Why Training and Developing Employees Is Even More Important Than Ever Before

 

Anni Hollings

Learning & Development Manager

Being obsolete and then unemployable is the biggest concern to today’s workers. Over one third of skills that are considered important today will no longer be relevant in 20 years’ time. According to the World Economic Forum there is a new ethos, especially among the younger generations, to a culture of lifelong learning.

The fast pace of skills evolution has encouraged more workers than ever before to bring a wider range of skills and enhanced creativity, dynamism and productivity into perceptive workplaces. The need for people, especially professionals, to constantly update their expertise is an essential requirement for organisational success. Managing upskilling and raising expectations of constant upskilling is a critical aspect of people management and one that needs to be strategically embraced.

It makes business sense to encourage people to pursue opportunities for personal growth. The Association for Talent Development in the USA found that organizations that invest in training and development are more competitive, agile and employees are more engaged when knowledge is constantly and freely shared. But, to ensure that employees engage in their learning and development, a culture of learning needs to be created. Learning cannot simply be left to individuals to participate on an ad hoc basis.

Today’s employees expect more learning and development opportunities. According to Gallup 87% of millennials believe career growth and development opportunities are important in a job. Whilst learning has never been quite so accessible with the web providing riches beyond imagination, the danger for leaders in organizations is to expect people to simply manage their own learning. There have to be a range of development experiences and team learning is highly valued as a way of creating a community of knowledge sharing and skill development. Bringing in facilitators and specialists creates challenges to ‘the way we do things around here’, helping cultures grow and not stultify.

Organizations that have learning cultures and promote learning as part of their business success attract more talented employees, and learning and development has an impact on customer satisfaction. The consequences for business success are well documented. LinkedIn found that providing opportunities for continuous learning had a direct impact on productivity and the bottom line. Employees felt that they were more valued and an internal consequence was better employee engagement and retention. Modern graduates expect to receive job and career related learning right from the start of their employment, but recognise that development opportunities are not simply a right, learning and development has to be linked to goal achievement. Such aspirational learning is driven by individual needs and expectations of a learning and development partnership between employee and employer.

35% of millenials say that good learning and development are the most desirable quality in the workplace, 65% say that the existence of personal development opportunities was the most influential feature in helping them choose their current job. Clearly, having an explicit learning and development strategy that supports individual and collective skills and knowledge enhancement and capability progression makes sound talent management sense.

Learning and development that is integrated and valued has other benefits. There is a direct link with happiness in the workplace with the attendant gains and advantages that happy workers bring. Modern workers’ driving motivators are personal development and purposeful work. As such there is a need for employers to respond by creating opportunities for their employees’ growth and career development. Happy workers are more creative, energised, successful and 12% more productive. By focusing on meaningful training and development and learning and skills acquisition, employers can design employee learning experiences that are tailored to learner and organisational goals and business success.

At Strategi Solutions we are committed to the ethos of employee development, happiness and aspiration achievement. We design challenging and business goal focused training and development solutions. Why not give us a ring and talk to us about what we can do for you and your organisation. Our success is your success, seeing you and your organisation improve and succeed is what makes us happy. Whether working with individuals in coaching sessions, small groups in discrete development sessions or larger audiences in general presentations, we can work with you to help you create a learning culture that drives success.

Call Anni on 01782 969444 or contact anni@strategisloutions.co.uk.