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Recruitment and HR Blog

The benefits of employee learning and development, and why it’s important

15th April 2020

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Learning and development has become an increasing priority for employers now that employees are looking for far more from their careers than just a good salary. It is vital that you are able to put a solid plan in place for the training, learning, development and future career prospects of your employees for the following fundamental reasons:


  • To ensure that employees have the skills needed to excel and do their jobs properly
  • To ensure employees have the capability to support the future growth of your business
  • To keep talented employees committed to your business and less likely to lose interest and look for employment elsewhere


It’s no doubt that your employees are your company’s biggest asset and investing into their development and progression is vital to sustain the success of your business. Many businesses invest a lot of time and effort into the recruiting and hiring process to ensure they are bringing in the right people into their business, but often the emphasis on caring about their skills and what they have to offer stops there - but it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to.


In this article, we explore what employee learning and development is and the four key benefits of offering training and development opportunities to your employees.


What is employee learning and development?


Training can help your employees to learn precise skills that will have an immediate impact on their performance at work, whilst focusing on their development by putting a more expansive plan in place for their future within the business, will improve their productivity and commitment to you as an employer.


Investment in skills and knowledge for the here and now will help your employees increase their performance and confidence as they go about their daily tasks, but investing in the long term will help employees feel more positively about change within the business, and it will give them a skillset that will be more useful for the future of your business as it grows and develops.


What are the benefits of employee learning and development?


1. Improved employee performance


An employee who receives the necessary training is more able to perform in their job with a greater understanding of their responsibilities within their role, and this will in turn help to build their confidence. This will enhance the employee’s overall performance, which can only be a good thing for your business, and it will mean they will be less reliant on other members of your team as they will be able to complete the task in hand without seeking reassurance.


2. Improved employee morale and productivity


By investing in your employees, it shows them that they are valued within the business and that you are prepared to invest in them to help them develop. It will also demonstrate that you are committed to keeping them within the business for the long term. Employees who feel appreciated and challenged through training and development opportunities may feel more satisfaction toward their place of work, increasing commitment to their jobs as well as their employer.


3. Addressing weaknesses


Most of your employees will have some weaknesses when it comes to their workplace skills and providing training may help bring these weaknesses to light but more importantly, help to overcome them. A training programme would allow your employees to strengthen the skills that need improvement, and this will help you as an employer to create overall knowledgeable staff who can take over for one another as needed, work independently and without constant supervision from other members of your team, freeing them up to focus on other tasks on their to do list.


4. Reduces employee turnover and enhances company reputation


Your employees are more likely to feel valued if they are invested in and less likely to change employers, so you are likely to see a reduced turnover rate. Training and development is seen as an additional company benefit and will also be something your potential employees will look for when they’re searching for their next opportunity, so make sure this is something you shout about when it comes to recruiting new members of the team too.


Having a strong training and development strategy will help your employer brand and your company reputation overall, and it will showcase just how much you care and value your workforce which is important to the modern job seeker. If you want to find out more about what an employer brand is and why it’s important to develop yours, click here to read of our blog.


What does the research say?


Despite the above benefits, research released by MPA Group in 2019 revealed that nearly a third (30%) of workplaces don’t offer employees the opportunity to learn new skills or invest time in development, with a quarter (25%) of office workers investing no time in learning new skills or further education to enhance their professional life.


When asked how much time per week companies allow workers to invest in training and research and development, over a third (35%) said less than two hours a week, with just 3% of employees allowing workers to invest seven hours a week – the equivalent to one average working day.


Lack of budget (52%) was named the biggest barrier for workplaces allowing staff members to spend time upskilling, while 28% said staff development was not a business priority.


“Employees are any businesses most valuable assets, so it is important that all businesses, no matter what industry, allow workers to invest time in learning new skills or training that will support their career,” says Mike Price, Director at MPA.


“Not only will this support staff morale and satisfaction levels, it can have a huge impact on your business, particularly investing time in research and development.”


What methods of training and development are out there?


Employee training and development can come in many forms, from on-the-job learning and mentoring schemes to in-house training, online courses and individual study. There won’t be a one-size-fits-all strategy for this, as each of your employees will need to train and develop on different skills and at different levels, so you need to consider what would be appropriate to each employee. However, there will be a common approach you can take with all of your employees:


  • Create a personal development plan for each of your employees setting out the development needed, how the development will be achieved, when the development is expected to be achieved and how the achievement will be measured
  • Have performance conversations to uncover ongoing training needs and relevant interests, and then make sure you check on an employee’s progress with frequent communication


Ideas for training and development could include:


  • Asking your employees to work alongside or shadow more experienced members of the team
  • Temporarily move your employees to a different department to learn new skills
  • Arrange external / online training courses
  • Support with study for higher level management and other qualifications


Individuals will bring a different set of skills to the workplace when they are recruited, so once they are fully trained in their role, further development is important. As we have gathered in this article, offering your employees suitable training and development opportunities can help you to keep them motivated in work, build loyalty, provide them with excellent career progression and prospects, fill identified skill gaps within your organisation and help you stay ahead of your competitors.


Here at JVP we know how hard you work to create an amazing workplace where employees are engaged, motivated, and feel valued. It’s why we’re so passionate about employer brands, because we know the difference it can make when it comes to attracting the best talent. 

To discover how our employer branded job advertising and recruitment marketing solutions will help you to quickly attract the best people, whilst removing the hassle and high costs from the recruitment process, call the JVP Group team on 01745 774 955, or click here to schedule a 20-minute free consultation call.

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