5 Benefits of Emphasizing Learning and Development

Posted by Derek Reynolds on September 07, 2017
Find me on:
learning and development lifehack list

The internet is filled with “listicles” explaining the best, easiest or cheapest ways to do things. Among my favorites are the “life hack” lists that inevitably fail to live up to the name. If I need to visit three stores and spend two hours crafting an object that I can find on Amazon for $5, it’s hardly a life hack. Conversely, when a listicle uses enlightening statistics to deliver a clear message, it’s an efficient means of communicating an idea. The benefits listed below, although common knowledge in the learning and development space, can be used to bolster an argument for more training.

1. A Smarter and Better Workforce
Focusing on the development of your workforce’s knowledge base can reap rewards throughout your organization. Not only will employees feel supported and empowered, they’ll have the confidence to enact change on the job. That change is bound to break beyond the borders of the office and become a part of your cultural identity. A culture that encourages learning is a strong recruiting tool.

According to Gallup, 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them in a job.

2. Happy People Work Harder

Investing time, energy and money into your employees’ skillsets will increase their self-worth and job satisfaction. This can lead to an increase in productivity and a reduction in employee turnover. Combined, that spells more profitability.

A study conducted by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness leads to a 12 percent increase in productivity. It also found that unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive than content employees.

3. Identify and Address Areas of Weakness

Along with achieving learning objectives, regularly scheduled training can expose an organization’s weaknesses and knowledge gaps. There is no better place for these shortcomings to surface. Smart learning and development teams use these “aha” moments to identify skill gaps and formulate a plan of attack.

SWOT a·nal·y·sis - a study undertaken by an organization to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats.

4. Internal Promotions

There is a high cost associated with recruitment. Estimates range from $400-$4,000 per new hire. With a robust and ongoing training program, each passing day builds upon the qualifications of your existing talent pool. This provides an opportunity to fill vacancies with trusted employees who have a strong understanding of the organizational goals and culture.

According to Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell, “external hires” get significantly lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job than internal workers who are promoted into similar positions. They also have higher exit rates, and they are paid “substantially more.” About 18% to 20% more.

5. Engagement

The value and importance of this last point cannot be overstated. Engaging employees will make them feel involved, consulted, valued and will give them a sense of belonging. A successful L&D program will aim to achieve this above all else. Without an engaged workforce, there is no hope for improvement.

“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organization’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow.” – Jack Welch CEO, General Electric 1981-2001

Engaging a workforce with thoughtful, mission focused training is guaranteed to strengthen any organization! To get our eBook: Business Acumen Anecdotes, click HERE

Topics: Experiential Learning, Business Acumen, Value of Classroom Training