How experiential learning and engagement can impact employee recognition

When employees feel valued, they’re more likely to be loyal and even advocate for the company. Certainly, experiential learning is engaging and can be more effective in collaborative environments.
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Today’s contemporary learners are somewhat distracted as well as overwhelmed by their work obligations. This, simply, doesn’t leave time for upskilling and development. Hence, not working harder but smarter seems to be the only viable solution.

It implies that organisations must discover ways of offering significant but curated training so that the workforce is made capable of the betterment of the company.

Experiential training sticks for longer than just a couple of moments; it puts the professionals at the very core of what they need to know.

In simple terms, experiential learning at the workplace is a hands-on method of upskilling and such learning assists the workers with understanding prime information while directly performing the task or skill at hand.

The process of it first immerses the employees (learners) in an experience and then fosters new abilities, new mentalities, and better approaches to thinking.

Albert Bandura, the famous Canadian-American psychologist, mentions that performance outcomes and vicarious experiences are two of the most critical factors that improve self-efficacy. He means that experiences either by the self or through observing others while performing work have a profound impact on learning and improvement of self-efficacy.

Even the corporate world has now discovered that knowledge is best absorbed and retained during experiential learning. Therefore, there is a dire need for experiential learning in the workplace.

However, where does employee recognition come into play considering experiential learning? As a matter of fact, employee recognition is one of the core elements of experiential learning. Let’s delve deeper to understand more:

Adapt to new situations

For instance, two students have enrolled themselves in a culinary arts course. One of them learned via gaining practical hands-on knowledge by doing internships and performing practicals, a part of experiential learning. The other one learned through reading and verbal instructions from the mentor.

Both of them had similar success rates on a final exam. However, when assigned a task to bake a cake or present a risotto delectably, the student who trained via experiential learning was better prepared to perform the assignment as s/he had firsthand experience in the art of baking and presenting than the one who had theoretical learning.

The working professionals who learn while they work can turn out to be more agile and exceptionally adaptable to new circumstances. Such an immersive process of learning in the organisation due to enhanced competence and performance skills, eventually leads to employee recognition.

Employee recognition, in turn, acts as a powerful motivator – when an employee achieves a sense of recognition, the motivation to learn, engage and grow further in their role automatically sets in.

Application

The techniques could be unique for specific subjects or varied kinds of learners. For instance, learning new programming techniques must include practical knowledge. Digital training platforms without proper guidance and assistance are not always effective for individuals who are not well-versed with technology.

Regardless of whether you need to teach soft skills to every worker or leadership qualities to rising stars, experiential learning tends to produce better results. While organisations and leaders are employing strategies to improve performance, attract and retain top performers, it is important to note that experiential learning and active engagement need effort from the organisation as well as the employee.

Engagement

The key is in setting the right expectations at the beginning. The course detail set by the organisation for immersive learning while on the job has to be understood well by the employee and buy-in to the expectations is crucial.

It also helps when the benefit is spelt out right at the beginning. The key observations and takeaways should be showcased by the learner at a periodic frequency to ensure that the employee engages actively and others benefit from their learnings too.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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