Four ways to train and retain your top talent

Jun 07, 2019

Rapid advances in technology have transformed our approach to learning. How can companies retain key staff amid technological advances in the education arena?

The learning landscape is evolving. Over the last ten years, the field of learning and development in business has attracted a great deal of attention. Most companies focus on learning as they compete to recruit and retain talent, while employees are continuously trying to upskill and develop, but rapid advances in technology have transformed our approach. The traditional format of a classroom has been replaced by tools such as e-Learning, webinars, video blogs, podcasts and mobile learning.

So, how can companies remain relevant amid technological changes? Let’s take a look at some of the latest learning approaches and trends:

Flexibility

One of the biggest challenges faced by HR departments is getting employees to make time for learning. Our work schedules are littered with meetings, emails, phone calls and a never-ending list of tasks. All too often, education falls by the wayside. We are all guilty.

However, a 2019 LinkedIn report suggests that being ‘too busy’ may not be the issue; that, instead, employees want to be in control of their development and carve a learning path that will help them achieve their goals. It’s up to employers to give them that flexibility and space to make their own plan for upskilling and supporting them while they do it.

Personalisation

Having a personalised training programme tailored to achieving your goals is crucial when it comes to fast-tracking results in the gym. So why is the workplace different? As with anything, one size does not fit all.

New technologies provide firms with an opportunity to work with employees to create a customised learning programme for individuals. It enables each employee to focus on the areas they need to improve to fulfil their potential instead of the typical approach where several employees go to the same training session, but no one benefits 100% from the course. Personalisation is better value for the employee and the organisation.

Accessibility

Mobile phones, laptops and social media are second nature to today’s millennial employee. Digital-enabled content allows them to jump in and out of information as they need it, learning at their own pace and at a time that suits – this is far more appealing than a fixed classroom timetable.

Organisations that want to improve an employee’s learning experience need to ensure mobile forms part of the solution. Online content can be grouped into smaller components, so employees can learn where and when it suits them.

Mentoring

Learning and development is not a neatly parcelled activity separate from the rest of the business. Empowering managers to help employees develop their skills is an essential component. Encourage your managers to become mentors to recruits. There is plenty of research that shows how employees, in turn, feel empowered to drive their careers when coached by a supportive manager.

Dearbhla Gallagher is the People Development & HR Manager at Baker Tilly.