Skip to main content
Blue @ Work

5 ways to improve your workplace learning and development

We asked an expert.

According to LinkedIn's Learning Report External Site, 94 percent of employees say they would stay at a company longer if their workplace invested in helping them learn and develop.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly a third of Americans are now working from home External Site — and for some businesses, working remotely is still a relatively new concept.

Since most companies have shifted their workplace to remote, there has been a larger focus on executing core business strategies rather than learning and development — mainly because learning and development programs were held on-site.

However, now is not the time to let your learning and development program to fall to the wayside. It's been shown that organizations who have a culture of learning are the most adaptive and productive External Site.

If COVID-19 impacted your on-site learning and development program, don't worry — just pivot! By making the shift to an all-digital platform, your employees can pick and choose which courses they want at a time that fits in with their schedule.

It can be daunting to know figure out how to create a learning and development program that works best for your employees. So, we've asked a learning and development expert from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield team to help you create the framework for a successful program. And, it's completely digital.

Ask the expert: Five tips for developing a low-cost, effective learning and development program

Melody Sutton, senior organizational learning and development consultant at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says you don't need a big budget or production team to create an effective, virtual learning and development program.

When we started our myMentor podcast series, we went on Amazon and ordered a standard microphone and leveraged the computer applications we already had to create the episodes." said Melody Sutton.

She offers five need-to-know tricks for meeting your employees learning and development needs and goals, while supporting the overall organizations mission and vision.

Know your learning and development platform

Online learning comes with its fair share of challenges — such as keeping the attention of employees. Keep your online training as short as possible. Holding a two-day workshop or five-hour long training is not optimal in a virtual environment. There are too many distractions, and your audience is no longer "captive" in a room where they can focus solely on the course.

Even though you are providing online training, make sure it still feels like a classroom. Having someone facilitate a webinar is a great way to do this. If you do use someone to enhance your online learning, here are some facilitation tips that Sutton recommends:

  • Be intentional in creating touch points and purposeful engagement
  • Change the voice — have more than one person speak. Leverage co-facilitation to enable this
  • Include polls for learners to complete

Quick tip: Unsure of how to cut down on your content? Consider sending pre-work such as reading, case studies or exercises to employees ahead of time. Not only will this cut down on the amount of time, it will spark conversation.

Invest in a learning management system (LMS)

Learning management systems (LMS) provide a self-service digital learning landscape for employees to access anywhere. Through a LMS, you can automate sessions, track engagement, market new career development opportunities, and more.

Here are a few advantages of investing in an LMS:

  • Providing unlimited access to new learning materials
  • Saving time and money
  • Easily tracking your employees' progress and performance
  • Efficiently manage your learning and development program
  • Keeping employees up to date on compliance standards
  • Facilitating improved, integrated communication

Don't reinvent the wheel with your learning and development programs

Even if you do not want to invest in an LMS, there is still a lot of free e-learning content out there for you. Consider leveraging one (or all) resources listed below.

Create relevant content

Asking your employees to take time away from their work schedules to complete a digital learning course or program isn't easy. That's why it's important to setup your content so employees leave the training with ideas, tools and/or resources they can take back to their job and put into practice. Set up your content so employees leave training's with ideas, tools and resources they can take back to their job and put it all into practice.

To get started, provide relevant materials during each digital learning session to help employees achieve their career goals. If you aren't sure what an employee's career goals are, just ask. When you show an active interest in your employees' growth and development, it can show them you care about their overall health and well-being.

Meet your employees where they're at in their development journey

As you establish your online learning and development program, ensure the lessons don't all look the same.

It's important to remember that not everyone learns the same. Some employees are visual learners and really benefit from images, charts, or graphs. Others are auditory learners and learn best from podcasts, lectures, and discussions. Ensure your modules accommodate all the different learning styles and generations so they positively impact any employee.

Need support with career well-being, learning and development? Our team is here to help.

Here at Wellmark, we know your business and have insight and data on your employees that you might not have in-house. Our team of employer health and well-being consultants can serve as an extension of your workforce and provide expertise in creating engaging solutions to meet the unique needs of your employee population.

Every step of the way, our team can be your go-to source for finding the right combination of solutions — because one size doesn't fit all.

Questions? Contact your authorized Wellmark account representative, or email us at Send Email.