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Prioritising people: The key to a successful business

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Enthusiasm has turned to expectation for learning and development in the modern workforce, with staff training opportunities now an influential decider in attracting and retaining top talent.

Demand for these opportunities isn’t slowing down, with a recent study from employment site SEEK finding two-thirds (67 per cent) of people expect employers to pay for their upskilling, while two-in-five (39 per cent) of all Australians who participated in on-the-job training within the previous 12 months expecting more.

The question then becomes – how can employers create growth opportunities for their staff while continuing to run a competitive organisation?

Who’s benefitting from learning development?

It is important to recognise it’s not only employees who stand to benefit from a structured education offering. The US State of the Industry Report found companies with comprehensive training programs experienced 24 per cent higher profit than those who spent less. Investment in staff increases the skills and productivity of a workplace, in turn positively impacting the bottom line and fostering a workplace culture of continual development and growth.

While training programs in the past might have meant a bi-annual lunchtime gathering, the opportunities now are almost endless. Globally, the learning and development market is set to reach $USD446.1 billion this year, with technology innovations transforming how we deliver and receive training. In fact, almost every industry has been impacted by the advent of industry 4.0 – stoking the fire for learning on the job.

Swinburne University’s Director of the Centre for the New Workforce, Dr Sean Gallagher, summed it up recently, “In order to prepare workers for the continuous and rapidly changing work of the digital future, learning and work need to converge.”

Who’s leading the charge?

Some companies have led the charge, particularly in the US, building in-house or external reskill programs that have gained international recognition. Tech giants Google and Amazon are frequently cited, as is Airbnb, who introduced a ‘Data University’ in 2016. Data University is a dynamic data program which has yielded fantastic results for Airbnb’s teams, data scientists who delivered the training, and the business by empowering employees to make data-informed decisions.

Why? Because they created a program that suited their staff and their operations. And, in this instance, it created long-term value by freeing up data scientists to spend less time responding to minor requests and more time focused on high-impact projects crucial to business development.

What are the benefits of online delivery?

Online study is a highly scalable alternative to traditional in-class room training & education. It is one of the most effective modes of addressing an organisation’s learning and development requirements within rapidly changing industries.

In 2019, global athletic retailer lululemon partnered with Swinburne Online to sponsor an initial 14 store managers to undertake a Diploma of Business. The course content marries academic tuition with tailored content directly linked to lululemon’s processes and business challenges. A tailored approach means participants not only graduate with a qualification from a leading tertiary institution but are able to apply the knowledge and skills learned directly to their role, providing direct and tangible benefits to the business. Now into its second year of delivery, significant improvements in staff retention have been directly attributed to the education offering, amongst other measurable performance indicators.

Corporate training is not the only option, however, with many organisations well-serviced by existing tertiary degrees. Take, for instance, childcare provider Sesame Lane. They recognised surging staff interest in pursuing a tertiary qualification in their field, deciding therefore to provide full scholarships for students to complete Swinburne Online’s Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Teaching). By providing an opportunity to develop their frontline skills, they not only are improving employee engagement but also preparing their staff to respond to diversity and help each child get the most out of their education during their formative years.

What’s the right solution for you?

Finding the right learning program to fit your business requires an understanding of the education options available. Swinburne Online has a range of courses and degrees to suit your training and education requirements.

  • Professional Development short courses in contemporary topic areas take as little as 4 hours to complete and can upskill your staff in areas such as ‘Time Management Skills’ and ‘Empowering Women in the Workplace’.
  • Vocational Diplomas to support your teams with consolidating their practical skills and giving them a qualification in their area of experience, which can be completed in just 12 months.
  • Tertiary Studies including Bachelor Degrees, Graduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas or Masters Degrees. Choose from Management, IT, Education, Financial Planning, Cybersecurity, Psychology and Social Science, to name a few.
  • Customisation options with over 270 course units available for individual completion or to be arranged into focused bundles relative to your business needs, unique to your workplace.

With so many options available, Swinburne Online can support your unique education needs to underpin and accelerate your business objectives.

For more information, please contact Swinburne Online’s Head of Sales Brendan Hunt.