According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, an astounding 94% of respondents said they would stay at a company longer if their employer invested in their career. With a response rate like that, it’s downright shocking that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, companies with less than 100 employees are providing only 12 minutes of training per month, while companies with 100 to 500 employees are providing 6 minutes per month.But is 12 minutes of training per month enough? Is that the sweet spot that employees are looking for, or are they searching for more in-depth training? Of course, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all answer, but we’re going to do our best to help you determine what the ideal amount - and best delivery method - of training is for your organization.
Employee Training: Then and Now
A lack of training hasn’t always been an issue in the workforce - or at least not to this degree. According to Peter Capelli, director of The Wharton School's Center for Human Resources, in 1979 the average young worker received 2.5 weeks per year of training. By 1995, that training time fell to just 11 hours per year - a massive drop, but still significantly more than most employees are getting right now. In fact, by 2011, only one-fifth of employees had reported receiving any on-the-job training within the last five years.
So what led to this shift? Capelli suggested that it’s a matter of cost. When reviewing budgets, organizations are often concerned about spending money on training employees who may not be inclined to stay. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation where employees feel compelled to leave their positions because they don’t see any potential for upward growth.
The Millennial Impact
Within the same article that Capelli was quoted, a Gallup poll was referenced that found that Millennials are less engaged with their full-time jobs and that nearly half of the individuals surveyed reported freelancing within the 12 months prior. Of those who reported that they have turned to freelancing, 64% of them said they did so by choice, not necessity, and over half of the total freelancers (56%) reported that they voluntarily undertook skills related training to further their freelance opportunities.
Therefore, it’s difficult to say what is - exactly - the ideal amount of training. There probably isn’t a set amount of time where an employee will say, “ah yes - my desire for training has been fulfilled.” Some employees may crave the opportunity to further their skills and may be elated when their company offers that perk, while others may actually find that training at work is a bit of a hassle - adding yet another thing to do to their already jam-packed day.
That’s where eLearning, specifically microlearning and just-in-time learning, come into play. These two training options, although different in their delivery, provide employees with the opportunity to get the training they need (or want) in a manner that fits their particular set of circumstances. Some employees may be happy to go through an entire series of modules or courses to become experts in a particular subject matter, but they want to be able to do it at times that are convenient for them. In those cases, microlearning is a fantastic option because it provides short bursts of knowledge sharing that can be completed in just a few minutes.
Others may only be interested in learning about one specific topic at a very specific time (i.e.: brushing up on product specifications right before a meeting). For those individuals, just-in-time learning is likely to be exactly what they’re looking for. They’ll be able to arm themselves with the necessary information without having to sift through material they feel isn’t relevant to their current situation.
Are you ready to provide your employees with the best training options?