Why Every Business Needs an Employee Learning and Development Program

As the digital age progresses, employees are getting the upper hand. A massive skills shortage means that companies are finding it challenging to hire and retain top talent. Today’s employees have plenty of choices when evaluating the job market.

As a result, employees are searching for companies that have an interest in developing their skillset. Companies that provide employees with opportunities to grow and develop both professionally and personally have the upper hand in the job market.

Hosting a program to develop your employees is one of the key drivers of culture and employee engagement. Research from LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report shows that 94% of all employees state they would prefer to stay at a company if it considered investing in career development.

Create a Culture of Learning

Companies that offer employees learning programs benefit from holding a strategic advantage in developing, attracting, and retaining talent. Employers need to link learning programs to the employee experience and focus on understanding the needs of the learner.

Creating a culture of learning in your company means that you need to place learning opportunities in the daily working lives of employees. Aligning and connecting training and courses with personal and professional goals.

Make the Switch from Managing Performance to Development

Traditional management processes designed for measuring performance don’t do anything to drive employee engagement or motivate your staff. These compliance-driven processes lack consistency and transparency.

Managers need to take the initiative and realize that performance development requires year-round practice. The top companies include learning programs as an integral component of the employee experience.

There are 3-ways for managers to develop a performance-based culture at their organization:

• Place a focus on coaching your team

• Implement a development-planning strategy

• Change the company’s attitude towards goal-setting

Let’s unpack each of these components in further detail.

Place a focus on Coaching Your Team – Top organizations coach their staff more than they manage. Evaluation sessions with managers focus less on performance and more on providing the employee with direction and support. As a result, employees and managers work side-by-side to achieve business goals during the year.

Implement a Development-Planning Strategy – A development-planning strategy includes guidelines to help employees prepare for evaluation. The guidelines provide the employee with a framework where they can reflect on development goals. Key questions include the steps necessary to achieve business goals, as well as potential bottlenecks and roadblocks to success.

Change the Companies Attitude Towards Goal-Setting

Make your company’s goal-setting process a part of your ongoing process. Managers must give employees an active role when defining goals, showing employees how to align their individual goals with the big picture for the company.

With this strategy, employees understand the impact they have on the company. As a result, they have higher engagement levels and more motivation to achieve their targets.

When sitting down with your employees to set goals, make sure they fall into the SMART field – (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timeous).
Introducing metrics to track performance helps managers understand their employee’s limits. If employees are continually failing to achieve business goals, then managers need to adjust employee targets. The best goals are just out of reach, requiring the employee to make a push to achieve their targets.

A2K Partners