In this blog series, Study.com CEO and Co-founder Adrian Ridner interviews learning and development leaders across the industry for their perspectives on professional development, recruiting, company purpose and more. Today, Adrian chats with workforce training and development expert Dorothy Martin.
Senior business consultant and Study.com Advisory Board member Dorothy Martin has been in the workforce training and development field for more than 30 years. She held pivotal roles at Verizon Wireless, establishing and managing certificate and college degree programs and the company's tuition assistance program. Recently retired from Verizon, Martin continues to provide consulting services focused on tuition assistance programs in the corporate and higher ed sector. In this interview, Martin shares her insights about microlearning and creating a culture of learning.
Adrian Ridner: Why is microlearning an effective workforce training solution?
Dorothy Martin: Microlearning means learning in small increments. Learning builds upon itself and is usually easier to deliver in smaller bites throughout a busy workday. It's an effective way to deliver training programs to people engaged in work activities that require them to be on the floor or on the phone/computer throughout the day. I think it already is an important part of corporate learning and development strategies now and will become more pervasive in the years to come.
AR: How do tuition assistance programs impact employee recruiting and retention?
DM: Learning and development opportunities are of prime interest to new recruits because the cost of higher education is mostly prohibitive for so many young people and the debt situation created by college loan programs has reached an all-time and dangerous high. People are often eager to sign on with a company that offers to pay for their college education costs as part of their employee benefits.
The generous prepaid tuition assistance benefit program offered to Verizon new hires was one of the most popular recruiting strategies and created a new-hire population that was motivated to learn and continue their educational pursuits. This motivation is of great benefit to a corporation that fosters a belief in life-long learning and development. Verizon was able to demonstrate through extensive and continuous measurement that the tuition assistance program, in and of itself, reduced turnover by up to 60%, a huge savings for the company!
AR: How can HR professionals successfully create a culture of learning?
DM: A culture of learning is one that focuses on continuous life-long learning in every aspect of daily work life. Training and development opportunities are prevalent, promoted and pervasive. A culture of learning includes an inherent corporate belief that risks are allowed, mistakes are new learning opportunities, and growth and development only occur when learning is present. HR should make learning a top priority because it's what engages employees in the business and allows them to grow professionally and personally.
Organizations should make sure that training is abundant, tuition assistance is available for higher education attainment and that the tuition assistance is accessible, meaningful (sufficient) and encouraged from the start of an employee's career. Tuition assistance programs should not be designed with roadblocks such as service commitments, reimbursement rather than prepaid practices and caps that prevent full participation in a college or university program.
Ready to offer your employees microlearning opportunities? Check out Study.com's Enterprise Solutions.
About Adrian Ridner
Fed up with the high cost of education, Adrian Ridner started Study.com with the mission of making education affordable, effective and engaging. Today, the Mountain-View based startup not only helps students from elementary school through college with its unique online learning platform, but it also provides a flexible, convenient way for employees to develop their professional skills