Time — we all want more of it and there's never enough of it, especially when it comes to investing in yourself and your employees. According to industry expert Josh Bersin, employees spend one percent of their workweek on training and development. That equates to just 24 minutes a week. And, more often than not, that time spent learning isn't consecutive. It happens in short bursts, it's interrupted, and it's spaced throughout the week.
With more people expecting quality training from their employers, organizations must figure out a way to provide that benefit.
Start at the top
If your leadership isn't taking time for learning and development, then why would other employees? Moreover, how will employees who want to take training seriously feel empowered do so? If you want training to be effective, you must start developing a culture that promotes active learning from everyone. If leaders see value in investing in personal development, it will naturally trickle down to those they oversee.
Equip them with the right tools
For years, organizations have relied on traditional learning management systems to deliver employee training. Not anymore. As technology has advanced, so has the way we learn and the tools we use. Today, information is a mash-up of videos, PDFs, infographics and more, all delivered on a perfectly packaged platform that can go anywhere. People view content on their phones, they learn during their morning commutes, they train in short, microlearning bursts. Give your employees the right tools that allow them to learn on their own terms. With a modern platform and a learning culture, you equip employees and invite them to take time for training and development.
Stop making excuses
You're not alone when it comes to the time struggle. In a study conducted by LinkedIn, they found that one of the top challenges for organizations is getting employees to make time for learning and development. If your employees aren't taking the time to train, then help them. Give them permission to step away from the daily grind to invest in learning. Think about all that could be accomplished if your employees went distraction-free for a day. If a day isn't feasible, start slow by offering up a few hours for learning and development each month and advance from there.
Give them more opportunities
Sure, a set amount of time devoted to training is an improvement to what most organizations offer, but your employees crave more. Make it clear that your organization is a learning culture by providing resources and multiple opportunities for your employees to invest in training and development throughout the year. Offer up yearly credit employees can use to go to conferences that are applicable to their work, invest in physical resources like books or webinars that would be beneficial for your employees, and provide forums for employees to share information, ask questions, and learn from each other. The options are endless when it comes to providing unique learning opportunities. Test them out and get feedback from employees to see what is best for your organization.
Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day, but how you choose to spend it reflects what's truly important. Simply saying, “Learning and development is a part of our company culture,” isn't enough. You have to walk the walk. If you want your employees to take training seriously, your organization needs to do the same. Stop making excuses, and start making the time for quality employee training.