Within four years, 42% of your core workplace skills will be obsolete, according to the Future of Jobs Report 2018, recently published by the World Economic Forum. One way to close the skills gap is to retrain existing employees, but among the 313 organizations surveyed worldwide, that solution ranked only third behind automating work tasks and hiring new permanent staff already possessing the relevant skills. This is a wakeup call to all employees for more skills training.
It is no longer necessary to make a case for learning in the workplace. But to be certain, the report estimates that an extra 101 days of training will be required in order for employees to close the skills gap by 2022. Unless organizations begin aggressively replacing staff or fully automating workflows, employers need to support a culture of learning in the workplace. The best way to do that is to make learning frictionless.
Learning in the workplace needs to be a lot of things: relevant, contextual and purposeful; but what often gets neglected is the learning experience, which is every bit as important as the content itself.
Frictionless learning means having learning that is on-demand and available for when employees need it; having content that is quick and easy to access. A learner shouldn’t have to go through extraneous steps or spend excessive amounts of time just to reach the content. This creates an unnecessary cognitive load, which only encourages the individual to look elsewhere for a solution, or not bothering to even look.
People are busy. And there is only so much mental energy to expend on work and life demands each and every day. How can someone embrace learning that creates so much extra friction and unnecessary cognitive demand?
If, instead, workplace learning is more accessible, then it becomes more immersive. Not in the “virtual reality” sense – immersive in that employees will engage more frequently with the content. When you have an immersive learning experience, education is pulled by the employee rather than pushed onto the employee. They will learn because the want to and not because they have to. Create a culture of learning in your workplace. Make it frictionless.
John Waldron, MBA (FS) Class of 2008
Founder of Learnedly and purveyor of accessible education for financial professionals.
CEGE Connection is delighted to advise that John Waldron has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CEGE Connection.