The employees that you want working for you want to grow. Engaged employees spend more time than their colleagues trying to improve their work performance through learning and deliberate development. We call these employees “purpose workers,” people who are satisfied and secure in their jobs, inspired and enthusiastic about the work they do, and generally bursting with energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. These are the types of workers every company wants, and they expect their employers to match their ambition with effective training.
When Forrester studied customer-obsessed firms, we found that 37% of the leaders of these firms ensure that training and coaching is in place to help employees exceed customer expectations, compared with 18% at average firms. Why are so many falling short? One reason is that good training is hard to come by. In fact, most of the money you spend on employee training is likely wasted.
This is because most training fails to connect its content to actual on-the-job application. This phenomenon is called the “skills transfer gap,” and it happens when employees can’t bridge the divide between where they learn a skill and where they will apply it. The divide doesn’t have to be physical; it grows in the absence of context that makes learning experiences relevant, such as social context (who are they learning from and with?) and functional context (what are they using these skills for?).
Forrester believes training that enables purpose workers is a critical part of any company’s ability to continuously transform and compete in today’s business environment. And we believe that training must be better. That’s why we’ve worked with our customers to redesign what learning can be, as a highly contextualized experience that closes the skills transfer gap through hands-on application. We’re offering a long-overdue consumer-grade user experience that your employees can literally keep in their pockets and that teaches the most relevant skills and techniques in future-ready disciplines like customer experience and Zero Trust cybersecurity.
For more than 30 years, Forrester has been in the business of educating business executives — on trends, on new technologies, and on frameworks and methodologies that help people do their jobs. Learning combines that heritage with exercises that bridge the skills transfer gap. We’re helping clients mobilize their employees as a force for customer-obsessed growth. Download our complimentary guide to make the case for strategic learning.
This post was written by Principal Analyst Sam Stern, and originally appeared here.