E-Learning and the Employee Experience
E-learning improves training strategies and initiatives, but it goes much further than this in a number of areas. For example, making an e-learning library of courses available to employees can, regardless of the content, improve productivity and levels of customer service.
Another crucial area that e-learning can positively influence is the employee experience.
By impacting the employee experience, e-learning can help you save money and ensure you have access to the skills your company needs.
Before jumping to this point, however, let’s look first at what the employee experience is and why it’s important.
The Recruitment and Retention Challenge
The workplace in many industries is changing. For example, new technologies, particularly automation technologies, are performing tasks that were previously completed by employees.
Some job roles are being lost to these technologies but there are also new job roles being created. These job roles are often highly skilled.
In addition, existing highly-skilled job roles are increasingly important to the competitiveness and profitability of companies.
Both of these factors combined are leading to skills shortages in many industries in the UAE, MENA, and beyond.
Then there is another factor to consider – cost. After all, recruiting new employees is incredibly expensive, with these costs increasing every year.
Therefore, when companies get highly-skilled and capable people onto their team, they want to keep them. Does this sound familiar?
The Employee Experience
The employee experience covers every touchpoint an employee has with the company they work for. This means it goes much, much further than the tasks and responsibilities that an employee has. It also goes much further than the areas traditionally looked after by HR departments such as onboarding, holiday planning, staff handbook maintenance, and recruitment.
Instead, employee experience covers everything – every interaction, every experience – with a focus on how the employee feels about their job. There’s more on this below.
Companies that seek to enhance the employee experience do so to increase the likelihood the employee will stay with the company instead of being tempted by head-hunters – or, worse still, actively seeking alternative employment.
So, what are the factors that impact the employee experience? Here are some of the most important:
- Nature of work – do employees feel the work they do is meaningful, and does it suit their skills? Can they work autonomously within small and empowered teams? Are they constantly under time pressure or is there time to take a breather, to reassess, and to reflect – within normal working hours?
- Management support – do managers define and communicate goals to employees clearly and in a way they understand? Is there genuine support available when the employee needs it and is that support flexible according to the individual and/or to the circumstances? Does the company invest in developing the skills of managers?
- The work environment – is the work environment positive, fair, inclusive, and diverse? Is there a culture of recognition where managers and other leadership figures are happy to let employees take credit for the work they do and the successes they achieve?
- Opportunity for growth and career development – do all employees feel they can grow and progress their careers? Can employees do this in a way that suits them or does the company have inflexible career paths? Is there a learning culture in the organisation and do employees have the tools and support they need to acquire new skills and knowledge?
- Senior leadership – do senior managers and executives effectively communicate the company’s vision in a way that makes sense to all employees? Do employees buy into this vision, do they disagree with it, or do they not understand it? Are senior managers transparent, honest, and engaged? Is the company committed to investing in people? Do senior managers and executives inspire and motivate employees in the company?
Where Does E-Learning Come In?
The most obvious area where e-learning can have an impact on employee experience is in the fourth point above in relation to growth and career development.
By providing e-learning courses to employees, you make it possible for them to learn new skills and develop their careers. You can enhance this even further by personalising e-learning courses and making them accessible to learners on the devices they want to use, including on phones.
E-learning can help in other ways, too. This includes augmenting management support by giving employees an easy-to-access tool where they can get the information they need immediately – details of a new product are a good example.
You can also use e-learning to improve the skills and abilities of managers as well as to provide training to employees on things like teamwork, inclusivity, and diversity – all of which are important to point three above.
Finally, e-learning courses are an excellent tool for getting feedback from employees. This can be feedback based on statistics, i.e. the number of people who completed a course, how well they did on the course, etc.
You can also use e-learning courses to get more nuanced and detailed feedback by asking learners to describe what they think and feel about the topics covered.
Employee Experience is Here to Stay
Companies that understand the importance of employee experience and take active steps to make it as good as possible have a competitive edge in recruitment and staff retention. This leads to a commercial competitive edge too.
Given the benefits of e-learning, it should be part of your employee experience strategy as well as your training strategy.