According to Penna’s model of employee engagement, organizations can engage employees if they can provide them with a meaning or a purpose. The model is a pyramid-shaped hierarchy that starts with basic working conditions including pay, working hours and work environment, goes on to learning and development, then moves on to promotional opportunities and then on to leadership, trust and respect. If all these are fulfilled to the employees’ expectations, they find meaning in the job that they do, and that keeps them engaged.
However, it would seem like learning and development ranks too low in this hierarchy, and an efficiently designed eLearning program can actually be used to achieve everything short of efficient working conditions, as they are the responsibility of the stakeholders of the organization. In this article, we’ll discuss how an efficient eLearning program can achieve every engagement factor present in the Penna’s model of employee engagement, and thus keep the employees of an organization engaged.
- Learning & Development
Of course, learning opportunities in themselves can bring a lot of engagement to employees, particularly if they are interested in learning not only to rise through the ranks, but to fulfill their personal goal of learning as well. Because learning and development is an engagement factor in itself, the better the opportunities to learn at an organization, the more the employee engagement. There is currently no other learning and development methodology better than eLearning, and thus if and when an organization implements effective eLearning into its organization, it has already fulfilled one of the initial engagement factors and can move upwards in the hierarchy!
- Promotion Opportunities
Every organization has promotion opportunities. However, the higher-ups want that if they lift an employee through the ranks, the employee should be skilled enough to justify that promotion. eLearning presents a wonderful opportunity for employees to get themselves promoted, by learning skills that are relevant to the higher position they’re looking for. Doing this benefits the organization as well, as they can upskill their employees and fill up positions by promoting them, instead of having to hire someone from the outside, which would likely cost more. Thus eLearning can also help fulfill the engagement factor that comes from promotion opportunities, as the employees will soon understand that the faster and better they learn, the higher they can climb the organization’s ladder.
- Leadership, Trust & Respect
Leadership, trust and respect are all important factors for an employee to be engaged. Employees need to be guided by a leader in order to work efficiently; a leader who knows that while the employees are resources to be used in an efficient manner, they are human beings, and need to be connected with. But in order for leaders of an organization to build leadership over employees and to gain their trust and respect, they require tremendous soft skills like communication, motivation, delegation, positivity, trustworthiness, creativity and feedback to name an important few. These can be developed using eLearning, which would then allow leaders to guide employees better and to gain their trust and respect, and thus keep them engaged. In general, an eLearning program with the latest technology available to learners for their benefit itself says a lot about how much the organization cares about its employees, which builds trust and respect itself.
When all these engagement factors are fulfilled, an employee finds meaning in the job they do, they are kept engaged, and consequently stay in an organization for a long time. Thus, eLearning is able to fulfill all the engagement factors found on the Penna’s model of employee engagement, which is a scientific method of bringing engagement in an organization. As the model is built around developing a culture in the organization where employees feel valued, fulfilled and appreciated, eLearning can also be targeted to help employees feel that way at their job, aiming directly at the top of the engagement hierarchy. Learning and development experts at an organization thus, should always be on the lookout for learning science theories and models they can use in their eLearning courses to keep employees as productive and happy as possible. There is a lot of untapped potential in these theories that only a select few are able to harness.
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