Expert Sandra Loughlin from EPAM Systems breaks down the effective employee learning strategy and the need for motivation
Although the pandemic is on the brink of being part of history, experts expect an even greater need for omnichannel employee training. The rapid technological growth will continue to impact business strategies and create space for new conversations and technological innovations.
While enterprises embrace omnichannel remote learning, Dr. Sandra Loughlin, Head of the Learning Practice at EPAM Systems, discusses effective employee learning strategy in a podcast conducted by EnterpriseTalk.
Before getting to the main subject of the discussion, Sandra reflects on certain motivation that industry leaders imparted during the pandemic and will continue to provide. She says, “A number of employees work in countries where there are political risks and challenges on top of the health and existing social challenges. This concept of creating a safe space for learning really works to help motivate and support both employees and clients.”
But why would clients need motivation?
When the pandemic first hit, it was not only businesses and employees that were helpless. Industry leaders reveal that clients were in a state of confusion too. The global economic crisis also distorted business requirements, visions, and goals. When the emotional quotient of both employees and clients is at unrest, Sandra believes that the right motivation is critical.
Having experienced an inspiring system in place at EPAM, she says, “We need to find a way to keep people motivated. We must push their creativity and essentially leverage any crisis in a way that ultimately results in better outcomes.” For instance, EPAM introduced a campaign where an individual must learn something new. The result of any such activity would be a significant intrinsic motivation that also translates into benefitting brands and their clients.
With due motivation, the learning experience of employees needs to be given dire importance. The required skills are constantly evolving due to the rapid technological growth. As a result, the learning environment and the interaction opportunities need to develop as well. Sandra opines, “The less appreciated challenge is the fact that when brands are trying to align skills and learning opportunities, they need to think well beyond the technology infrastructures.”
Sandra abides by three rules when it comes to aligning skills required for business success with their learning infrastructure. The first is to identify the essential skills. As skill requirements are constantly evolving, identifying the perfect skill set that matches an enterprise’s business strategy and vision is imperative.
The following step would be to have effective communication on the chosen skills. Sandra states, “The business communicates with the IT about what is most essential in which job function. The learning and development teams then need to be able to take those learning objectives to translate them into learning opportunities, instructional opportunities as well as practice opportunities.”
The final step for the holistic learning ecosystem to come together would be the employees’ opportunity to practice and attain feedback. For this elaborate strategy to succeed, Sandra reckons a significant increase in mentorship. “What’s really important from a learning outcomes perspective is the perceived social support for learners.”
With a more profound and richer conversation between business leaders, learning leaders, and technology leaders, the employee learning experience and the motivated clientele can act as the ladder of business growth.