Employee development programs are basically win-win situations, but for optimal efficiency and employee satisfaction, personalization is a necessary element. Organizations that can pull off widespread customized L&D initiatives will reap the many benefits of personalized employee learning and development programs. Here are just a few of them:
Preventing Losses and Retaining Talent
Time and time again, professional development – or lack thereof – tops the lists of reasons why people quit their jobs. In this report, the absence of career development opportunities is by far the most common reason (20% of respondents) for leaving a job, followed by work-life balance and manager behavior (both 12%).
Organizations that are neglecting this issue are paying a high price. According to a study by Gallup, the cost of replacing an individual employee is (conservatively) 1.5 times that employee's annual salary.
Improving both hard and soft skills will enhance the competitiveness of an organization. The mix of skills has never been as important as today, when companies can be easily compared online and negative customer experiences are posted for everyone to read. Millennials in particular are sensitive to the quality of the entire customer journey.
Making sure that the employees behind the value chain – that is, at every level of the organization - have the right mix of skills is an essential initiative.
Similarly, the specific nature of skills changes more rapidly today than ever before. For example, only a few years ago, terms like “distributed cloud computing” and “influencer” were not well known, but now, many corporations need experts in these fields just to survive.
Personalization is everywhere. From Google search results to Amazon orders, the ability of technology to track you directly and adjust to your preferences is both universal in scope and expected by consumers.
A feeling of having “skin in the game” and being acknowledged as an individual is becoming a must-have to keep people engaged.
With the continuing problem of COVID 19, personalized development has become even more important. The fragmented nature of a hybrid or fully remote workplace can hurt an employee’s sense of belonging. With many employees stuck at home and not getting the opportunity to connect fully with their colleagues, this is the ideal moment to enable personalized development programs to take the place of one-size-fits-all solutions.
At the core: people are different
Even for workers who have the same role, the development needs of an employee must be adjusted to the individual. Take two customer service staffers – one is not so great on the phone, the other is having problems with software programs. One is a visual learner, the other loves a group setting. One likes to study on weekends, the other prefers 15-minute training videos.
But it can get even more specific - for example, the phone issue. What exactly is the problem? Is it difficult for the staffer to actively listen to customer’s problems? Or are they having trouble closing deals? Or are they keeping sloppy records?
This situation is quite common, and a huge challenge for employee development. It shows the need for very specific problem identification, followed by the matching of the staffer with someone who is expert at their particular issue and who can fully adapt to the employee’s specific challenges and help them meet those challenges.
Try Doing That 1,000 times
There have been many attempts to solve this issue, reflected by the billions spent each year on learning and development programs that don’t seem to work. The L&D industry has hundreds of companies involved in coaching employees, distance learning, micro-lessons, and many other development methods. However, L&D remains focused on executive development programs, so that employees at lower levels don’t get the professional growth opportunities that they want and need.
The problem with personalized development programs is that they are generally not something you can scale.
It’s not too difficult to match the specific development needs of one employee to a relevant expert, but doing this across an organization is a challenge that has not been met. A major aspect of this issue is the difficulty of locating coaches, trainers, and mentors who can provide instruction in precisely the needed area, as well as an evaluation of their past performance.
Instead, when searching for instructors, you find that they all have five-star reviews and are experts in generalized fields like “sales” or “management”. Plus, when it comes to training a department or a division, the L&D industry tends towards catch-all coaching programs where you pay per session or per time period, while the coach is a hit-or-miss proposition.
The only personalized development programs you can scale
GrowthSpace has combined technology and a new perspective on employee development programs to deliver a system that can provide granular training on a mass scale.
By leveraging innovations in technologies such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing, GrowthSpace can parse and identify specific learning needs on an individual basis. Through a worldwide network of experts, it can then locate precisely the right coaches, trainers, and mentors to deliver the relevant program to every employee. And finally, employees and their direct managers complete short feedback surveys along the way to measure the quality of instruction and success of the program.
The key is that, because it is based on a unique technological approach, GrowthSpace can apply this process for thousands of employees without losing the quality level enabled by personalized, individualized instruction. As of today, it’s the only way for companies to meet this challenge and provide customized and effective L&D programs to every employee, at every level.