How Agencies Can Reduce the Impact of Shutdowns on Employee Morale

Shutdown, sequestration, budget cuts. With challenges like these, how can government agencies even attempt to build and sustain an engaging workplace where employees are satisfied, productive, committed and, let’s face it, less likely to leave.

What’s more, many agencies are facing the loss of institutional knowledge as experienced personnel retire.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management reports that over half of their current Senior Executive Service workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next three to five years, making it is critical that agencies develop talent to take on these senior level roles.

A Sense of Urgency

The politics of any shutdown is in the hands of Congress and The White House, yet agencies can make inroads to bolster staff morale and address the challenges of an aging workforce and tight budgets. In fact, agencies can save big with a well-planned online learning strategy.

More and more agencies are turning to the cost-effective, online learning environment to ensure training mandates are met while saving budget dollars. Not only is it more economical but, when blended with the classroom, online learning is now proving to be more effective than classroom training alone. You can make learning a collaborative, effective, and efficient —even enjoyable—experience for all learners.

Achieve Your Goals by Connecting Learners

Federal agencies have traditionally addressed training through a combination of classroom instruction with Learning Management Systems (LMSs). This approach is well suited to compliance-focused training in which administrative items such as registration and certification tracking are critical.

However, the traditional LMS is proving to be too limited and lacking in agility for many agencies. They are unable to develop the archives needed to preserve the knowledge base within their institution. More importantly, it cannot address the needs of todays “connected learners.” These are employees that have grown up online and are used to getting their information in numerous ways. To create success, it is key to meet their learning styles and expectations for professional development with greater interaction with the material, with instructors and each other. And it’s no secret that administrators are juggling compatibility issues between existing LMS tools.

Getting the Connection Government Learners Need

To meet the needs of a more robust training environment, numerous agencies have turned to continuous virtual learning solutions that meet the needs of diverse learners with one platform. 

In contrast to the traditional LMS, which can only deliver content to learners, such solutions use extensive collaboration and interactivity to fully engage learners with activities like group projects and discussions, wikis, blogs and the ability to incorporate a wide range of multimedia content. These elements facilitate continuous and social learning, which further heighten learner engagement. In fact, research shows that the greater the engagement, the better the learning outcomes.

Addressing the Top Government Agency Learning Goals

For agencies, the Blackboard Learn platform is an essential tool that delivers on these promises by standardizing learning and training across the agency, ensuring critical skills gaps are filled, enabling the rapid pivoting of resources (critical in a shutdown), and keeping institutional knowledge in-house.

Check out this whitepaper to learn more and get steps to planning and launching a successful online program for your agency.