The landscape of learning has evolved over the last 10 years dramatically, the most notable change probably being the development of and rise of online learning. While this was once reserved for college and university students, it is now a widely used tool both personally and in the workplace. Why is this a trend that you and your business should be aware of? It’s a trend that could and, we would argue, should become part of your marketing and employee management strategies.
The digital skills gap has a lot to answer for, and the part it plays in the growth of online education is not small either. As the world of technology and business has pushed forward, the skills which the workforce has have become more and more outdated, education no longer able to match the rate of development. This creates the need for updated learning, which is often provided by the business who is lacking the skills in their team, electing to sign their workers up to courses and online learning facilities. However, it can also often fall to the employees to source their own learning opportunities to keep abreast of the software, technology or new processes introduced.
We also need to appreciate the rise in those opting to change careers more regularly. The reason behind this trend? Well, it’s a trend more likely to be found in younger, gen Z and Millennial workers, Forbes reporting that job-hopping millennial workers could in fact ‘earn a higher salary, grow their career, change locations more frequently, and find a better cultural fit’ by switching jobs more regularly than their predecessors. So ultimately, workers changing careers more regularly can get more from their careers. And how does this all link to the rise in online learning? The more experience and varying job roles that individuals are looking to achieve, the more varied the needed skills. Online learning offers a quick and convenient, flexible way to learn new skills, top-up on skills already held and even discover what is in demand. Equally, with workers seemingly always on the lookout for new, more challenging or just different opportunities, the offer of learning something else in house may be enough to keep them where they are for a little while longer and invest more time to the company they are with.
How business should and could be utilising online learning!
Show support for employees furthering their own knowledge and learning new skills. Online learning can mean that learning doesn’t need to take full days away from work to complete a course, but can be done over a period of time, when convenient. Supporting online learning can be done in various ways but, usually, it will mean either:
Allowing individuals the time and flexibility to pursue their own learning outside of the workplace. Knowing that this is an activity supported by their employer will be reassuring and one less hurdle for employees to clear.
Alternatively, by identifying the skills lacking most in the business, employers can build an upskilling plan themselves, offering and encouraging a range of training and learning and development opportunities to any staff who would like to improve their skillset.
Ultimately, the business will benefit either directly from the skills developed and brought into the fold of the business, or, from the heightened motivation of the newly empowered employees.
Consider your current approach to learning as a business and how online learning could be incorporated into your business.