Continuing 4.0 in the name of networking
For today's employees, further education means more than just attending individual courses and courses. Rather, it is a long-term process that involves employees and Company supported for three primary goals:
- Empowerment - freedom of decision at employee level
- Competence exchange - mutual support and enrichment
- Agility - fast adaptability through good preparation
Ultimately, it is still about success and recognition of the individual employee. And to strengthen the company, which benefits from the competence of its employees. But the ways have changed: digital is much faster and more direct. On the other hand, feedback and personal exchange should be maintained. Further education 4.0 (analogous to the Industry 4.0) therefore stands for a networked expansion of competences, in order to support individuals in advance of the whole.
Employees have their own interest in expanding these paths: through empowerment, they gain more autonomy; more regular knowledge and feedback through the exchange of expertise. They can also help shape the company's success if they can act agile on the basis of their knowledge. Together, these aspects create a company-wide advanced training culture, which is to be examined in more detail here.
To decide with oneself
For many workers, a job today has to bring more than money and security. The requirements include flexibility, work-live balance, meaningfulness and participation in higher-level processes. Often to the frustration of employers: Involving every single employee in processes can be difficult or impossible. Nevertheless, it is worth keeping employees informed at least, and communicating strategic considerations and background knowledge transparently. The idea here is that well-informed people make good decisions. In this way, managers avoid the need to control individual work steps by leaving the employee to act “correctly” in the interests of the company.
But what is correct? As I said, a prerequisite is sound knowledge. Regularly refreshed knowledge of guidelines, business environment, strategies and competitors enable an employee to assess situations competently and to act accordingly. In other words, he or she is “empowered” to act in the sense of the superior without the latter necessarily being present or being available for direct feedback. Hence the term Empowerment established. The manager literally gives “empowerment” to act independently and benefits from a lower error rate and higher motivation on the part of the employees.
Learning from each other
Classical continuing education is often aimed at strengthening individual competencies. Individuals' qualifications can only be applied correctly if they fit into the overall structure, ie if employees are able to guide, motivate and support others correctly. Frustration is easily created with the (further) educated employee, who can not use his knowledge correctly, as well as with the team, which only receives the absences through seminars instead of results. It is therefore more sensible to communicate knowledge and newly acquired competences in a team and to apply them together.
In order to focus on joint learning in internal training, trainings rely on dialogue and feedback. This is easy to implement for face-to-face training, but what about more digital means such as eLearning? Social Learning is a variant of eLearning, which relies heavily on exchange and encourages questions and answers to each other. Besides that, too Blended Learning (Mix of on- and offline elements) and Webinars (online seminars) in order to maintain the personal exchange during online training.
Make business agile (er)
In the rapid change of time, “agility” is gaining importance in order to advertise flexibility and speed of reaction on the market. Nevertheless, agility is one of the most vague terms on the corporate scene: is it about strategy, status or state-of-mind? Arie van Bennekum, co-founder of the Agile Software Development Manifesto, says: “Agile is what you are, not what you do.” In other words, the will and identification with dynamic processes lead to success, but not the structures and strategic considerations.
If a company wants to position itself dynamically, it is essential to avoid long preparation times for changes. So it always has to be prepared, and of course this includes the employees. And, as always, communication is required to take employees along. Information relating to the identity and positioning of a company can easily be disseminated through the usual channels: intranet, social media, emails, speeches. It just has to be done, of course and regularly. Since internal further training is an essential part of the exchange of operational information, it is also a way of involving employees in agile processes. A sensible one at that, because here information is not only transmitted according to the “one-to-many” principle, but also discussed, internalized and queried again and again. So if you use the internal training to involve the employees in higher-level processes, you are not just expanding the knowledge in the company: People work more motivated and get a feeling of belonging and meaningfulness. At least if exchange is carried out regularly and at eye level, so that feedback and feedback have an effect.
Requirements and ways of continuing education have changed in the course of digitization: faster, more dynamic, self-determined. Therefore, the deployment of computer-based forms of learning such as eLearning is hardly surprising. People want (and have to) use suitable moments to further their education and are less and less likely to keep whole days and weeks off for seminars. Similarly, the freedom is celebrated, retrieve content at any time on the particular device desired, so like mobile.
The flexible retrieval is accompanied by the fact that learning steps become ever shorter and more compact. In order to meet this demand, the so - called Microlearning established: learning in short units, or even snacks. Learners therefore have to spend less time on individual learning sequences and can gradually complete their training. Above all, this form of presentation allows a much higher concentration than the hourly seminar. Digital education is therefore very promising. It is and still is important that trainers and participants try out the new paths together and support each other by feedback on the level of their eyes and fair evaluation.
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