Social learning takes its place in employee retention efforts

Employees are more likely to stay at jobs where they can learn new skills or improve old ones. For companies, that means providing options to do so when appropriate.

Between younger workers’ demand for professional development opportunities and the increasing need to prepare employees for coming changes in technology and business processes, companies face growing pressure to provide a wider range of training options. In response, more organizations are implementing social learning programs that enable their own workers to be part of the solution.

Both employees and job candidates put a high value on learning opportunities today, according to HR and recruiting professionals. So it’s not surprising that a number of companies now see learning programs as key components of their talent acquisition and employee retention strategies. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employees are more inclined to leave a job if they do not have opportunities to update their skills.

At the same time, many businesses are seeking alternatives to instructor-led training, which is often regarded as expensive and out of step with the technically facile Generations Y and Z.

Jeremy Ames, CEO of Hive Tech HR, a Massachusetts-based HR technology consultant, says encouraging employees to sit in a classroom can be the toughest aspect of learning and development today. Even traditional computer-based training, where learners watch a course online and take a quiz at the end, “has become more and more challenging [in terms of] getting people to both focus and allocate time in their day for it,” he said.

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