A key insight of Deloitte’s recent Millennial Survey Report revealed that young workers were feeling uneasy about the future of work and were disillusioned by the companies they worked for. Part of this disillusionment stems from their employer’s lack of readiness to equip them with the skills required to transition into Industry 4.0 as well as employers prioritising their bottom line above workers, society and the environment.
The millennials and Gen Z workforce are looking for leaders whose decisions might benefit the world—and their careers. Therefore, they are looking to businesses to help them navigate the challenges of Industry 4.0 by developing the necessary skills, including the “soft” skills they believe will be more important as jobs evolve.
Industry 4.0 brings with it many industrial enhancements and operations that involve A.I., increased automation and the internet of things (IoT). While it heralds an inevitable loss of lower-skilled jobs, it simultaneously requires new and evolving skill sets to keep pace with the new opportunities presented by a new method of work.
So how can the latest L&D practices help to better-engage employees, improve loyalty and help them feel equipped in an evolving, Industry 4.0 workplace? Here are four ways in which a microlearning-based training strategy can help:
This learning industry term (which is also known as point-of-need training) essentially means, on-demand training. It refers to the ability to supply small, easily-digestible, engaging microlessons to workers shortly before they require them. This may involve a brief course that provides background on a new client or topic shortly before a first meeting. It could also be instructions on how to operate machinery or interact with customers at a retail level. It’s far more effective than hoping a large, sizeable course, that was potentially taken long-before when the information wasn’t required, was absorbed by an (unwilling and unmotivated) employee.
This form of training is also being enhanced through Machine Learning in that lessons can be automatically delivered based on an upcoming calendar invite. On a larger scale, analytics that are automatically garnered from Big Data could identify issues at a regional branch office where a workforce is performing at a lower level than it should and automatically distribute appropriate training materials accordingly.
Educational experts are in agreement that as much as 30 percent of company training should be performed by people within the company. This stands to reason as it’s very likely that the person with the most knowledge about a company process or practice already works within that same company. Why hire an expensive external trainer? By identifying your best employees, you’re immediately making them feel more valued and the training itself will be more effective as it’s coming from a peer. By using microlesson-focussed strategy, lessons and courses can be quickly implemented and the technical barriers to creation are brushed away.
Teaching employees individually
Everybody learns at a different pace and so implementing a one-size-fits-all training strategy is likely to alienate those who struggle to keep up in addition to those who feel things are moving too slowly. A microlearning strategy can easily enable workers to take small lessons on their own terms in their own time without external pressures. As such, training becomes far more engaging and subsequently, more effective.
It’s already common practice within corporates to bind incentive and bonus payments to taking particular training courses. However, a carrot-based strategy is always preferable to one based upon the stick and learning is never going to be as effective as it could be if it’s being done under duress. Using gamification changes everything. By adding scores or timers to interactive lessons, they become far more engaging and even competitive. You can also offer prizes for the best performers or simply an incentive for completing a course before a certain date.
All of the above won’t just empower employees and help them engage with an Industry 4.0 workplace, they’ll feel significantly more valued and positive about the company. As Deloitte suggests, there’s a correlation between a happy, engaged and loyal workforce and a healthy bottom line. So, investing in effective workforce training program is a winning move.