Employee Experience

How to manage learning with feedback-loops

How can companies provide their talents high-quality educational training? We show you how feedback loops can help you to achieve this.

5 min
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The job market is undergoing fundamental change. The Baby Boomers are slowly retiring, millennia are gradually pushing into management positions, and even ambitious talents want more time for their private lives. The employee expectations on employers is increasing, especially of younger talents. At the same time, many companies are struggling to remain relevant in today's highly dynamic market.

New Skills are Required

The increasing automation of work processes will replace 1 million workers in Europe in 2020 (according to Forrester). This is not surprising when you look at the speed with which new technologies are established on the market and change the job market. On the one hand, jobs are disappearing; on the other, new jobs are being created for agile workers and digital leaders. The technology-driven market demands new skills and competencies.

Companies need access to talent with an open mindset to meet the increasing challenges. It is crucial to find the right talents and retain them.

The careful recruitment, introduction, development and retention of talent (talent management) has, therefore, become more critical than ever. The focus is mainly on the area of further development/learning because, in a dynamic market, talents need an extensive set of skills that can be gradually adapted to new situations to master the current and future requirements in the market.

Learning as a Competitive Advantage

HR managers named the "Learning" area as the top trend in 2019 and assessed it as having the most urgent need for action. Enterprise-wide learning has gained strategic importance. Investing in employee skills boosts the innovative strength of companies. Competencies are not so easy to copy, they can be a decisive competitive advantage.

Learning is, therefore, becoming a comprehensive concept of continuous learning in companies. It means learning agility, and explicitly learning at the workplace, which includes high-quality training and further education program that is tailored to the company's goals and that accompanies the talent on their career journey.

Today, companies have to offer more training to keep their employees. The younger generation finds training more and more important and expects decent training from the employer. At the same time, job profiles are changing at an ever-faster rate. Training is necessary to maintain productivity in your own company and to maintain the ability to innovate.

Daniel Schütt
CEO at Masterplan

Yes to Learning, But How?

In every phase of their career journey, employees need access to further training to adapt to the hyper-dynamic market and keep up with its pace. In the past, it was the responsibility of the HR developer to determine who has to be trained. Today it is the employees themselves that recognize their knowledge gaps and seek to address them with appropriate further training. Employees take personal responsibility to complete their training in order to be able to do their job better. This is a fundamentally positive development.

From a company perspective, further training must empower employees in their job. It is of little use to an organization to let employees complete many further training courses without knowing whether they are achieving the success they desire. But how can companies guarantee high-quality training?

Measuring Learning with Employee Feedback

It is necessary to firmly support the talents in their individual learning process across all phases of the employee's career journey. That’s why companies need to ensure the quality of the learning content in a way that enriches and complements the skills of the talents and that is based on the objectives of the company.

To do this, companies need insights into how successfully the knowledge was conveyed and how sustainably it supports the talents in their day-to-day work. Continuous employee feedback before, during and after completing a further training makes the learning process measurable. It shows whether the learning content was conveyed appropriately, whether the practice transfer worked and whether there is potential for optimization.

Only with a systematic measurement of success are companies able to optimize their further training in a targeted manner.

Feedback Loops for learning

How feedback loops unlock potential in the area of learning

  • Training is tailored to employee needs and corporate goals.
  • They enable continuous and systematic training optimization.
  • They provide insights for future training needs.
  • The practice transfer becomes verifiable.
  • The intensive accompaniment of the talents on their learning journey binds them closer to the company.
  • A feedback culture will develop in the company.
  • The company shortens its learning cycles by being able to adjust the training almost directly based on the feedback

Key Takeaway

The more support companies provide for talents in their learning process with employee feedback, the more successful they can manage further education/learning in the organization. With feedback loops and optimization measures, they improve their internal or external further training in line with employees and company needs.

The results are better trained, more competent employees who are satisfied with the further training opportunities in the company.