The Expanding Role of Learning in Employee Engagement
Training and education have long outgrown classrooms and is now proving to be a beneficial tool for acquiring, developing, engaging, and retaining talent.
There continues to be some apprehension towards investing on skills improvement, particularly from employers who are wary of spending significant time and resources on training and development while risking receiving little to no return in investment since upskilled employees can eventually take their talents elsewhere.
Despite the cynicism, investing on employees’ continued learning remains necessary, especially nowadays where new solutions are constantly being developed to address just about every aspect of the business, be it content, payroll, or e-commerce. Of course, such solutions are only as effective as those who are implementing them, making upskilling par-for-the-course in most companies.
Realizing needs starts with recognizing who needs it
Apart from continued operations, constant employee learning can also play a significant role in employee engagement. As mentioned by Storm Learning CEO and co-founder D.M. Varun at his presentation at the recently concluded Asia HR Innovation Summit 2018, leveraging learning to engage employees begins with knowing who the workforce is and will be.
“By 2025, millennials will make up 75-percent of the workforce.This is important because, according to studies by the likes of LinkedIn, Lovell Corporation, and other firms, about 87-percent of the said millennials consider development important in their job.”
He added that millennials and generation Z not only want to be trained, they want to be taught and mentored.
“They are quite impressed or engaged when they have a mentor assigned to them and when they have a person guiding them from day one.”
Learning on the job
Employees’ lack of applicable skills when coming out of school is seemingly the initial driver of why many regard learning and development, and the resulting growth, to be just as important as compensation and benefits when viewing their jobs.
“Educational institutions are not up to par with helping in the development of skills needed in the industry.” Varun explained. "When employees realize they will be able to apply little of what they learned in college, they feel the responsibility to train for the skillsets which employers need of them.”
Citing several surveys, he further explained how this has also dictated the behavior towards learning at work. “Employees want to learn at work, where they apply what they learn. They don’t want to learn something they won’t use immediately."
Reskilling/upskilling vs replacing
Indeed, constant learning will keep employees engaged, where the opportunity to learn new skills and grow within the company holding their attention. However, employers should also realize that upskilling will also be beneficial to them.
Because, as Varun elaborated, replacing, instead of reskilling, is always costly. “Some studies predict that everytime a business replaces a skilled salaried employee, it costs them six to nine months worth of that salary on average to do so.”
“Jobs are being redesigned because of the disruption coming from artificial intelligence and machine learning and automation. By reskilling, instead of replacing, employees, employers are able to keep up with the advancements in their industry, while avoiding having to go back to zero and spend even more on completely new employees.”
Kalibrr is a technology company that aims to transform how candidates find jobs and how companies hire talent. Placing the candidate experience at the center of everything it does, the company continues to attract the best talents from all over, with 1.6 million jobseekers and counting. Kalibrr ultimately connects these talents to companies in search of their next generation of leaders.
The only end-to-end recruitment solutions provider in Southeast Asia, Kalibrr is headquartered in Makati, Philippines, with offices in San Francisco, California and Jakarta, Indonesia. Established in 2012, it has served over 18,000 clients, and is backed by some of the world’s most powerful start-up incubators and venture capitalists. These include Y Combinator, Omidyar Network, Patamar Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and Kickstart Ventures.