Learning and development has long been an important concern for human resources management professionals. We’ve previously explored the bottom-line benefits of fostering a culture of engagement and we’ve found that learning and development provide distinct advantages as well.
Intuitive and actual benefits of good L&D
Intuitively, we know that it’s worth investing in employees to keep them at the top of their game. If it helps them do their job better, it helps the organization achieve its objectives. Providing ongoing access to workplace learning and professional development just makes good business sense.
In fact, the benefits extend beyond productivity that can be gained by having a more skilled workforce. New data from Culture Amp shows that learning and development opportunities are also strongly linked to employee engagement levels and better rates of employee retention. As we’ll see, it’s one of the most effective strategies for both boosting engagement levels and minimizing churn.
Advantages of employee development
People want to be employed by organizations that will increase their job prospects down the line. It’s easy to see why: individuals whose value in the workforce is bolstered by their organization can also expect greater personal chances for growth and financial success.
For these reasons, organizations that proudly tout their ability to boost people’s future employability reap recruitment benefits. But there’s more to it than that. Culture Amp data shows that people who believe their job contributes to their development are actually 21% more likely to stay with their current employer.
Prioritizing Learning and Development
Providing career pathways is crucial to retaining talented people. But how do you do it? Work with employees to plan career paths and then give them access to the learning they need to make their way there.
An earlier study by Price Waterhouse Coopers revealed that millennials rank learning and development as the number one benefit that an employer can offer – above both flexibility and financial incentives. This is a big deal, not least of all because millennials are a segment renowned for their absence of employer-allegiance. When that is considered a primary trait of the largest segment of the workforce, it’s something managers need to get active about.
Culture Amp research has progressed on those findings. Preceding studies focused on preferences and self-reported intentions. Culture Amp has drilled down to unearth statistical evidence that these stated preferences are having a real-world impact. We found that people who stay with an organization are 24% more likely to say that they have had access to the learning and development they needed.
While an opportunity exists for this research to go another step farther—to uncover the cause-and-effect relationship of these statistics—the strength of the correlation seems to justify immediate attention. Perceptions about an organization’s L&D offerings are connected to employee retention.
Learning and development provides multi-dimensional benefits
Employees’ perception that they have the opportunity to grow professionally may be as important to the organization as actual upskilling. Employees who believe that those opportunities exist in an organization are likely to understand that the leadership is ready to invest in mutual success—that of the organization and of the individuals that it comprises. It makes sense that people who feel supported in this way should be more likely to hang around.
Provide employees with opportunities to further their learning and professional development. It does more than just expand organizational skill-set. The current evidence shows that it is good for business and good for staff retention.
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