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The Great Resignation.  The Great Reshuffle.  The Big Quit. 

Whatever you call it, it’s happening, and companies everywhere are struggling to recruit and retain great employees.

Case in point: nearly 40% of eligible workers in the U.S. are opting out of the workforce. And March of this year alone, 4.5 million workers quit their jobs, creating more job openings than have been available in the past 20 years – and not enough people to fill them.

Why are so many people leaving their jobs? 

According to a recent study by Pew Research, top reasons include:

  • A belief that their opportunities for advancement are limited
  • Not feeling respected at work 
  • A need for greater flexibility – from remote work to flex hours  

So what do employees want – that you can actually deliver?

They want to learn. They want to feel valued, included, and respected. They want to be invested in, through reskilling and upskilling.

And smart employers are responding in kind, investing in the growth of their employees as a hiring and retention strategy.

 

For example, according to LinkedIn Learning’s Workplace Report:

  • Upskilling & reskilling are the top priority for L&D pros globally 
  • 51% see internal mobility – the ability to change jobs and grow within an organization – as a priority 
  • L&D is helping to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace 


Far more than just training, this is about adapting culture to a changing workplace. And investing in initiatives that put learning at the forefront of culture has a massive impact on not just hiring and retention, but also factors like customer satisfaction and competitive positioning.

Learning powers culture, and culture powers engaged employees who are energized to innovate, delight customers, and beat the competition. 

LinkedIn Learning Workplace Learning Report, 2022

Upskilling: It’s Just Good Strategy

 

Upskilling is the practice of teaching employees new skills and should be a crucial priority for any modern business’ learning and development strategy.

Upskilling has the dual benefit of re-engaging the (now largely remote) workforce while helping companies retain talent by facilitating personal growth and creating deeper connections between employees and their work.

By investing in upskilling, employees forge a stronger connection with their organization while learning valuable skills to help them both at work and in their overall career path. An investment in the employee’s ability to do their job and learn something new sends the message that they are valued.  And any employee who feels valued, engaged, and connected to their organization, will be less likely to leave.

 

Agile, Flexible Learning For All

 

Not only does upskilling keep employees engaged with their jobs; it’s also a strategy that easily fits into the new digital era.

Employee engagement presents a challenge at a time when many businesses have opted to shift operations to being exclusively online. Many companies are opting to prioritize remote work, such as e-commerce giant Shopify and security software company Okta; and some are even choosing to be fully remote, like question-and-answer platform Quora, or customer relationship management software company Basecamp.

As many industries embrace a shift to remote work, upskilling employees is part of a digital-friendly strategy to re-engage, grow, and retain employees. Digital skills are paramount as workplaces opt for totally remote setups. And in these new structures, teaching employees the demands of their job is key for setting expectations and showing them how to best execute duties outside of a physical office setting.

Upskilling online presents a solution to the problem of digital isolation as well. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index notes that remote work has led to shrinking networks and a trend towards focusing on a smaller ring of coworkers. Bridging the gaps between geographically siloed individuals now needs to be done in a way that’s scalable, and that delivers results.

Remote working isn’t going away any time soon. In fact, Forrester data claims that 53% of employees want to keep working from home.

Skyrocket Engagement & Learning? Yes, Please.

 

The purpose of upskilling employees is to re-engage them in their jobs and teach them valuable skills that they can apply to their current role and to their career at large.

Learning leaders often turn to passive eLearning, as it is a low cost and easy to scale. This might look like “click next” learning, simple quizzes, or audio/video and simple activities.

The problem? This type of learning ranks low on engagement and effectiveness for anything that requires nuanced, complex thinking, such as business acumen, strategic thinking, or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

How, then, do you craft effective, engaging, training programs that are scalable, affordable, and easy to manage and deploy?

That’s where experiential learning comes in.

Rather than lectures, quiz click-throughs, and so on, experiential learning requires the learner to act in the real world. It focuses on inquiry, application, and authentic learning opportunities.

 

Simulations – Effective, Engaging, Affordable (Really.)

 

For richer learning experiences, simulations are an excellent method of upskilling employees while helping them learn skills by practicing them firsthand, and building confidence in their roles. They allow employees to get engaged despite working from home, create real-life scenarios that turn into distinct muscle memory, and upskill employees with new knowledge that applies to their specific role in the organization.

Training simulations go beyond the usual learning process to deliver real-life experiences that require participation and collaboration to be properly executed. Rather than traditional training methods or elearning, simulations create an environment where the individual learns real experience in a near-real setting. They are designed to echo complicated, collaborative situations for absorbing experiences and lessons that stick.

Knowing vs Doing 

Simulations are also more effective than traditional and eLearning methods because they incorporate skills practice that makes learning “sticky.” eLearning and virtual-instructor led training (VILT) simply compete with the already overwhelming amount of content employees consume each day. 

Even when learners can retain content knowledge, it’s often only stored as theory – without ever making its way into the learner’s workflow. This is called the knowing-doing gap.

Simulations bridge this gap by helping learners put what they learn into action. Not only do simulations teach people what they need to know, they give them a chance to practice it; this makes it easier to implement new skills on the job. It’s the difference between asking a pilot in training to fly after reading the flight manual or asking her to fly after several simulated trial runs with the runway and control board right in front of her!

Simulations help to close the knowing-doing gap by creating a safe environment where employees can trial-and-error their way into learning how to properly perform tasks without causing any damage to the business. For instance, if a salesperson wanted some experience dealing with a difficult customer, the simulation could reflect that exact scenario. 

Simulations also provide a setting for repetition, helping to reinforce muscle memory. These environments encourage employees to repeat skills within a variety of different contexts, helping them to build competencies that they can then use in the real world.

How do simulations address the knowing-doing gap?

  • Increase the likelihood that learned skills will be applied
  • Boost confidence with practice
  • Accelerate time to proficiency
  • Improve critical thinking and decision making
  • Develop agility and adaptability

4 Great Reasons to Try Simulations Now

 

Giving employees the tools to close the knowing-doing gap is what a successful manager does. For employees, these lessons offer a chance at interactive learning that keeps work interesting and communicates value to the employee.

The value of simulation training to the business at large comes in the form of scale and impact. The nature of simulation learning is that it’s scalable—it can be applied digitally across a global environment, creating possibilities for building all kinds of connections across the company. In terms of impact, simulation learning comes with key differentiators that set it apart from other kinds of learning, including four key benefits:

Effective

Simulations go beyond typical training programs, providing dynamic, interactive experiences that leave a greater impact. This makes simulation learning far more effective than other training structures, as it works in step with the way that the human brain naturally processes information.

Rather than teaching learners what to think, simulations help teach them how to think. Simulations train employees in a way that gets internalized faster by the learner—through emotional investment and the real-time learning of the effects of their actions.

Relevant

Simulations are designed to be uniquely relevant to specific roles, industries, and learning goals, making learning more interesting and engaging from the start. 

Because simulations have the ability to introduce unanticipated changes and factors within each scenario, they more authentically replicate real-life decision-making than any other type of learning.

And with Regis solutions, updates and changes can be made on the fly – at no additional cost – ensuring that content is always up-to-date and relevant to the business and learner group.

Easy to Deploy

For such a comprehensive learning solution, the ease of getting simulations up, running, and maintained might strike many as surprising.

Our solutions are extremely flexible and can be easily deployed and managed through our powerful, elegant dashboards.

Measurable ROI

Simulations have had the reputation of being expensive and only for companies with huge L&D budgets.  But today, we offer simulations that can be delivered in as little as 8 weeks, more affordably than eLearning.

Furthermore, simulations squeeze more excitement, engagement, and skills transfer out of the learning process compared to traditional and eLearning alternatives – and that means more ROI for each dollar spent on learning.

Ready To Attract, Retain, and Empower Employees? 

 

Keeping employees attached and interested in their work, at its core, is the most effective retention strategy for these times. And there’s no better solution for creating a flexible learning environment than simulations. Simulations take employees out of video call fatigue and email chains for a fully immersive experience where they get the opportunity to learn something that sticks.

For those looking for a high-impact training solution that is cost-effective, easy to deploy, with consistently fresh and relevant content—it’s time to explore simulation learning as a strategy to engage, grow, and retain employees.

Far more than just training, this is about adapting culture to a changing workplace. And investing in initiatives that puts learning at the forefront of culture has a massive impact on not just hiring and retention but also factors like customer satisfaction and competitive positioning.

 

Interested in learning more about how your organization can leverage simulation learning for upskilling employees?

We’d be delighted to help. Book your ask-us-anything call right here.

Ready for effective, engaging, and easy to deploy skill-building for your workforce? We’ve got you covered.

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