An organization with a strong learning culture and engaged employees is great for business and the employees themselves. Not only does it create happier employees who are likely to stay with the organization for longer, but they are also more efficient, proactive, and productive in their roles. In fact, according to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) in their study of whether training improves financial success, the companies that spend, on average, more per employee on training enjoyed 24% higher profit margins and 218% higher income per employee than those who don’t offer comprehensive learning and development programs*.
But offering CPD is just the first step. How do you get your team to engage with the learning materials you may have provided? Here are our four key components of a successful engagement strategy.
Different people learn in different ways. Some members of your team will prefer to spend an entire day on their computer working through a topic that is relevant to them, while others may wish to complete shorter spans of learning on their mobile. Think about how you currently provide learning and whether it is suitable for different learning styles and devices.
The organizations with the most engaged teams provide active encouragement with regular reminders to engage with CPD. In some cases, employers have mandated specific courses to their finance teams and required completion in a set period. A combination of choice and mandated courses that support your business objectives can be powerful in engaging employees in CPD.
The encouragement should start as soon as you start providing the service. This is when your team will be most engaged with using the new resources available to them. To help create a buzz, you can send internal communications alongside communications from your CPD provider. This is the time to get your team as excited as you are about the online CPD you’re providing!
If you want employees to engage with CPD, the CPD itself needs to be engaging. Research shows that employees are much more likely to benefit from CPD if it is an active experience. It isn’t just about learning from the experts but about learning from your peers as well. Sometimes that can be missing from online CPD, but it doesn’t have to be. Choose online CPD that facilitates sharing thoughts and learning with peers, as this will significantly increase the enjoyment and effectiveness of the experience. But the social element of learning isn’t just limited to the CPD provided. It also includes sharing thoughts within the same team or more widely throughout your finance department. By creating a community where everyone shares what they have learned, your employees start teaching each other, reinforcing their learning in the process.
Online learning shouldn’t just remain online. It should reach out into the day-to-day roles of your finance team and help in the real world. Your team needs to feel the e-learning they have access to relates to their role in the organization – it makes the content more purposeful. To be able to do this, choose an online CPD that makes employees think about how they can apply their learning in their role.
Urge your employees to think about their goals within the organization and the business goals in general. If each member of your team understands how filling their skill and knowledge gaps will help them and the business, they will in turn be more motivated to use the learning materials provided. It may be hard to know where to get started with this, so here are four questions to get you going –
- Think about your business's strategic objectives. What skills are required to get there?
- Are there any soft skills that you think need improving? Do you see a need for better communication or teamwork? How about an increasing wish for management training?
- Has everyone adjusted to working remotely? Is there any well-being training needed? Or more tips on how to effectively work from home?
- What about any technical skills specific to their teams? As an example, do they need to be up to date on their tax knowledge? Are everyone’s Excel skills up to par?
Encouraging the use of flexible, social, and relevant learning throughout your organization creates more engaged and productive employees who are more loyal to your business.
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