There are many common examples of work-based learning: work experience or internships are common examples for students of schools or tertiary education. Another common example is when a person “shadows” a mentor as they go about their job in preparation of taking over.
However, work-based learning can be applied to pretty much any form of work. Deskless workers, for example, can gain valuable training in their roles by being given practice tasks to complete while their manager monitors them via a screen sharing application. There are also many tools available on the market that can help facilitate work-based learning for deskless workers.
Advantages of Work-based Learning Programs
Work-based learning programs offer several benefits that are simply not available through other forms of training. These include:
1. Gain practical exposure to the job and company.
Through work-based learning, an employee will come to understand how your organisation works and its unique quirks and methods. This is particularly valuable for an employee that might have come from another company where things are done differently.
But not only employees benefit from this. Teaching new prospects helps get everyone aligned with the ethos of the company. This will help generate awareness about what is to be expected of them and how management will lead the workforce in future endeavours.
2. Learn general and technical skills that are directly relevant to the job.
Training classes, certifications and degrees might offer plenty of great, deep insights, but not all of them might be relevant to the actual job that the employee is undertaking. What this means is that they are spending time and your organisation’s resources inefficiently.
Work-based learning makes sure that everything they’re learning – while still deep and insightful – is specifically going to be part of the work that they do for you in the future.
This doesn’t only mean technical skills, as soft skills like time management and leadership skills are still greatly beneficial to your organisation. Think of workplace learning programs as a means to develop new skills that can benefit both employers and employees – a win-win opportunity.
3. Professional development of communication and camaraderie with co-workers
Because work-based learning is done on the job, and by nature involves learning things from other employees, it becomes an excellent opportunity to integrate a new employee into the organisation and make them feel welcome.
4. Improve employability skills
For those that are undertaking work-based learning through an internship, apprenticeship, and work experience, a stand-out performer becomes someone that potential employers can recruit without needing to go through the job interview process… and that person will be able to hit the ground running, as they are already familiar with their individual employers.
Growing a Business Using Workplace Learning
As noted above, work-based learning can be an enormously effective recruitment tool. Most tertiary institutes, vocational education colleges and high schools encourage some kind of “work experience” programme, which is good for students precisely because it is a form of workplace learning.
Some employers might grumble at the implementation of internship programs as they do require monitoring, support, and guidance from staff, but employers that would complain about that are short-sighted. Many of the true star performers at enterprises start out as interns and never forget the support and opportunity that they were given when they started out!
Growth can be driven at all levels of the organisation through a trained workforce, however. The next managers, executives, and CEO is always best promoted from within the organisation, and when a suitable candidate is found, having the replacement shadow the incumbent to learn how they work is an important example of work-based learning.
Finally, work-based learning programs are one of the most effective ways to ensure that the organisation has the mandatory workplace skills that it needs to meet compliance and regulatory requirements. Skills such as risk assessment, first aid, manual handling and fire safety are all typically passed on through a work-based learning course. And it’s essential that every organisation has these skills within their organisation as it continues to grow.
Work-based Learning for Workplace Skills
Business managers that would like to broaden and develop their skills across their teams should consider work-based learning programs as a great place to start. Among the other benefits mentioned above, work-based learning is also easy to track within formalised education initiatives. With the right tool that tracks and monitor the skills across the organisation and the completion of work-based learning modules, managers, the HR team, and the executives can see, at a glance, how the system is doing in terms of skills development and where there might be deficiencies to fill.
Employees love work-based learning too because it feels more practical and relevant to their jobs. One of the key priorities for employees is skills and career development, and many workers – especially those deskless workers and anyone operating remotely – can feel isolated from the organisation if their own skills don’t align with those of the organisation.
Undertaking work-based learning programmes are a useful way to make sure that your staff is comfortable in their roles and tasks.
Reaping the Benefits of Workplace Learning with Software
While this might all seem great, how does one go about actually implementing these sort of initiatives without some assistance? That’s where a training organisation with customisable learning software comes into play.
With the help of learning and development software (like a Learning Management System), your company can quickly benefit from a workplace development program without needing to waste time and resources on reinventing the wheel. The key role of these systems is to match their platforms to your organisation.
A free trial of Cloud Assess will help highlight the benefits and power of having a formalised work-based learning program for your organisation. Give this modern technology a try today!