Top Organizations Staying Resilient with Continual Learning

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girl intently reading a book in her quest for continual learning

According to a piece from the Harvard Business Review, “Companies and shareholders often focus on maximizing short-term returns. In contrast, resilience requires a multi-timescale perspective: forgoing a certain amount of efficiency or performance today for the sake of more-sustained performance in the future.”

Workforce leaders looking to improve the resilience of their businesses should leverage and improve their corporate training regimens. This training often involves onboarding new staff, updating them on governmental and industry regulations, discussing technology platforms and innovation, and the changing cultural landscape. Beyond these standard topics, there are opportunities for training to provide learning for staff members that helps them succeed at life beyond the company’s office doors. It makes them more valuable to their companies, to future employers, and most importantly, to themselves. Making this happen requires a multi-pronged approach involving continued education that improves the employee’s life as well as strategies for improved communication skills.

The Benefits of Continued Education

Businesses facing the “Great Resignation” and the challenges of remote work need to inspire and retain employees. Continuing education offered with tuition reimbursement provides employees with an opportunity to broaden their skills and obtain advanced degrees.

HR can streamline continuing education and increase its adoption by developing partnerships with local institutions offering courses that align with many employees’ interests. Trade schools and community colleges are eager to partner with firms to help staff develop real-world skills and advance through the ranks. Bigger firms can also offer their own educational platforms, using an eLearning provider like KnowledgeCity to further personal development and upgrade professional skills.

By implementing these programs and tools, organizations can broaden their workers’ skill sets, enabling them to tackle a wider variety of roles, giving them more pathways to promotions, and increasing the value and flexibility of their workforces overall. Employers can also encourage travel-based learning to new potential markets, expanding their horizons and preparing them for future expansion.

A Holistic Training Approach

Continuing education is also an important element in a broader holistic approach that encourages employees to pursue lives based on good health and personal fulfillment. It’s a “whole-person” strategy that seeks to add hard skills to the employee’s repertoire—whether it’s data analytics training, marketing seminars, or graphic design—and then blends them with soft-skills like team building, leadership workshops, and communication strategies.

This approach fosters a culture of knowledge-seekers, and helps develop happier, more fulfilled employees. It also supports retention and can aid in recruitment by attracting applicants that want to join a well-balanced and intelligent group of people in a positive cultural environment.

Another advantage of holistic learning and growth is how it helps companies address various pandemic-related stressors, including health concerns, worker isolation, and renewed emphasis on work-life balance and family time. According to a July 2021 study from McKinsey, “The good news is that addressing mental health and well-being in the workplace can make a difference. Studies have found, for instance, that wellness programs can improve employees’ performance, mental health, and self-efficacy, and deliver other self-reported health benefits.”

Improving Communication Skills

One corporate training area that has become an increasingly important focus area as a consequence of COVID-19 is communication skills. As companies and workers juggle and adapt to changing work models from fully remote to in-office and tap international labor pools, employees need direction and refreshers on productive and appropriate communication methods.

HR managers must now incorporate standard communication methods such as phone and email with more advanced training on platforms like Zoom, Slack or Microsoft Teams, along with guidance on usage, nuance, and context. This means providing training that shows employees how to adjust their communications based on the message, the medium, the audience, the intent, and the goal.

Enhanced communication skills pay dividends across the organization, and can further interaction, innovation, and creativity. It also reduces miscommunication between staff and supervisors, while encouraging discussion and collaboration between managers, teams, and team members.

Leaders who communicate well can set expectations and establish policies that make contextual sense to their teams. Clear and consistent communication also creates solid customer relationships and branding, whether it’s from a call center team or the marketing department’s latest brand campaign.

With employees leaving their jobs in droves, HR managers need proven strategies to retain current employees, attract new ones, and build future innovators and leaders. Clear and continual corporate learning programs offer holistic education and skills building that increase employees’ value to the company and to themselves equally.

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