As a business owner or HR manager, you know the importance of investing in employee development programs. These programs are crucial for building a skilled and motivated workforce, leading to increased productivity and profitability.
One practical approach to employee development is experiential learning, which involves hands-on, real-life experiences that allow employees to apply their skills and knowledge in a realistic setting.
Here are four perks of incorporating experiential learning into employee development programs:
Improved retention and motivation
Employees allowed to learn and grow through experiential learning are more likely to feel invested in their work and motivated to stay with the company. In fact, research has shown that people retain up to 90% of the information they learn through experiential learning, compared to just 10% of information learned through lectures.
Experiential learning also helps to keep employees engaged and motivated by providing a sense of accomplishment and purpose. For example, run a marketing firm and offer experiential learning opportunities for your employees to work on real campaigns for local businesses. They will be able to see the direct impact of their work and feel a sense of pride in their contributions.
Enhanced problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
Experiential learning allows employees to practice and develop their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in a real-world setting. This is especially beneficial for employees who struggle with these skills in a traditional classroom setting.
For example, you are using a tool like Articulate 360 to provide online experiential learning programs, allowing employees to apply their knowledge to realistic scenarios. By navigating these simulations, they will develop the skills necessary to resolve conflict, manage projects, and think strategically.
Though before you start using such tools, make sure you check out the Articulate 360 pricing and reviews to weigh the pros and cons.
Increased collaboration and teamwork
Experiential learning often involves working with others to complete tasks and projects, which helps to foster collaboration and teamwork skills. This is especially important in today’s increasingly collaborative workplace, where employees must work well with others to achieve success.
Suppose you run a consulting firm and offer experiential learning opportunities for your employees to work on group consulting projects. They will be able to practice working with others to complete tasks and achieve common goals. This helps build strong team bonds and improve teamwork skills.
Greater flexibility and adaptability
The learning method allows employees to experience new situations and challenges, which helps to build flexibility and adaptability skills. These skills are crucial in today’s fast-paced and constantly changing business environment, where employees must adapt and respond to new situations quickly and effectively.
For example, run a healthcare organization and offer experiential learning opportunities for your employees to work on simulated patient care scenarios. They will have the chance to practice adapting to new and unexpected situations. This can help them to be more flexible and adaptable in their everyday work.
Builds leadership skills
Leadership skills are crucial for any employee, regardless of position or level. These skills include inspiring and motivating others, making difficult decisions, delegating tasks effectively, and communicating clearly and effectively.
Experiential learning is an excellent way to develop these skills because it provides opportunities for employees to practice and test their leadership abilities in a safe and supportive environment.
This can be especially valuable for those who may not have had many opportunities to lead or may be hesitant to take on leadership roles. By participating in experiential learning activities, employees can gain confidence in their ability to lead and develop their leadership skills in a challenging and rewarding way.
Experiential learning can be an invaluable component of employee development programs. It allows employees to practice and develop their skills practically, leading to increased retention, motivation, problem-solving, collaboration, teamwork, adaptability, and leadership.
Investing in these activities can provide your business with a skilled and motivated workforce, leading to increased productivity and success.