Education Planning

Workplace learning keeps staff engaged

Many rebellious teenagers think learning is something they’ll stop doing once they leave high school. But when they join the workforce, a whole new set of challenges is waiting. Workplace learning is an opportunity to retain staff who want to keep developing. Employees who learn on the job are far more likely to find passion and fulfilment in their work, keeping them interested, motivated, and keen to contribute.

Workplaces that offer opportunities for upskilling see increased staff retention. Our workplaces are constantly evolving, so employees need to grow and adapt to whatever changes come their way. As AI and automation change workplaces once again, businesses need to reassure employees by providing learning opportunities that will help them stay ahead.

The equation behind this retention seems simple enough. If your people have the capability to excel and the potential to grow and feel happy at work, they are more likely to stay. Let’s break down each step of this equation to see how effective upskilling is at increasing staff retention.

Start by giving employees the capability to excel

You can’t be expected to land a space shuttle on the moon with only a basic grasp of physics. Without proper upskilling opportunities, employees can feel they are being asked to do the impossible. Without the necessary knowledge and skills, people face an uphill battle just to get the work in front of them done, let alone reach for the stars.

The Hays Salary Guide states that half of learned skills become irrelevant after 5 years, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of the workplace. That means that even someone confident in their work now will need consistent upskilling to still be at the top of their game in 5 years.

Imagine you were offered a choice between staying at a workplace where you’re left to struggle with your everyday work — or moving somewhere with learning support that will help you upskill. It’s hard to imagine anyone choosing to do without learning support. You can see how important it is for businesses to offer upskilling opportunities if they want staff to stay.

Download the Hays Salary Guide (PDF 2.26MB)

Subtract the limitations on their growth

Everyone in the workforce knows that time is valuable. But if employees are going to spend years of their career at a company, they expect a worthwhile outcome. Workplace learning provides the framework for career progression that makes those years an investment rather than a cost.

By developing your employees’ skillsets, you are setting them up to progress in their careers, becoming more valuable assets to the team, and feeling accomplished. Combining these factors creates a work environment where employees want to stay on board and take opportunities to progress. They’re less likely to feel they need to shop around with different employers to find what’s best for them.

Add some happiness to their work life

Even if people don’t always enjoy the process of learning itself, most people enjoy knowing things. Think about when you’ve heard someone proudly share a fun fact, and the energy it added to the conversation. Or consider the popularity of television quiz shows like The Chase or Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

After a hard day’s work, people often go home and spend their evening relaxing. Many of those people choose to park up in front of a quiz and happily guess away at the answers.

Incorporating this love of knowledge into the workplace can generate the same sense of satisfaction. Sharing fun facts and offering quizzes can boost workplace morale and also build knowledge. Upskilling doesn’t need to be an arduous process of reading manuals and taking exams — it can be a fun and interactive experience that everyone benefits from.

Multiply it all with the power of online learning

One of the most straightforward ways upskilling can be made interactive and engaging is through online tools. By engaging with online learning solutions such as on-demand classes, interactive quizzes, and microlearning, upskilling is not only effective and efficient — it’s enjoyable!

With online learning, employees don’t need to interrupt their regular workflow to upskill. They can do it on demand whenever they have the time. The added bonus of this freedom is that they can learn when it will be most effective for them — whether they are a night-owl or an early bird.

With interactive quizzes and learning modules, the thrill of The Chase is brought into the workplace. Rather than reading and repeating information as they would in an exam, people can turn the learning process into their own personal gameshow. And they don’t have to wait to get their results. Answers are immediately available and people can see what they need to revise or work more on.

Microlearning is a hot topic in the world of online learning right now because it is an effective and efficient way to develop skills. Microlearning breaks down information into bite-sized and easily digestible chunks of information, perfect for online consumption. For more about microlearning, check out our article Five ways to turn your team into elite writing athletes.

What is the sum of it all?

The result of this equation is a nice and simple 1.38.

That’s right, the Hays Salary Guide says that companies using workplace learning see a 1.38x increase in staff retention. Upskilling creates the capacity for excellence, room for growth, and happy employees. By introducing online tools into the mix, the sum total of the equation becomes a multiplier for staff retention.

…employees are 1.38 times more likely to stay with their current employer when a formal learning and development program is on offer…

Hays Salary Guide, page 13

So, if you want to increase your staff retention, take on board the same advice you’d give to those rebellious teenagers: Don’t skip class.

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