Empowerment for employees: to internal training!

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The focus of the further education has changed enormously with the digitization: more than individual qualification is now about meaningfulness and participation in the company success. Good reasons to participate and to ask for more.

Empowerment for employees

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Mujibor de Graaf, Serial EntrepreneurMujibor de Graaf is the founder of IT solutions for the exchange of knowledge.


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Further education 4.0 in the context of networking

For today's employees, continuing 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 must bring more than money and security. The requirements include flexibility, work-live balance, meaningfulness and the participation in higher-level processes. Frequently to employers' frustration: involving each employee in processes can be difficult or impossible. It is nevertheless worthwhile to keep employees informed at least, and also to transmit strategic considerations and background knowledge transparently. The idea here is that well-informed people also make good decisions. Thus managers bypass the need to control individual work steps by leaving it to the employee to act "right" in the sense of the company.

But what is right? Prerequisite is, as I said, sound knowledge. Regularly refreshed knowledge on guidelines, company environment, strategies and competitors enable an employee to assess situations competently and to act accordingly. Say, he or she is "empowered" to act in the sense of the supervisor without necessarily having to be present or to have direct feedback. Therefore, the concept has become Empowerment established. The supervisor literally gives an "empowerment" to self-responsibility and profits 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 joint learning on internal further training, trainings depend on dialogue and feedback. In the case of face-to-face training, this is easy to implement, but how does it look at the ever-increasing use of digital means such as e-learning? Social Learning is a variation of e-learning that relies heavily on exchange and encourages mutual questions and answers. In addition, Blended Learning (Mixture of on- and offline elements) and Webinars (online seminars) in order to maintain the personal exchange during online training.

Company agil (er) make

In the fast-changing times, "agility" gains importance in promoting flexibility and speed of reaction in the market. However, agility is one of the most mundane concepts in the corporate scene: is it about strategy, status or state-of-mind? Arie van Bennekum, co-founder of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, said: "agile is what you are, not what you do." In other words, the will and the identification with dynamic processes lead to success, but not the structures and strategic considerations.

If a company wants to be dynamic, it must avoid long preparation times for changes. It must therefore always be prepared and this, of course, includes the employees. And, as always, communication is required in order to take employees with you. Information about the identity and organization of a company can easily be spread over the usual ways: intranet, social media, mails, speeches. But it must also be done, of course, on a regular basis. Since in-company training is essential for the exchange of inter-company information, it is also a way of involving employees in agile processes. This is also a more sensible one, because here information is not only transmitted according to the "one-to-many" principle, but also discussed, internalized and repeatedly asked. If one uses the internal further education for the inclusion of the employees into superordinate processes, one does not merely expand the knowledge in the enterprise: People work more motivated and receive a sense of belonging and meaningfulness. At least when exchanges are operated regularly and at eye level so that feedback and feedback are effective.

Further education modern design

In the course of digitization, the requirements and pathways of further training have also adapted themselves: faster, more dynamic, more self-determined. Therefore the deployment of computer-based learning forms, such as e-learning, is hardly surprising. People want (and have to) take appropriate moments in order to train themselves and are able to spend less and less whole days and weeks for seminars. Likewise, the freedom is celebrated to retrieve content at any time at the respective desired terminal, thus also gladly 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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