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How to Promote Continuous Learning and Development

Today's workforce faces ever-increasing expectations. To keep up, all workers, especially millennials, are now seeking continuous learning and development opportunities. Not only that, but workers also want personalized continuous learning—they want to be in control of what, how and when they learn. For organizations, this kind of experience can be difficult to deliver.

According to a LinkedIn study, 69 percent of L&D professionals report that talent is the number one priority at their organizations, yet convincing employees to make time for L&D is a major obstacle for learning and development professionals.

So, how can L&D executives deliver continuous learning and development that inspires employees to proactively pursue growth?

The answer is to create individualized yet scalable learning plans that reflect how workers learn best. By producing personalized learning plans for all of your workers, you are going to guarantee that learning will actually resonate with them and help them succeed in their positions. Here are four ways to get started with personalized, rewarding and continuous learning and development in the workplace.

1) Identify Employee Strengths

Every employee is different. While one may be excellent at working independently and taking on new responsibilities, another may be a great group leader that gives valuable feedback to colleagues.

To ensure that learning is delivered in the most effective way possible, find your employees' strengths and play to them as you build different learning environments. For example, let the group leader teach a collaborative workshop, but provide independent workers with coursework that they can complete alone.

2) Tailor Content to Different Learning Styles

Some employees prefer reading long pieces of written content to learn a new skill, but millennials tend to have shorter attention spans and need material to be delivered through microlearning to stay engaged.

Identify the formats that work best for individual employees, whether that's articles, videos, short seminars, podcasts or group classes. Then, survey employees regularly to ensure that your delivery is working for them and motivating them to learn new skills.

3) Catch Problem Areas Early

Every employee has weaknesses, but individualized learning plans can help bring them to the surface and turn them into growth opportunities.

If an employee is struggling to complete his required training courses, a manager can step in, figure out why this is occurring and tweak that specific employee's learning experience to make it more suitable. For example, if poor time management is to blame, the manager can create and curate microlearning content that allows that learner to absorb new skills faster, and work with the employee to develop time management skills as well.

4) Offer Personalized Feedback

Employees want to hear about their performance regularly. This is especially true for millennial employees—according to Gallup, millennial employees crave more feedback than older workers because they've been getting more of it since childhood. Unfortunately, only 19 percent of millennials receive feedback routinely.

But evaluation is a key piece of continuous learning and development. Management needs to take time to offer constructive criticism and praise, both informally and through a learning management system.

It'll not only help employees know where they stand, but also make them more engaged. Millennial employees that meet with their manager regularly, for example, are more than twice as likely as their generational peers to be engaged at work.

Creating an individualized learning program at scale doesn't have to be daunting. Though it can seem overwhelming to modernize an L&D program or strategy, using a learning management system with a strong curation tool makes the task much more attainable.

Are you looking for a learning management system that will help employees take the reigns of their continuous learning and development? Contact Cornerstone today to learn more about their offerings for your organization.
 

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