How eLearning is an employee retention strategy

eLearning retention strategy

Not reaching targets? Low morale? High turnover? Yes, this business needs an employee retention strategy and that strategy should be eLearning.

Low morale and high turnover means that the emotional culture of a business, company or organisation is being overlooked. The traditional ethos around business and management is that emotional culture within the workplace does not take precedence. Yet, in the modern business space, emotional culture has been proven to have a direct link to economic performance. This means a business’s success can depend on how they shape their company culture to the shifting and adapting emotional culture of the workplace. We take a look at how eLearning “engineers high – performing organizational cultures”[1] and retains employees.

There are many reasons why people leave jobs (or bosses) however, according to best-selling author and business influencer Bernard Marr those reasons can be narrowed down to “no respect, no vision, no future and no morale.”[2]

What does this mean?

The job did not meet expectations

Business and technology are constantly advancing and changing leading to new requirements, skill sets, systems and even laws – the new General Data Protection Regulation for example. This means that job roles have had to become more fluid and employees have had to become more resilient to change. However, some employers have been taking advantage of this, hiring employees and putting them on a path solely they want, usually dramatically varying for the initial role promised to them. As an employer or manager where you do not fulfill the expectations “promised” to your employee, you cannot expect them to perform to your expectations either. Without trust, there cannot be any respect.

Feeling undervalued

Recognition is part of our human development if we are not recognised we do not exist and this is exactly why recognition in the workplace is so fundamental. If you do not recognise or reinforce the positive actions and behaviours of your employees, these will cease to exist and so will their existence in your workplace.

Growth and development opportunities were not available

There are many companies or businesses who have satisfactory performing staff but still have a high turnover of staff. Talent can be lost because of dead-end positions where there is no room for development or opportunities for advancing their skills or careers.

Effects of low morale & high turnover

High turnover is a direct result of low morale in the workplace, however interestingly high turnover can also cause low morale – it’s a vicious cycle. Although emotional culture may be abstract or intangible, negative emotional culture or the effects of low morale are very tangible, such as:

  • Poor productivity.
  • Failing to meet goals and targets.
  • Increase in errors and mistakes.
  • Absenteeism.
  • Employee attrition.

All of these points will affect the day-to-day running of an organisation, company or business, but it will also impact profitability even more so when that employee inevitably leaves. Although turnover is a natural part of any business regardless of industry, a high turnover of employees costs a business time, resources and money. Even when a business does fill this position, the new employee cannot perform to the same standard of their predecessor at least for a few months.  According to the HR Review in a study carried out by Oxford Economics in 2014, the figure for an employee leaving “starts from £30,614 per employee.”[3]

The issues don’t stop there, high turnover has a rippling effect which:

  • Disrupts team dynamics.
  • Causes low Morale.
  • Disrupts continuity for clients and customers.
  • Uses up resources.

“the figure for an employee leaving starts from £30,614 per employee.”

– Oxford Economics

eLearning as an employee retention strategy

eLearning creates a bridge between emotional culture and company culture, which enables your current employees or team to align business objectives and goals to individual training efforts. Current skill-sets are not only analysed but any skill gaps in current performance are filled with training and development.

No matter the size of a business or its niche, implementing an employee retention strategy is key. So why should eLearning be that strategy?  Organisations which choose to invest in their employees through development, upskilling and ultimately position advancement, increase their employee productivity and retention. As UK business owner Lars Anderson told The Times “for the UK economy’s sake, they need to come fast – productivity will only rise if investment in learning takes priority.”[4]

Here’s How

 eLearning for Businesses can therefore achieve:

“But, what if we train our employees and they leave or worse still, leave and take their shiny new skills to a competitor?”

On the other hand, what if a business decides not to train their employees and they decide to stay!

Any investment generates risk, and this still applies when investing in people. The question is how can we minimise risk when investing in eLearning as an employee retention strategy? The answer lies in the content, timeframe and the immediate applicability. eLearning can successfully identify the skill gaps in your employees as well as give them the skills and knowledge they need to have an immediate impact on your ROI. What businesses must ensure is that the eLearning they choose is relevant, has a sensible timeframe and addresses current pain points.

A good example of this is cyber defence such as the EC-Council’s Ethical Hacker certification and practical examination. Hacking is a constant shifting and impending threat to all businesses “one hack in the UK alone netted more than £100m in February 2016.”[7] This certification enables a cyber-security specialist to legally and legitimately use the same knowledge and tools as a harmful criminal hacker to establish a business’s vulnerabilities, weaknesses and target systems. The certification also has a rigorous practical exam meaning that an employee will be tested on their new knowledge and skill set which can be immediately applied within their role – having a direct impact on a business’s ROI.

Like cybersecurity, there is no way to totally eliminate risk because of people and this works the same for any other aspect of business, even employee retention. The trick is understanding people.

“In order to create revenue, you must understand people. In order to operate an effective organisation with low cost, you must understand people. People are the common denominator.”[8]

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