When you offer employees training opportunities for personal and professional development, you build a learning culture that benefits the entire organization. Workers can develop a range of skills to achieve their career goals while you benefit from increased productivity and engagement stemming from employee training initiatives.
From the Learner’s Perspective
45% of exiting workers said they left because of a lack of learning or advancement opportunities. Inadequate employee training also makes the top ten. Both of these point to the fact that workplaces need learning initiatives to keep employees engaged and prevent them from finding better opportunities elsewhere.
When it comes to investment, the employee/employer relationship is reciprocal. If employees feel the organization invests in them, they will return that investment with good work and a positive culture.
Additionally, it's simply human nature to desire challenge and interest. Excitement is more likely to happen when employees have more than just access to training and knowledge. Not only will a culture of learning help workers enjoy their work more, but it will also better equip them to handle unexpected events.
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after a setback or difficulty. Agility is the ability to respond to (often unexpected) changes. Both are traits that employees must have in workplaces where change happens quickly. Training and development initiatives help them to develop these characteristics.
How Employee Training Impacts Organizations
It's clear that learning benefits workers and is ultimately good for the organization. Businesses that create and execute a robust enterprise learning strategy will also experience other positive impacts. These benefits extend far beyond the expected perks like increased efficiency.
The far-reaching effects of employee training
In addition to keeping workers engaged, there are other reasons for organizations to build a powerful learning and development strategy.
- Increasing capabilities
- Aligning employees with organizational values
- Building a strong workforce
- Boosting motivation and engagement
- Creating a strong employer brand
- Sharing knowledge
- Fostering innovation
- Improving processes
- Creating a competitive advantage
Here is a closer view of how employee training can lead to these positive outcomes.
While positive attributes, such as a willingness to work hard and empathy, are undeniably natural assets, they are becoming eclipsed by the value of learning. Today, knowledge can be relevant in one moment and outdated in the next. Without access to learning and development to keep knowledge up to date, other skills or attributes lose their impact.
Furthermore, when organizations invest time and money into professional development, they see a significant return on their investment. Companies with an effective learning strategy are more than twice as likely to achieve their production goals.
A Strong Workforce
Workers often stayed with the same employer for many years in the past. Training focused solely on developing the skills employees needed to meet the company's goals at any given time. Now, most workers don't expect that much longevity in the workplace.
Today, employees are only likely to stay where they are if they feel they're contributing to their career growth. Organizations that want to retain top talent need to balance their own training needs with workers' expectations for professional development opportunities.
Employee training impacts worker retention as well as helps companies attract new employees. If your organization offers excellent training opportunities, that should be a significant feature in your value proposition.
Employees Align with Organizational Values
When an organization builds a training initiative and makes access to knowledge a priority, it communicates its values and priorities. Employees know that their employer values professional development and growth, remaining competitive, and adapting well to change.
It's more important than ever for employers and workers to share the same values. Millennials and members of Gen-Z highly value working for companies that share their values. Also, the rise in virtual work has led to tenuous bonds between employees and employers. Brands that can get their team members to connect with their values are more likely to overcome work-from-home challenges.
Boosts Motivation and Engagement
There is scientific evidence linking learning and happiness. The effects of learning include increased self-determination and motivation. It also gives people a broader worldview and offers perspective.
When people work in organizations that offer them access to learning, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged. This motivation and engagement lead to innovation, creativity, and an increased willingness to take ownership.
Relevant, effective, and accessible training breaks down information silos. The more people that have access to knowledge, the fewer teams or individuals are left in the dark. Democratizing knowledge also increases transparency and prevents anyone from becoming territorial about information.
Additionally, by creating a learning strategy that fosters knowledge sharing, you can foster a culture of empathy. When knowledge is available to all, teams better understand one another's goals and roadblocks, which leads to better communication and cooperation.
Any organization that prioritizes learning will be better positioned to foster innovation. That's because good leadership, engaged talent, and a desire to learn are vital components businesses need to increase their capacity for innovation.
For examples of a strong learning culture, consider companies like Google, where employees have the time and resources to learn for their own development. Employee training impacts workers' sense of empowerment and encourages them to develop and present innovative ideas.
When employees work at their highest level of competence, they spend less time dealing with crises. This leaves them with more time and resources to create better processes and strategies. Ultimately, it allows workers to improve customer experiences, boost productivity, increase efficiency, and create growth.
Creates a Strong Employer Brand
Your employer brand is the totality of your reputation, values, and standing as an employer. It's as essential to craft an attractive employer brand that builds a successful company as it is to formulate a compelling consumer brand that attracts customers.
When your employees have access to learning, they are more competent and better able to achieve results to reach your organizational goals. This improves your industry standing, which enhances your employer brand.
In turn, potential employees view your company more favorably. They also associate your employer brand with a culture that values their goals and development.
Promotes a Competitive Advantage
Unemployment is at an all-time low. At the same time, the current employment ecosystem has left many organizations struggling to find qualified workers. This has created a learning gap that can make it challenging to remain competitive.
Additionally, the cost and resources involved in onboarding and training employees often make it difficult to rely on new hires.
Instead, it is often more efficient and cost-effective to provide more training opportunities to existing talent. This includes offering cross-training opportunities that boost workers' skill sets and allow them to take on additional challenges. When this happens, leadership can better meet organizational goals and objectives by moving team members around as needed.