Corporate culture has changed significantly in recent years. Rapidly-evolving technologies in nearly every industry are continuing to alter the way that enterprises function and business leaders everywhere are pushing to find new and innovative ways to keep up.
Following the global transition to hybrid and remote work, the need for skills and talent development among employees across all industries is more apparent than ever. A McKinsey study found that 87 percent of executives are seeing skills gaps among their workforce. Employees share a similar sentiment: Salesforce data shows that a majority of U.S. employees believe that technology will advance faster than their skills.
Prioritizing employee education and skills development is necessary to gain a competitive edge in the new world of work.
While many organizations are acutely aware of this reality, the real challenge is how to implement an enterprise learning strategy that meets employee needs at scale and is effective at delivering business value. Let’s get started.
What is enterprise learning?
Enterprise learning is a system of people, resources and technologies that enable continuous knowledge-sharing and learning among the employees within an organization. It’s an effective strategy for supporting the continuous employee development needed to acquire and retain the skills to stay competitive in today’s market.
How to upgrade your enterprise learning strategy
It’s likely that your organization already has a foundational learning strategy in place. However, it’s important to continuously revisit these efforts and identify areas where you can make improvements.
Here are three key questions to ask when revisiting your existing enterprise learning initiatives:
- You have learning programs in place but are your employees actually using them?
Sending out surveys and soliciting real-time employee feedback is important, but these methods won’t always paint a full picture of how your learning initiatives are performing.Consider investing in a solution that allows for ongoing data collection and analytics so you can measure progress in real-time and have all the data points necessary to inform your ongoing strategy. This can include software tools such as learning experience platforms (LXPs) and learning management systems (LMS), or a technology platform that comes as part of a workforce education program.
- Are your learning programs accessible?
The success of your enterprise learning efforts are largely dependent on your employees’ ability to use them. Consider the personal and financial barriers to learning that many of your team members may be facing. When evaluating learning tools and educational offerings, be sure to look for digital options that allow all employees to take advantage — regardless of financial circumstance or educational background.
- Is your approach to L&D outdated?
Traditional methods for training and upskilling might not be efficient enough to meet the long-term learning and development (L&D) needs of your employees. This is especially true for enterprise companies, where scaling learning methods across the organization and measuring impact can prove to be a significant challenge.
Many leading enterprise companies are moving beyond these traditional methods and investing in comprehensive workforce education programs that allow employees to earn degrees, certifications and credentials from top-tier academic institutions. This provides employees with access to learning opportunities that address both short-term skills needs, as well as long-term career-boosting opportunities such as degrees.
Trends in enterprise learning
The L&D landscape is constantly evolving. Here are three modern trends in enterprise learning to keep an eye on:
- Enterprise learning as a business strategy
For many leading companies, employee learning and education is now being considered less as a singular employee benefit and more as a greater business strategy. This thinking helps to leverage human capital more effectively as well as recognize the reality that an investment in your people is an investment in your business.
- Remote learning environments
Online and distance learning has been growing steadily for years, but it’s recently become more widely adopted as a result of the rapid shift to remote work following the COVID-19 pandemic. A large part of this growth has been fueled by adult learners, indicating that a growing number of adults are taking advantage of the flexibility that online education offers.
For employers, this means more opportunity to provide team members with digital learning options that are accessible and fit the busy lifestyle of a working adult learner.
- Continuous education and upskilling
While training can be effective at sharpening short-term skills, it’s not a long-term solution for a workforce that requires significant upskilling or reskilling. Organizations are starting to think beyond training to provide more continuous learning and educational opportunities. This type of thinking weaves L&D into every fabric of company culture to ensure that every employee sees the value in having a growth mindset.
An enterprise-level organization has unique educational needs which won’t always be effectively met through traditional methods. If learning and development is a key priority for your business, it’s critical to take a modern approach to enterprise learning — one that aligns the needs of your employees with the needs of the business. With these trends and methods in mind, you’re primed with everything you need to strategize what your workforce needs to thrive today and in the future.
Want to unlock more employee education data and trends? Download our latest report, 5 insights leaders use to inform workforce education in 2021.