Learning and development do not stop when someone graduates from a school and joins the workforce. Increasingly, employees are looking to increase the
Learning and development do not stop when someone graduates from a school and joins the workforce. Increasingly, employees are looking to increase their professional skills and receive specialized career-focused education after entering the workforce. To remain competitive, employers are beginning to recognize the value of providing avenues for employees to continue to learn and grow.
Increasingly, the focus in business today is on creating a learning ecosystem in the workplace, a holistic approach to education, self-improvement and culture-building that goes well beyond the standard-issue workplace seminars and employee training.
What is a Learning Ecosystem?
In traditional workplace learning and development, workers are given standardized on-the-job training that is meant to impart whatever technical skills they need to perform their day-to-day tasks. While there is a very practical rationale for such training, this method does not capture the many attributes that make a worker perform at their peak. Workplace performance is dependent on a number of factors of which technical understanding is only one. There are numerous other social, cultural and technological factors influencing output.
That’s where a learning ecosystem approach comes in. In a learning ecosystem, companies look at the entirety of the employee experience and how it can be improved using both inside and outside resources.
Three Key Facets of a Learning Ecosystem
The three key facets of a learning ecosystem are training and development content, creating opportunities for interpersonal interactions and a variety of technological resources. Training and development might include some of the nuts-and-bolts technical learning seminars and on-the-job training that employees have received in the past. However, they can also include professional development courses such as courses in business, healthcare, information technology, marketing and social media offered by University of Phoenix. These professional development courses are non-credit and self-led, meaning you can go at your own pace.
In addition, training and development might include consultants who offer workshops to employees on diversity and inclusion including how to use inclusive language, how to recognize unconscious bias and how to create a more inclusive workplace. Similarly, a workplace might offer opportunities for leadership and soft skills development for employees on how to become better communicators, how to negotiate and how to manage a team.
These career and culture-building skills benefit both the employee and the employer. The employee gains confidence and knowledge to operate at their highest level and feel more connected to others. The employer gains the benefit of happier, more productive employees who feel like they are part of a team. Interpersonal interactions are an important part of day-to-day work life, and employers can find opportunities to generate more of these interactions across departments, offices and generations in order to facilitate a more positive company culture.
As the pandemic has shown businesses in all industries, technology can be a great facilitator for learning and discussions. There are numerous opportunities for employers to engage their employees via project management apps and platforms. For employers who offer tuition reimbursement or coverage for professional development courses, working adults can take advantage of online universities like University of Phoenix, allowing them to take classes from anywhere at any time in order to fit coursework into their busy life schedules.
Professional Development Opportunities at University of Phoenix
To help employees stay updated on the most in-demand career skills, University of Phoenix provides a range of online professional development courses and tracks in marketing, healthcare, information technology and education. Online courses cover in-demand skills like web and search engine marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, medical billing, electronic medical records, foundations in virtual teaching and Scrum.
Each non-credit course takes about 30 hours to complete and is entirely self-directed and participants have a full year to finish their chosen course. After scoring 85 percent or higher in each module’s assessment, participants receive a Certificate of Completion. These courses help employees to take on more responsibility, prepare to take on new roles and keep them connected to their workplace because they recognize it as a place where they are continually learning and growing.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to helping students navigate career options that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including in information technology, business, education and healthcare. With flexible start dates, online classes, and numerous scholarship opportunities, anyone can complete the degree program they need. In addition, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed to be competitive in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.