The digital transformation is upon us. It has become pertinent for tech and IT companies to equip themselves with a workforce that is up to date with the recent trends and technologies. In this article, Krishna Kumar, CEO of Simplilearn, discusses the need to build a culture of continuous learning in enterprises and how digital transformation is helping the cause.

Digital transformation is the order of the day. How can companies cater to this need and create an atmosphere for learning?

Digital technology has left businesses with an adapt-or-perish scenario. Until a few years ago, companies didn’t emphasize much on honing employees’ skills. Entry-level employees were provided in-depth classroom training that prepares them for job roles in the enterprise. But the middle and senior level employees needed to request for re-skilling and learning programs. But the digital technology has compelled IT and other technology industries to map out learning programs throughout the year. Many IT companies who have partnered with Simplilearn, encourage their employees to complete a course every quarter.

Do regular learning programs hamper the project commitment of the workforce?

Learner flexibility is critical. An interesting trend among our global clients is that corporate training is not restricted to the traditional classroom module anymore. Most of the training programs are online. Another interesting observation is that both online and classroom training consists of smaller modules that do not extend beyond four hours per session. This ensures that workplace productivity and project deadlines are not affected. Employees can work on their daily projects and learn in tandem.

How is practical training imparted in core areas like Agile and Scrum, Cloud or Analytics?

Hands-on learning helps individuals improve their skills and expertise. Using cloud technology, teams across geographies are able to access relevant and scalable technology infrastructure. Another dimension to practical training sessions are scenario-based, live online projects in a controlled environment. Learners can assess their knowledge on a core topic before using it in real projects.

How can organizations motivate employees to stay focussed on their learning initiatives?

As organizations grow across geographies, implementing a culture of continuous learning become critical. There are three As to ensure the motivation levels of learners are intact: Accessibility, Attractiveness and Appreciation. These five steps can help in sustaining a strong culture of learning in your company:

  1. The training programs should be accessible and available to employees anytime and anywhere.
  2. Ensure high quality and up-to-date content that suits the changing industry trends.
  3. Provide a gamified Learning Management System (LMS) to track the course progress real-time.
  4. Challenge your employees with custom projects and assignments to promote learning application in real business scenarios.
  5. Motivate employees to complete courses with appreciation and rewards. A course completion certificate from accredited bodies is a key driving factor. Additionally, reward employees who show their learning in live projects.

How can companies track the effectiveness of these learning programs?

Studies show that over 90 percent of the skills acquired through training programs decay within the first few weeks due to lack of engagement. The most important challenge is to increase course completion rates. This might seem like a basic requirement, but it plagues the academies around the world. Online learning management systems provide visibility, allowing team leaders in companies to track the learning funnel and progress of their employees in real time.  Companies must track the different stages of learning in order to develop relevant interventions where necessary and keep employees motivated to complete their courses in a timely fashion.

Company leaders should also monitor other indicators like immediate project deployability, improvements in productivity, adaptability to new technology environments, collaboration across teams and confidence to solve multidisciplinary problems.

Continuous learning helps individuals stay updated with the latest technologies and trends. It enables organizations to build a workforce that is capable of facing the challenges of an evolving business landscape.