Note: This article originally appeared on TrainingIndustry.com.
By Stephanie Elliott
Aerotek Director of Professional Development
In today’s tight talent market, retaining your best employees can be just as important as recruiting promising new candidates. A significant amount of staff turnover, or even losing valued employees, can keep an organization from achieving its business goals.
Employers may find that investing in employee training and upskilling can be a significant value driver, helping them diversify their capabilities, engage their workforce and boost retention. In addition to traditional methods such as job shadowing and mentoring, recently developed technologies are providing additional ways to manage and retain employees.
Microlearning focuses on providing a quick activity or lesson to train a user on a single item or issue. Typically delivered in short, digital video modules and/or games, these activities may be part of a series or included as part of training for a specific task or outcome. Microlearning is tailored to provide training that easily fits within an employee’s schedule because it is easy to use, can be completed in relatively short amounts of time, and offers immediate and practical outcomes.
A learning experience platform (LXP) builds on the static resources of the traditional learning management system (LMS) to create a more dynamic and useful user experience. The LXP allows users to add content — corporate learning modules and documents as well as resources from social media and the internet — and make them accessible to other users, who can comment and share.
Because the content of the LXPs is created and shared primarily by the users, the format encourages employees to return more often than mandated corporate training modules. The LXP is an ideal resource for helping employees stay on top of new information and skills.
AI chatbots that serve as employee assistants can help workers handle tasks such as finding people, locating resources, navigating administrative processes and other common workplace issues. These tools in particular are useful in “enhancing and automating the experience of repeatable tasks," said Jeff Mike, vice president and head of research ideation for Bersin, Deloitte Consulting.
Employee assistants can quickly solve issues that previously consumed large amounts of time and productivity. The assistant can understand requests and questions, and it can often respond with near immediate results for simple tasks. For employees who can now waste less time and increase productivity, this technology can lead to higher job satisfaction — a crucial benefit in this job market.
Higher job satisfaction is also the goal behind engagement platforms, which are a forum for regular feedback, coaching, encouragement, learning, competition, participation in team or social activities, personalization and social recognition.
Engagement platforms offer a number of benefits. By aligning employees with goals, today’s technology enables recognition, by leaders, managers or peers. Unlike traditional manager-driven, top-down gratitude, these forums enable a more extensive social system where employees directly recognize each other. Finally, the platform provides analytics and reporting to reveal levels of engagement and activity, capabilities that traditional programs cannot deliver.
By capitalizing on the vast volume of data generated by an employee’s activity, employee retention technologies can apply analytics to track engagement levels and predict when an employee is considering leaving the organization. Using the data, the employer can intervene early to address any issues, pinpoint gaps in employee engagement and help influence employees to stay.
Metrics and other intelligence provided by data and AI capabilities can inform retention strategies by predicting flight risks, identifying top performers and determining where engagement can be improved for all employees.
There are concerns that technology will make the employee experience commoditized and depersonalized. Employers need to understand the best way to balance the drive for digitalization with the need to ensure workers are still at the core of talent management.
The key for employers is to adopt technologies aimed at empowering and engaging employees. Leveraging these tools can help everyone make the most of their time on the job, and high productivity and satisfaction as well.