Employees are above foosball tables and free snacks. Your corporate culture needs that instead.

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“Do not waste my time.” Whether it’s tossing long commutes or eliminating unnecessary meetings, employees have new priorities, and the use of their time for more fulfilling work, development or a better work-life balance. is part of.

It is up to companies that want to retain and attract talent to rebalance their expectations and priorities accordingly. Employees stopped asking for fancy desks with foosball tables and unlimited kombucha. Let’s face it, most employees are on free snacks. These trends, including the increased willingness of employees to move to greener pastures, are likely to last. A survey found that only 17% of employees say they want to work in the office full-time.

Instead, employees want learning and development (L&D), the ability to improve their skills, and opportunities for growth. L&D is a real carrot: A Gallup report shows that 87% of millennials say opportunities for growth and career development are important to them in a job. Ninety-four percent of employees say they would stay in their job longer if the company invested in their learning and development. And they want it wherever they are, whether they’re in the office or working in the back of an RV.

Related: Here’s How to Boost Employee Retention with Lifelong Learning

Building a Modern Learning Culture

The good news is that a learning culture isn’t just good for your employees. It’s also a fantastic competitive advantage for your business. However, for a company to truly stand out and reap the full benefits for both employees and employer, it must become a “learning organization”. It’s not a new concept, but the complexity has grown as we evolve the workplace to meet modern, flexible work approaches. If a culture of learning is to take root in this environment, it requires more intention and focus than ever before.

Cultivate a “learning is everyone’s job” mentality.

Learning is not left to employees in their spare time. Instead, it’s embedded into the job through the setting of learning goals, time and budget allocated to courses or projects, and career development processes that focus on learning – not just the ascent to more important titles or more remuneration.

Shift the perspective forward.

Many companies measure the success of learning events by attendance, hours completed, or registrations. These retrospective perspectives tell us what has happened and completely miss the point. Has anyone even learned anything? In a world where we’re trying to make an employee waste less time, we need to focus on what the learner can do on the other side.

Focus on the role of “learner” and requalify yourself from within.

Most people know that recruiting is more expensive than retraining, but few companies are changing their talent management strategies significantly to deal with it. The most innovative companies refer to their employee populations as a talent market and realize that recruitment starts from within. The focus is on growing learners who can change and take on new roles. To do this, the company must commit to playing the long game and creating opportunities, such as rotations and cross-functional initiatives, for people to take on new responsibilities and new challenges.

Related: How Investing in Employee Training Benefits Your Business

Learning as connection

Extended periods of working from home, hybrid work policies and remote onboarding programs have increased isolation and loneliness in the workplace. Fortunately, learning can be the antidote.

Video meetings alone can only go so far in building relationships and genuinely engaging with each other. Worse, simply replicating office experiences in a video call can backfire and discourage connection. I recently attended a virtual workshop that only turned the camera on the host and didn’t use any additional technologies to engage with the audience. It was painful.

So the question remains: how do we create new spaces and better leverage technology to connect, whether online or in person? There is a win-win solution for employers and employees staring us in the face and already using technology effectively: cohort-based e-learning.

Collaborative and cohort-based online learning brings many benefits. Learning together and interacting with a peer group provides a meaningful and structured way to promote social interaction and connection. These experiences often merge teams and enable cross-functional interaction, which has been a casualty of new hybrid and remote work structures. They also make the most of synchronous and asynchronous time, harnessing the best of each world.

But the best part? People learn best in groups. Social interaction and peer learning are a more effective way to develop skills. In collaborative learning environments, collective knowledge is fostered, mentoring becomes more accessible, and social dynamics encourage perseverance. It’s a win-win. Corporate culture is shaped around shared learning experiences that build connections and relationships that also prove more effective.

Purpose and link

The working environment has changed irrevocably. Business leaders who don’t respect people’s time and priorities and who find ways to make work meaningful are holding their businesses back. We need new strategies to retain and attract talent. Employees seek purpose and connection instead of frivolous perks. Fortunately, apprenticeship can be a mutually beneficial path for employees and employers.

Related: 6 Ways to Make Your Employees Learn on the Job