, and I may remember; involve me, and I will understand,” said the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Personalized learning is about the involvement of your leaders and employees in their workplace learning process. The organization offers customized program content to meet the individual’s preference for delivery method and information presentation.
Personalized learning encourages learners to take responsibility for identifying their goals and enables learning at their own pace. Most programs today utilize technology tools like eLearning programs and a learning management system (LMS), but there is always some level of involvement of instructors and managers or supervisors who ensure employees are succeeding in moving towards goal achievement.
Workforce needs may include the following.
Utilizing a personalized learning strategy humanizes learning. There are two basic types of personalized learning.
Direct personalized learning – Technology can play a significant role, but a direct learning personalized training or development program will include active engagement with a trainer or supervisor or manager, and perhaps other students if group learning is included. Programs like IRI’s LEAD Academy leadership program can be delivered virtually or in person, but there are always interactions with the instructor. It uses tools and experiential learning to empower newly-hired leaders or existing leaders needing skills strengthening.
Self-directed personalized learning – In this type of learning, the learner formulates learning goals and takes the initiative to manage the learning activities. Employees can collaborate with their supervisors or managers to determine the best training approach to reach desired outcomes. IRI’s A Better Leader is a self-directed personalized learning experience for leadership training. The leader can identify learning needs, a specific leadership development topic can be selected, and learners can complete lessons on their schedule. Another example is an IRI eLearning program for employees. The custom interactive eLearning programs for employees can also be completed at any time, and customization includes videos, interactive role-playing, downloadables, and other tools.
There are so many ways to structure personalized learning programs. Still, the human-centeredness of customized learning is found in all the programs, no matter how they are structured, because they are designed to meet the learner’s goals. Humanizing the learning process may include adding collaboration and interactive elements to online learning and recognizing that information transfer alone is sometimes insufficient.
A Gartner survey found that only 25 percent of employees are confident about their career paths in their current positions. “Vitoria Bretas, Direction in the Gartner HR Practice, said, “Employees are leaving their current employers for better professional development opportunities (45%) at similar rates as they leave for higher compensation (48%). Thirty-five percent of employees surveyed said they left their employer for better career trajectories.”
Career planning and development are crucial to employee retention. The obvious benefits of personalized learning are that each person gets access to information that meets their unique needs. However, this approach to training and development for your managers and employees has a long list of benefits.
Employees who are unionizing frequently have a list of grievances. Two common items on the list are a need for adequate job training and a lack of career planning and development opportunities. This is true for all types of positions, from high-paid white-collar jobs to frontline workers in restaurants and retail. Personalized learning can reduce the risk of your employees deciding to start union organizing.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) collaborated with Accenture to examine learning and development practices. One of the findings was that programs that have no clear plan and lack accountability are not productive. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the organizations had employees who didn’t understand why they were involved in learning and development. The training and development must be meaningful to the leader or employee, or little is learned and retained.
Your investment in employee learning can bring enormous returns, verified by measuring the ROI of the training delivered when there is purposeful program development. There are many ways to develop the ROI formula with factors like increases in productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction over total training cost. The Kirkpatrick Model of Training Evaluation measures the reaction of learning participants, learning, knowledge and skills acquired, behavior changes, and impacts on business goals. Metrics are essential to verifying that personalized learning is effective. If not, the training can be revised to make it more relevant to the employee’s needs.
You will discover that a successful personalized training program has a high return rate, especially in these tumultuous times. One of the top reasons leaders and employees leave their companies or start union organizing is that they don’t get the training needed to do their jobs or the professional development opportunities to advance their careers. Offering personalized learning opportunities improves employee engagement, but it also supports being an employer of choice and attracting the right talent.
The organizational culture matters, and it should encourage and value continuous learning. One of the ways to prove continuous learning is valued is by investing in learning opportunities that are interesting and engage employees rather than generic programs that employees avoid or don’t take seriously. Personalizing the learning programs so that employee needs are met turns learning into an engagement tool. Some additional strategies to make learning more personal and interesting include gamification, integration of social learning through collaboration platforms, and language options.
If your organization needs to up its training and development efforts to reduce turnover and better meet workforce needs at all levels, contact IRI Consultants. Our experts in leadership development, employee training, organizational communication and development, and skilling, reskilling, cross-skilling, and upskilling strategies can help your organization develop and implement an engaging, personalized learning program at scale.
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