Technology influences our lives in more ways than we can imagine. Flyers from electronics companies demonstrate all the new tools and toys of the latest model smartphone or television set.  Our cars have become computer driven vehicles with a manual as thick as our arm. The world around us is changing and we have to keep up with all these electronic challenges to stay on top.

And we do… Grannies on Facebook are no longer an exception.  Computer classes for pensioners are in very high demand.  It is not because they are getting on in life that they cannot keep up with technology.

If it comes so natural to us in our private lives, then why is it so hard for us to understand that we are facing these exact same challenges in our professional lives. Even more than on a personal level, technology changes at an alarming rate.  It surely is no exception for a company to change its infrastructure every few years. Moreover, not only their hardware changes but their software does too.  Margins have become smaller so it is key for companies to choose the best performing software that will reduce efforts and allow maximal turnover, such as the Salesforce Customer Success Platform.

Facing the challenges of a changing world

The ever-changing working environment forces employees to keep up with all these changes.  Only as recent as two generations ago, people stayed in the same career or industry their whole life.  I remember the times where getting a golden watch for 25 years of faithful service was the pinnacle of success!

However, that is no longer the case.  Studies have shown that the “young wolves” change their job every two to three years. This job-hopping helps with increasing salary demands but there is a downside to it as well. In order to be a competitive job applicant, it is important that job searchers are open to learn new ideas and tools.

The importance of Continuous Learning

Learning and development have become mainstream in successful companies. A study, performed in 2015, showed that organizations with a culture of learning and personal development were amongst the highest performing companies. In return, they attracted more talented employees which led to a more satisfied customer base.

Continuous learning, be it on the job or as a private initiative, assures that employees are more productive, achieve goals more quickly and increase their job satisfaction. Moreover, continuous learning within the organization helps employees to improve their own skills and be more flexible and adaptable as changes in technology forces companies to adapt.  And adapt quickly.

There seem to be three factors that forces companies to invest in learning and development.

  • Due to globalization – companies are no longer solitary institutions but very often part of a group or conglomerate. In short, organizations have to compete with others around the world.
  • Employees are finding out that learning can help them advance their careers. So they will actively look for those employers with a good and well developed learning plan. Take a look at how we set up our career-page and how we provide this information.
  • Millennials and Generation Z employees are looking for flexible learning possibilities so they can take them at their own pace, on the go (mobile) or in the workplace and on any device they prefer.

Countinuous Learning - Factors

We notice the increasing interest in Learning & Development plans also in the fact that more and more new startups focus on providing just that.  Moreover, organizations highly value that they can rely on the expertise of these external partners. This can go from crafting a learning strategy to implementing the strategy or to provide the right training in the right format.

Why a good strategy matters

Establishing a strategy that adapts as technology evolves is a big success factor. The Brandon Hall Group Learning Technology Study shows that companies that prepare for these new technologies in their learning strategy fall within the Optimized/innovative group. This means that they are most successful in dealing with this ever-changing world of devices, apps and technologies.

Continuous Learning - Technology Maturity Curve

Source: Brandon Hall Group 2016 Study: Learning Technology – Figure 5 (http://go.brandonhall.com/l/8262/2016-04-25/5brswr)

Leading companies also introduce different formats and platforms in their learning strategy.  Such as online training courses, MOOC’s, blended learning and social media learning all have their place in a successful learning plan. Which makes it easier for employees to plan their own learning track and choose the means and platforms which work best for them.  Companies need to understand that technology is happening anyway and it is better to work with it, than against it. Moreover, it is even more important than ever to understand the changes in the business world and how technology impacts the business- and learning to prevent that these changes will mean a stagnation of your sales funnel.

Happy and motivated employees

A good Learning & Development strategy is not only important to the organization but it creates a happy and motivated work force.  Therefore, continuous learning programs help create awareness of weaknesses in skill sets. Additionally, they also help employees overcome their weaknesses by providing the correct training.  It brings employees to a higher level and increases their confidence in getting the job done.

Moreover, employees who receive the necessary training are better in doing their job.  They become more aware of practices and procedures, and build up confidence.  This improves performance and reduces errors or accidents in the work place.

Furthermore, training in other areas of interest may help the employee apply for other jobs in the organization. Which allows employees to bring their expertise and experience from their former position into the organization. This gives employees a feeling that they cannot only grow in their job but also in the company.

An investment in your employees’ skill set is an investment in your organization. Moreover, it is a key driver for staying ahead in a changing market and for keeping up with changing technologies, like Salesforce.

Learn how to stay ahead of the game by implementing a Learning & Development strategy for Salesforce. We provide online training courses, on-site training courses and tailored trails on trailhead. All set up by our experienced and passionate Salesforce consultants. If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

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