With teams expanding, projects ramping up, and targets increasing, it can become challenging to maintain alignment and keep employees engaged as a company scales. This can contribute to high employee turnover, which is especially challenging when long-serving employees leave and take their unique and hard-to-replace expertise along with them.
L&D is the key to supporting your company and helping it scale sustainably. In this article, we’ll show you why investing in the right learning technology and creating training opportunities for your workforce can help you save your tech company from some of the growing pains that come with scaling too fast.
Let’s start with a look at how upskilling from within can help create an agile workforce.
Scaling businesses need an agile workforce that can adapt to the inevitable changes and challenges that come with fast growth. One of the best ways to ensure this agility is to embrace upskilling from within. A well-defined upskilling strategy ensures you have the right people (with the right skill sets) in place as your company grows, evolves, and innovates, thus future-proofing your business.
An upskilling program is an investment in current employees to help them build on their existing knowledge and skills. This can be achieved by offering training programs, online courses, mentorship, or job shadowing opportunities—anything that enables employees to acquire the additional skills and education they need to become more agile and advance within the company.
For example, pairing an employee with a manager helps them upskill into a more senior and client-facing role. They can shadow the mentor in meetings and client interactions.
You can also use your learning management system (LMS) to create customized courses based on the additional skills an employee needs for their role. For example, creating courses specifically designed to help managers improve their presentation skills.
Many LMSs also allow learners to create their own personalized learning paths to fit their career goals. All employees gain what they want and need from your L&D program—regardless of their learning differences or career goals.
One other way to help you scale? Empower your teams to learn in the flow of work–find out how with our playbook.
When you give your workforce a more active role in their learning journey, it empowers them and gives them a true sense of ownership that naturally increases their loyalty to the workplace. Bottom-up learning—learning managed by the employees themselves—is one of the best forms of employee engagement because your employees will play a key role in driving the business and shaping its L&D needs as the company scales.
Unfortunately, most companies follow a top-down approach to learning, in which upper management or L&D teams establish learning goals, determine knowledge gaps, and create course content. However, in our recent employee engagement survey, we found that 70% of employees prefer to declare their own learning needs.
Simply mandating learning priorities from leadership doesn’t work. Instead, you need to find out what your employees want to learn and what skills they lack with a bottom-up training needs analysis. Your employees will feel valued and listened to, and your entire company can work to identify skills gaps and create relevant and effective training materials.
Once you've identified your workforce's learning needs and your teams’ skill gaps, encourage employees to share their knowledge. When course creation becomes the responsibility of employees, you’ll see more collaboration. Employees will be motivated to contribute and share knowledge in their areas of expertise—making them subject-matter experts (SMEs) within your organization.
And speaking of experts…
A well-defined upskilling strategy ensures you have the right people (with the right skill sets) in place as your company grows, evolves, and innovates.
The constantly changing priorities caused by scaling can make it challenging to build a company culture—especially one that keeps employees engaged. A peer-driven learning culture can offset this challenge, leading to stronger connections between peers and better employee engagement, which ultimately helps drive business outcomes and fuel growth.
Peer learning happens whenever an employee learns something from their coworkers. It's considered one of the best learning methods because it covers all four stages of the learning loop. Learners gain knowledge, apply that knowledge through practice, receive feedback, and then reflect on what they have learned.
Take advantage of the skills your employees already possess by setting up peer training. This is a bottom-up approach that engages employees with highly relevant content that’s crowdsourced from your company's own SMEs. The course content is relevant to learners, and course creation engages the course creators as well. When peers share and learn from each other, they trust each other more–and this trust goes a long way to creating a sense of stability as a company scales.
In tech companies, developers and programmers use a collaborative approach called pair programming. This practice teams up computer programmers who work on code or other problem-solving tasks together. This type of peer learning helps build a shared learning culture by creating an atmosphere where team members collaborate, learn from one another, share expertise, and develop new skills.
When course creation becomes the responsibility of employees, you’ll see more collaboration.
One of your company's greatest learning and development assets is its institutional knowledge—the different types of knowledge, skills, and expertise held by your workforce. Without a system in place to retain that knowledge, when employees leave, their expertise goes with them. A single source of truth for learning and development will help you retain valuable company knowledge that tends to get lost during periods of rapid growth.
To store and organize your company's knowledge, we recommend a tool that allows for collaborative authoring, such as an LMS. By collecting employee knowledge and sharing it across teams, institutional knowledge remains, even as the company scales.
In addition, these systems give you tools to organize, share, and create a digital library of content that supports continuous digital learning. These can be short articles, online courses, quizzes, videos, online assessments, or webinars.
Once you upload and publish your online learning content, your entire company has learning resources available whenever they need them.
For example, you can integrate an LMS into your offboarding program and use it to document all the important knowledge, information, and processes critical to a departing employee's role. This knowledge and information can then also be used to create an online training course in your LMS to teach new hires as part of their onboarding process.
In addition, with an LMS, your employees will have access to information whenever they want to learn more about a topic or practice a skill, even if it's not a part of their formal training. This allows them to enhance their knowledge and improve their skills asynchronously and at their own pace.
A single source of truth for learning and development will help you retain valuable company knowledge that tends to get lost during periods of rapid growth.
As your company grows, you'll inevitably outgrow your ability to train every new employee individually. You need an enterprise LMS that can support the training needs of your growing team with the ability to scale securely and efficiently. If your LMS can't scale with you, you'll eventually hit a wall that limits your company's ability to educate and properly train employees.
As a cloud-based learning platform, 360Learning can scale alongside your company's L&D needs. Our platform offers several features to support your growing company's increasing demand for quality training by empowering people to upskill from within:
Collectively, these features create a more integrated learning experience that helps your learners thrive and reduces manual administrative work for your L&D teams.
Are you ready to boost learner engagement and build a better learning experience for your workforce? Book a free demo with one of our learning experts and find out how we can help.