In the past, people served machines. Today, machines free people to do what technology can’t: sell, service, and lead. As we explore this global shift from the industrial to the digital age, we cordially invite your voice in Developing the 21st Century Workforce™.
by Todd Beck
This question assumes that the organization's goal is to retain an employee through training - perhaps to signal that the organization is investing in the employee's future, or that the organization itself is dynamic and can learn, so that jobs are safe with no threat of layoffs.
Put yourself in that employee's shoes. Which option suggests that my personal value to the company is higher - sending me to a 3-day classroom program or emailing me a link to a library of 3,000 elearning courses and saying, "OK, have at it." Or to be more fair, a 3-day classroom program vs. a 3-hour elearning program.
All else being equal, in this simple example, in your gut - which one sends the better message that the organization values that employee?
Granted, it's not fair to blame the medium of elearning for all the faults in training implementation and plain old bad management of change. But it's been my experience - and I'll bet it's been yours - that organizations that use a lot of elearning do not choose elearning for its intrinsic instructional effectiveness. They choose elearning because it's cheap.
So, when you want to retain your BEST employees, be honest - will you choose elearning or classroom? Choose wisely, because your BEST employees will figure out why you chose classroom or elearning, and will use that perception to guide their own decisions to stay or to leave.
NOTE: You wouldn't want to be in Jack's shoes in this video where I debate him on AchieveGlobal Island in Second Life.
by Jack McDaniel
As a leader, if I had a retention issue, I would look at giving my employees clear line of sight to what we could offer them, to make it attractive for them to stay. I’d align learning with job roles and allow employees to see what it takes to advance. These programs are best created with elearning, so that employees can access them anywhere, anytime.
If employees feel they have a career path, with a clear view of what they have to learn to get to the next level, they have something to work toward. That kind of personal vision keeps them engaged. And if they’re able to access learning at their convenience, it increases their personal satisfaction.
Finally, elearning helps learn in a safety bubble. By practicing in a virtual environment, learners feel they can get a step ahead without being criticized before they’ve acquired the skills to be a viable candidate for the next position. This doesn’t mean that you just throw up a thousand courses and give everyone open access. It involves creating meaningful programs aligned with defined roles, and showing employees what’s in it for them to enroll in and take the programs. This approach not only gives employees the feeling that they have somewhere to go, it gives you qualified candidates when you need them.
Watch this this video in which Todd needs a safety bubble and a cone of silence when I debate him on AchieveGlobal Island in Second Life.