In our third post sharing insights about the Learning and Development (L&D) function within HR as researched by LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report, we look at ways that you can create hybrid worker engagement.
Gen Z, the generation that doesn’t remember when flip phones were cell phones or what life was like without social media, was the most active generation when it came to learning this past year. Two-thirds said they spent more time learning in 2020 than they did in 2019.
They also spent more time using learning tools. They also said the most important learning opportunities are those that will help them do better in their current role followed by skill development to perform in a different function…internal mobility. This highlights a yin-yang approach to their learning and development. More than eight in ten want to improve their performance, while more than seven in ten want to study areas that interest them.
The past year forced all of us to build our remote working skills including learning how to become more resilient, manage our stress, and tune out an entirely different set of distractions. Older, more experienced, workers were looking to build their soft skills so they could improve their leadership and communication. Gen Z on the other hand focused on hard skills such as improving their productivity and technology knowledge.
Another change we experienced this past year was physical distance. Working from home, and for a period of time, not able to go out socially, has motivated us to find new ways of connecting. Whether it’s working out at home on your bike with others doing the same in real-time, or having a virtual happy hour with friends and family over video conference. Learning tools are incorporating social features to build engagement.
And the tools seem to be working. According to the study, “we found that learners who use social features on average watched 30 times more hours of learning content.” Both L&D leaders and employees believe social tools create a sense of belonging, and employees are five times more likely to be engaged.
“Community-based learning connects learners to colleagues, peers, and experts to drive higher engagement and inspire skill-building. It uses blended online learning (VILT plus online learning), supported by social features — such as course recommendations from managers or administrators, sharing learnings on chat software, participating in online groups, or asking questions (and receiving answers) from instructors or influencers.” Below are the top L&D tactics recommended by the study to improve hybrid worker engagement:
- Create relevant learning paths
- Let your guiding principles lead the way
- Set up a digital training calendar
- Assign “pre-watch” online learning before a VILT session
- Less is more
- Make learning social
- Tap into chat
- Reimagine how to deliver live virtual
- Get close to learner needs
- Help learners find their purpose
To build hybrid worker engagement, make sure you have a dedicated L&D leader and a strong understanding of your culture. If you need advice or support, please let us know how our retained search consultants can help.