How the Shift to Adult Learning Is Changing Business

Every business is built on its human resources. Since 2020, these people have experienced unprecedented change, and the companies they work for have also experienced unprecedented change.

To attract and retain the best talent, many employers are paying higher salaries, increasing benefits and adding flexibility to once-rigid schedules. Meanwhile, economic uncertainty has led other companies to rein in costs until they can weather the storm. In this tug-of-war, it can be difficult to predict which approaches will help a business stay ahead of its competitors.

Growth by squeezing employees is not a smart strategy. Instead, companies should focus on developing their employees themselves so they can in turn grow the business. Adult learning may be the perfect way to do this.

The shift to helping employees bloom where they grow changes business as usual again. Companies that make the shift accordingly stand to benefit. Here are a few reasons why you don’t want to miss out.

Adult Learning Uplifts Everyone

You may have heard Dr. Seuss quote: “The more you read, the more you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go.” The value of lifelong learning is almost indisputable . But it’s no longer just about studying more on the job, or reading or traveling more. It’s about adult education.

The “adult” adjective is important here, and not just because those learners are over the legal age. It is used because working adults face more barriers in the learning process. There’s the transition back to education, its cost, the time it takes to devote to it, and all the normal distractions of a full-time job, kids, and — maybe — a social life.

Employers have a fantastic opportunity to remove some of these barriers for employees who want to continue their education. If employers take advantage of it, they can develop their talent to match changing needs within the company.

The vast majority of employees agree that access to career development opportunities is critical. They are also more likely to continue working for employers who have invested in them if they are given access.

When employers actively encourage adult education, retention, engagement, job satisfaction and productivity all increase. In that case, everyone can go somewhere.

Adult Learning Part of the Strategic HR Puzzle

Automation driven by advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning is also changing the face of business. A long-term HR strategy must consider its impact on the company’s workforce. Both the nail and the hole deform at the same time.

For HR managers, this is an almost overwhelming proposition. They’re looking at employee rosters to see how many people might be laid off because of technology. At the same time, they are looking for new jobs created by the technology and wondering where they can find talent to fill them. Adult education should be part of the puzzle.

The automation potential of emerging technologies will transform everything from sales and marketing to customer service and fulfillment. In fact, it is already switching roles, and the change is accelerating every day. Company leadership needs to look ahead and plan accordingly.

Consider employees whose roles will be replaced by automation. Provide them with the educational opportunities they need to enter newly created roles or future roles required to deal with the latest technological advances. A savvy reskilling strategy is a great way to retain your company’s best and brightest talent.

Taking the long view will also transform other HR functions, such as creating job postings, recruiting, hiring and onboarding. Of course, technology has challenged the status quo since the invention of the wheel. Adult education will help companies meet the challenges posed by today’s technological developments.

Adult Learning Promotes Diversity

Pandemics, social unrest and sharp political divisions are prompting companies to confront their diversity demons. Diversity, equity and inclusion reshape everything from board and C-suite agendas to exit interviews. No one said changing centuries of collective corporate history would be easy.

Most companies continue to work hard to achieve the DE&I goals they set. In fact, many make little progress at all. And, even if they manage to get diversity right, they don’t seem to be able to follow through on equity and inclusion.

Creating a diverse workforce requires radical changes in multiple business practices, from writing job descriptions to removing bias from recruiters. Adult learning should not be overlooked as a potential avenue to achieve the most ambitious diversity goals. It can do this in two key ways.

First, adult education on leadership and HR diversity issues can change entrenched perspectives from the top down. Second, companies can offer educational opportunities to existing team members. Employees of certain races, social backgrounds, genders, and sexual orientations may lack some of the educational opportunities of their white male cisgender colleagues. Adult learning can close this gap. Once these diverse employees start working, continuing education can allow more of them to progress within the company.

It is wise to use adult education as a tool for creating a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. It makes companies less dependent on market forces and more self-reliant. They create their own success from within rather than paying lip service to DE&I goals.

make a change

Education can be the key to business success. Employees know this and are often keen to develop their careers further in order to advance their careers. Companies need to embrace and support these employees.

Today, there are so many forces that are changing the way business works. Adult learning is an easy and profitable way to learn that will put employees and employers at the top of their class.

Source link