Flexi­bility in further training: How Swiss companies make their employees happy

“Work smarter, not harder” – this credo is incre­a­singly becoming more important in the world of work. The idea behind it: better results are NOT achieved by companies running their employees in the classic nine-to-five hamster bike. Instead, it is a matter of flexibly allocating one’s own resources. At work, in conti­nuing education and in all other profes­sional areas. However, there is still a lot of catching up to do when it comes to training.

I’m sure you also know that, many vocational training courses follow the same format: Time and again, for example, employees who are working on urgent projects are sent to training seminar for days on end.

With this added pressure on their shoulders, learners are unlikely to be motivated to concen­trate on learning, and they will always drift away mentally. And so, the outcome is not satis­factory: The employee is dissa­tisfied with the situation, feels uncom­for­table and is not at all involved. The learning effect goes towards zero and motivation drops.

Why flexi­bility in conti­nuing education is important

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Why should employees learn when it is prescribed by the company? Why not when the appetite for knowledge is greatest? No matter where you are and what are your personal circum­s­tances. With an increase in flexi­bility, employee learning and satis­faction will actually be noticeably higher.

In an ideal world, according to a Kantar TNS study, human resources managers would like to see a more flexible learning environment:

For 87% of the respondents, a flexible learning pace is the most important factor.


  • 86% rely on mobile and location-independent learning as well as freely selec­table learning methods and media.
  • 83% support content that can be flexibly compiled.
  • Networked learning with others and the possi­bility of inter­rupting further training for shorter or longer periods if required also make further training courses attractive for employees, according to 82% of those surveyed.


Why does flexible learning increase employees learning and statis­faction

Swiss organi­sa­tions that live the principle of flexi­bility in personal vocational training, among other things, have stated: More than one in three, 38%, have experi­enced that more flexible training methods increase employee satis­faction. This result is according to the “On the way to Work Smart” survey conducted by the Swiss Work Smart Initiative.

The Swiss company afca provides a very good example of how a more flexible approach to learning ensures that the intake of knowledge pays off in daily coope­ration. The employer has decided to promote the internal flow of knowledge through flexible workplaces.
Employees no longer have a fixed place, but sit together with their colleagues with whom they work on a project. When the project ends, the employees join their new project group. This drama­ti­cally promotes direct exchange and the flow of commu­ni­cation within the company- this is also a form of shared company learning. Employees benefit from the expertise of other colleagues and learn from each other. At afca, the employees welcome this change enormously.

Use of mobile learning solutions

So, flexi­bility is great. However, companies should not stop at this point yet. For example, what if project staff are looking for answers to open questions that can only be answered by a dedicated expert? Or, what if an employee who is not currently in the office wants to acquire new knowledge for the project or exchange infor­mation on certain issues? Without a mobile solution, they are cut off from those on site and can slow down the progress on the project.

A smart­phone app for mobile corporate learning is a vital tool. Knowledge can be absorbed or shared via the app whenever the possi­bility arises. Employees are connected to learning groups, their colleagues and personal trainers via the tool at anytime, anywhere and access those with the required expert knowledge to assist them.

They can exchange specific knowledge with each parti­cipant. In the virtual classroom or one-to-one in a chat room. This will make in-company training even more flexible. Your employees will thank you with even better results and increased loyalty.

It should be worth it to you, shouldn’t it?

Sonja Dietz

Sonja Dietz

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