Learning and development is a key element of employee engagement; it has gained much significance over the past few years.
In fact, more than 85% of millennials feel that providing appropriate training and development opportunities is a key deciding factor for accepting a job opportunity.
Employees today work in highly competitive environments; hence organizations need to provide appropriate guidance and support for their career development. However, career development can no longer be done through an occasional training program and skill enhancement session.
It has become a continuous process of learning, acquiring new skills, and building professional networks. An effective learning and development program enables employees to fulfill these needs and thus boost workforce motivation levels quite significantly.
Organizations have come to acknowledge the fact that investing in a solid learning and development program has become a necessity. Hence, they run the risk of losing their top talent to competitors in the absence of such programs.
The good news is that investing in such a program can offer the following benefits to an organization:
By providing the right learning and development opportunities to their employees, organizations assure them of being interested in their career growth. This motivates them to contribute towards organizational growth to the best of their abilities.
They develop a deeper interest in problem-solving and come up with innovative ideas and solutions.
Apart from the career development of employees, good training programs help improve the efficiency of the workforce. As employees gain new skills and knowledge, they can use the same to improve their performance and accelerate business growth.
In addition to this, it helps the management to identify potential leaders and managers and train them for these roles.
Often these learning sessions help employees to evolve personally and impact their attitude and behaviour at the workplace.
They develop a more cordial attitude towards their co-workers. They are also likely to support to each other, voluntarily to overcome work-related challenges.
Also, efforts made by organizations toward the career development of employees through learning programs can create a deep sense of loyalty.
Hence, they feel assured about being an integral and much-valued part of the organization. Therefore, it impacts the retention rate of the organization positively and improves business stability.
A solid learning and development program can help organizations with the efficient career management of their employees.
The following guidelines can prove useful for organizations in this regard:
Firstly, organizations should carefully assess the learning needs of their workforce, based on functions and levels.
Hence, it can help them plan and organize appropriate learning sessions catering to different segments of the workforce.
The learning needs and learning paths of each employee are different; hence a “one size fits all” approach may not work. However, it is challenging for organizations to offer training to the individual members of the workforce on a one-to-one basis.
An effective solution is to create cohorts with similar learning needs rather than segregating them based on rank, department, and experience.
Technology can play a vital role in ensuring the success of learning and development programs besides making them truly cost-effective.
Technology solutions such as learning management systems can match diverse learning needs and personalize the learning experience for each employee. Also, they can even be customized for the organization’s requirements and get a better return on investment.
A well-planned learning and development program can go a long way in enhancing the employer brand value and the overall productivity of the organization besides improving the engagement and motivation levels of its workforce.
Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn
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