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So Much to Learn, Too Little Time: How to Navigate the L and В Paradox
By Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera
Despite dramatic shifts in the economy—from soaring inflation to the growing risk of recession—voluntary resignation rates among employees remain high and 40% of workers plan to leave their jobs in the next three to six months.
In short, even in uncertain economic conditions talent moves quickly. However, this doesn’t mean better retention is a pipedream—Deloitte research shows that “good” skills development programs in the workplace mean employees are twice as likely to remain with their current employer than those with “fair” or “poor” programs.
With a potential recession ahead, and skills shortages piling pressure on organizations, it’s up to the leaders to revitalize people and talent strategies to meet employee expectations. The priority should be demonstrating the value of investing in employee learning and showing employees their worth, while also securing the skills the business needs.
First, though, leaders must overcome a learning and development (L&D) paradox: balancing the clear employee desire—and business need—for skills development in the workplace with the limited time employees have at their disposal.
Tackling the L&D paradox with stackable and adaptable learning programs
Despite both business and employee good intentions, too often skills development in the workplace is seen as something to be squeezed around other work priorities. In fact, 60 percent of employees spend less than one hour on learning per sitting.
Finding ways to help employees balance access to impactful learning programs within realistic time frames isn’t simple—particularly in a complex world of work with various competing priorities.
The typical response to this challenge has often been to offer short-form content that employees can complete during the little time they have available. But these courses have to align with employees’ personal needs and the needs of the business to truly fill the gap.
At Coursera, we’ve invested in short-form content, but by conducting research with learners and learning leaders, we focus on bringing a higher-value offering to the market. Our short-form content, called Coursera Clips, is designed with skill development in mind. Our stackability model, on the other hand, allows employees to choose microlearning while continuing on paths to skill development.
Here’s what we found is a better way of overcoming the learning paradox, getting the best from teams with the little time they have available to learn:
Making learning programs flexible
Whether learning in a traditional office setup or on the go during a commute, meeting the needs of a mobile workforce means offering learning that can be consumed on the go – anytime, anywhere.
Catering to your employees’ existing foundational knowledge. Offer courses for all levels and needs and measure your employees’ proficiency to assign them to the right recommendations, through Coursera’s LevelSets.
Offering a mix of learning formats and allowing them to stack for deeper learning experiences. From micro-learning through 5–10-minute videos found in Clips on Coursera, to hands-on learning through Guided Projects, Courses, and job-ready Professional Certificates, make it not only about the course your employees complete but about the journey, your employees are embarked on.
Put another way, an engaging and impactful skills development program starts with recognizing there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to learning and it’s much more complex than it may seem.
If you’re ready to learn more—from how to identify skill gaps to launching an end-to-end approach to skills development—download Coursera’s new e-book, ‘Evolving Your Talent Strategy: The Urgent Need for Workplace Learning—and How to Execute on It’. A one-stop shop for transforming your approach to upskilling and reskilling, giving you the know-how necessary to create a more engaging, skilled, and impactful workplace.
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