Job applicants have many things they look for in a company, such as remote/hybrid preference or health benefits. They also want to develop their careers and advance within the company.
In fact, 59% of millennials feel that professional development is the most important attribute they look for in a new job, according to Gallup. Companies that offer a learning and development (L&D) initiative as a recruitment and/or retention strategy can gain an advantage.
It’s important to create a robust and attractive L&D program for your employees. Whether you have a program in place or are looking to implement one, here are six must-have features.
1) Access courses from anywhere, anytime
Because of their busy schedules and COVID concerns, your employees may not want to participate in in-person sessions. In-person courses require travel and expenses, which not only can be inconvenient but can be costly for your company.
Ideally an L&D program is delivered online, so employees can access a course through their computer or mobile device. A learning management system (LMS) software can help with that, and many solutions are deployed in the cloud so employees can access training content at their convenience.
2) Shorter content
According to Microsoft, a person’s average attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish. Therefore, course content that takes a long time to get through won’t hold anyone’s attention for too long. This is where microlearning is key. Microlearning refers to training that’s delivered in short, bite-sized pieces. One main benefit is that the short content improves knowledge retention, as learners can easily revisit it.
Microlearning may work best for employees that need a refresher on their current roles or want to improve their soft skills. It’s not intended for complex training programs or for employees that need to learn the skills involved in a new role.
Videos are popular these days, thanks to Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. To help your L&D program succeed, you’ll want to consider incorporating other multimedia options. Just like microlearning, multimedia content helps learners improve information retention and stay engaged.
There is a variety of multimedia content to choose from. For example, you can create a welcome video about your company for new hires or even an infographic detailing their key roles and responsibilities. Or you can include podcasts and interactive content (e.g., quizzes or games). Podcasts can be easily created with the right tools, and employees can listen to them while they work on their tasks.
4) Social learning and gamification
Social learning tools give employees the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from each other. One example is a discussion forum, either built within your company’s intranet or available through collaboration tools such as Slack.
Another example is gamification, where employees can complete activities for points or badges that can be accumulated and redeemed for prizes. For instance, you can use a game-based activity to help new hires learn about your company. With social learning tools, employees can provide their peers with feedback and get help from each other.
5) Quizzes and assessments
An important way to measure how well an employee absorbs the material is through quizzes. You can provide pre-training tests that gauge the specific areas the employee needs to learn or skills they need to develop. This way, you can tailor any content to the specific employee.
Post-training tests can be given either after each “chapter” or at the end of the course. You can choose from multiple choice, true/false or open-ended questions, or you can create an activity-based test where employees complete a task that’s related to the training.
6) Learning paths
Employees may not want to just brush up on their current skills – they may want to be promoted into a management or other higher-level position. They may also want cross-training opportunities. As part of your L&D program, you’ll want to give employees a choice from a variety of course topics. One way to do that is through personalized learning paths that determine the order of the courses employees need to take.
It’s important to ensure your L&D program is easy to access, short and interesting to help employees stay engaged. If you currently don’t have a program in place, learning management software can help.