Training and development is part of most organizations today. However, that does not mean that all organizations take the same approach, or even see the value in learning and development (L&D). Many reasons exist for this disparity, although one of the most common causes is that organizations lack effective learning programs and therefore do not see the many benefits possible.
With an effective learning and development program, employees can be engaged, developed, and helped to become their best selves. The result is a more engaged workforce, greater employee loyalty and retention, improved performance, and more. Of course, to truly understand the benefits of designing a more effective learning experience, we need to dig a bit deeper.
Better Knowledge and Skills
The single most important immediate benefit (for both employers and employees) of a more effective learning experience is better knowledge and skills. With deeper knowledge, employees are more empowered and confident. That translates to other benefits, including improved performance, better productivity, fewer errors, and more, all of which benefit both the employee and the employer.
A more effective learning experience is also a critical consideration when it comes to career advancement. In the past, employees were expected to invest in their own training, which often meant that employers hired based on an existing skillset alone and that promotion from within was not particularly frequent. With a well-developed L&D program, the situation changes dramatically. Employees can master the skills necessary to move up within the organization without having to find ways to do that on their own. This unlocks many additional benefits, including the following:
- Career Planning – Both employees and employers benefit from training that makes career planning simpler and easier. Employees can focus on moving upward without changing employers, and employers can reduce the costs of constant hiring and onboarding, as well as eliminate the lost time getting new employees up to speed.
- Employee Value – While all employees have inherent value, those with the most experience under their belt are the most valuable. With an effective learning experience, you encourage employees to stay with you to take advantage of higher positions and other perks, thereby creating a more seasoned, capable workforce.
- Stronger Relationships – All businesses exist to create relationships with their customers or clients. It becomes easier to create strong, long-lasting relationships when employees stick around for years or even decades. That does a lot to encourage customers/clients to do the same thing.
While resistance to training lowers morale, effective learning programs can dramatically raise it across the entire organization. Improving morale is about more than just creating a high-energy vibe within the workplace, though. Higher morale also delivers:
- Improved productivity
- Greater attention to detail
- Improved time and attendance (reduced absences and early days)
- Higher quality work
- Improved workplace safety
Those are substantial benefits, and each drives other positive outcomes. For instance, improved workplace safety results in reduced accidents, lower insurance claims, less time lost for employees, and more. Greater attention to detail drives higher-quality work, which in turn drives better customer/client satisfaction and brand value.
For many businesses, it can be difficult to measure efficiency with any degree of accuracy. This often leads to a situation in which efficiency is borderline-low – it’s just high enough that no red flags are thrown but low enough that it has an impact on costs, particularly over time. With a more effective learning experience, you’re able to drive better efficiency across many different sectors of the business. This results in financial gain as improved efficiency reduces time and financial costs for business processes across the board.
Increases Your Ability to Compete
Often, the line between your organization and a competitor comes down to your employees’ knowledge and capabilities. An effective learning experience helps ensure that your team always has up-to-date knowledge and skills. The result is an improved ability to compete, but also to outperform and remain ahead of key competitors. This occurs through a combination of many aspects, including:
- Customers are more likely to gravitate toward teams that showcase the greatest expertise and capabilities.
- Improved knowledge and skills ensure that you’re able to deliver higher quality services or products.
- Customer satisfaction is higher with more knowledgeable teams.
- Each of these areas affects the perceived value of your brand.
Become an Employer of Note
The final benefit we’ll cover is one of the most important. Today, employees have the power. They’re able to compare employment opportunities and choose the option that best suits their needs and goals. They’re no longer at the mercy of hirers. Instead, employers are at the mercy of applicants. After all, without access to top-tier talent, your success and growth potential are limited.
One of the most sought-after employment benefits today has nothing to do with pay or traditional perks. Employees want an employer that will support them in pursuing their careers. They want the chance to learn, grow, and develop. If you can create an effective learning experience that does that, you take one step closer to become an employer of note and ensuring that you attract the top job candidates (and then retain them for the long term!).
To reap the benefits we have discussed here, you need to dig into your training program and identify areas of resistance. Employees can resist training for many different reasons, but a lack of effectiveness is one of the most common reasons. To identify why your training is not effective, you will need to delve into your content. A cloud-based learning management system (LMS) can provide potent tools to simplify this process (and also immediately improve the effectiveness of your L&D efforts). To learn more on how to overcome resistance for more effective learning, click here.
At eLeaP, our LMS provides granular tracking and reporting capabilities, tools to measure engagement and information retention, and more. If you’re struggling to improve your learning program’s effectiveness, we would love the opportunity to discuss your needs and how we can help.