How to Overcome the Workplace Skills Gap with eLearning
Digital technologies are making a tremendous impact on the global economy, demanding workers with extremely specialized and high-level skill sets. Such technology is growing and changing so rapidly that colleges, universities and other traditional education systems can no longer meet the demand for such highly qualified staff. The difference between the skills employers need and those offered by job seekers only seems to be growing.
As this skills gap continues to expand, employers must look outside of academia for the solutions they need. eLearning, or using electronic media such as the Internet to access educational content outside of a traditional classroom setting, has the potential to transform workplace education. By providing more easily accessible and targeted training on a changing array of in-demand skills, e-learning might be just THE thing your company needs.
Skills Gap – a Modern Problem
Radical and rapid changes in information technology require all kinds of skills, but those skills are also hard to measure and manage. All this makes it difficult to find and keep workers who can skillfully and strategically apply these new technologies. Without certified standard skills, employers find it difficult to choose between potential candidates and have trouble placing value on their respective experiences.
Workers, on the other hand, are more likely to invest in training for skills that are proven to garner more challenging and varied professional opportunities. Considering these factors, technology-dependent industries should hire based on education and other markers of proven learning ability so that workers can successfully learn on the job and bridge this nefarious skills gap.
One of the biggest reasons for the skills gap is the relative lack of investment or support for employee learning and development. When workers do not have the knowledge needed to complete their jobs, this frequently feels like a lack of support from management. Since the challenge they face needs to be balanced with adequate support to achieve peak performance, many workers’ potentials are untapped. Read more: Facts and Stats That Reveal The Power Of eLearning [Infographic]
In most of these cases, this lack of support for worker development is not due to a lack of employer interest but, rather, by the rapidly changing skills demanded by constantly changing technologies. eLearning is now proving to be a cheap and convenient yet effective and flexible option for providing adequate professional training for optimal worker performance.
Here are some of its benefits:
1) eLearning is Affordable
Since most businesses focus on raising revenue, training is among the first budget items to be cut. This is rather unfortunate because a lack of training widens the skills gap and makes it much more difficult for businesses to remain competitive. Many employers don’t realize that most eLearning platforms are free or low cost, with minimum ongoing investments. Since most of those platforms are also customizable, employers can use them however they wish, providing specific training to subgroups of employees.
For example, Udemy is one such eLearning platform that provides a range of courses and has the option of incorporating MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, into its offerings. Furthermore, Udemy for Business is an eLearning platform offered by Udemy to provide on-demand business-focused courses led by industry experts. This is only one example: there are plenty of options for you to explore and consider!
2) eLearning is both User-Friendly and Efficient
eLearning is an efficient process for both developing and delivering training content. Its most obvious benefit is providing workers easier access to learning materials. eLearning also gives trainees an opportunity to interact more fully with the material and with one another as they collaborate with colleagues and instructors to find solutions.
Simple course structures and user-friendly navigation can help participants focus on the material.
For instance, cloud-based LMS, or Learning Management System programs, further enhance training by giving trainers the tools needed to emulate successful business thinking processes such as critical reasoning and divergent thinking. Additionally, LMS helps instructors to be true lead learners by assisting them with defining learning outcomes, creating and importing content and assigning tasks to learners.
When the training is complete, such LMS programs help instructors create the kind of reports and assessment records needed to drive reflective instructional practice and improvement of future course incarnations.
3) eLearning is Highly Flexible
Since eLearning provides both asynchronous and synchronous options across a variety of devices, workers can have flexible access to a variety of training materials. Skill Pill, for example, produces a series of gamified learning apps designed to quickly train workers on one particular skill at a time.
This just-in-time learning model is a boon to businesses demanding the most up-to-date skill sets for their employees. Moreover, the game-style interface is a refreshing change of pace that aids skill acquisition and retention by making learning bot flexible and fun.
4) eLearning Boosts Motivation
eLearning motivates employees because it provides the training needed for achievement and career advancement. Skill development and mastery breed intrinsic motivation. Since eLearning keeps employees engaged with the content and interacting with their colleagues, it avoids the boredom and drudgery many associate with traditional instructor-led training sessions.
Moreover, eLearning boosts motivation and reinforces skill development by increasing collaboration between workers and trainers as they share progress, thoughts, and accomplishments.
The workplace skills gap is a serious issue responsible for lost productivity and reduced competitive edge. Traditional training programs have proven inadequate for providing workers with the latest skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive economy.
On the other hands, eLearning platforms give workers training options that propel them to continually acquire, retain, and revise in-demand skills throughout their careers to narrow the skills gap. eLearning platforms also allow workers to learn new skills in collaboration with colleagues, allowing much easier transfer of skill sets to work situations. All in all, it surely sounds tempting to give it a try, so consider these tips and start today!