Article: How to design learning programs to retain talent

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How to design learning programs to retain talent

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Creating the right learning opportunities can help both the employee and employer
How to design learning programs to retain talent

Organizations have been focusing on a learning-driven approach to attract and retain talent. By focusing on learning, they’re not only shifting to a people-driven model but also adopting a sustenance model. Traditionally, learning was a part of augmenting business processes and was either very selective or very generic. Nowadays, human resource leaders and line managers have revamped the learning model to suit individual needs of employees and harness their potential for capacity building and enhance an employee’s portfolio and at the same time adding value to the organization, thereby creating opportunities to retain talent for the long term. 

Let’s look at the following ways to inculcate learning culture in the organization to retain talent.

Creating learning programs for fresh/new talent

According to one survey, approximately 77 percent of students leave their first job within a year. The reason for that may be mundane tasks that come with starter positions. However, this could be settled by designing learning programs which give them an opportunity to learn about various business verticals in a given period of time. By developing one to two-year fellowship programs which provide them overall knowledge about different business domains will help fresh graduates to gain practical experience by on-ground learning and assist them to decide on their interest areas, thereby reducing the high attrition rate.

Sabbatical for higher studies

Returning to school to gain some new skills from a reputed institution is a trend that has helped companies retain their high potential employees. Going back to school not only helps them to dedicate a considerable amount of time for education but also helps them to network outside their field and industry. Offering a sabbatical to learn new skills and giving employees the option to return to school will help organizations to attract and retain top talent as fresh graduates are more likely to prefer organizations that are flexible with their higher study plans. Hence, organizations must not only focus on internal learning but also external learning opportunities in order to retain the top talent. 

 Designing cross-functional learning programs

Just like the fellowship programs for fresh recruits, creating learning programs for existing executives may be effective as well. Designing cross-functional learning programs which provide knowledge about other business verticals in the system prevents burn-out, as employees will be continuously learning something new. This might also prove essential for organizations as this might help them to harness the employee’s expertise in more than one arena. Employees who are looking for a transition from one domain to another will pursue opportunities within the organization, consequently decreasing the talent drain.

Create learning engagement platforms

Gone are the days when top executives didn’t interact with newbies in the organization for years. In the era of networking; people want to continually grow their network as it helps them to exchange different perspectives and opinions with others. It also helps them to learn about business scenarios and market trends beyond their geographical expanse. Hosting online and offline meet-ups to facilitate interaction among employees from different domains and hierarchal positions will help employees gain knowledge which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. 

Engagement platforms also provide an opportunity for top management to interact with the bottom-line or junior executives and vice-versa. Great networking platforms like Awards night, workshops and hackathons help build knowledge as well as a strong network, both of which are imperative for professional development. Hence, employees are likely to stay longer in an organization which helps them build a stronger network.

Learning outside your job/ function

A lot of importance has been placed on imparting functional knowledge to enhance learning culture, however, learning beyond business subjects will help to prevent burn-out from regular tasks. Providing in-house learning courses for subjects that employees are interested in beyond business will create a workplace with holistic ecosystem eliminating the vibe of a mundane office. Learning modules for subjects like literature, music, etc. will aid in boosting employee’s creativity. Enhanced creativity will benefit the employees to stay focused and interested in their work which also helps them to come up with new ideas and solutions. 

Learning helps in individual development at every stage of career, irrespective of profession and seniority. It helps to boost the morale of under-performing employees as they get a chance to improvise and contribute to the organizational goals generating affinity for the organization. This, in turn, reduces the risk of under-performing lay-offs. Great learning culture acts like an anti-stagnation tool and a non-monetary reward. Organizations must utilize this tool carefully to engage employees at all levels and retain them.Learning is an integral part of organization’s growth curve. Considering that all the business organizations are nothing but for the people, by the people entities, empowering employees is crucial to achieving phenomenal growth trajectory.

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Topics: Learning & Development, Talent Management, #GetSetLearn

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