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 fulfil 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:
1. Boosts engagement
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.
2. Improves workforce efficiency
Apart from 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.
3. Promotes positive work culture
Often these learning sessions help employees to evolve personally and impacts 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.
4. Creates a deep sense of loyalty
Also, efforts made by organizations towards 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 efficient career management of their employees.
The following guidelines can prove useful for organizations in this regard:
1. Understand the learning needs of the workforce
Firstly, organizations should carefully assess 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.
2. Avoiding a one-size-fits-all solution
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.
3. Integration of technology
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 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.
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