Top 10 benefits of implementing a learning and development strategy

According to research, two out of three workers in the UK will change their jobs as a result of feeling underdeveloped. All positions will require some level of training when employees start a new role, but for too many businesses, that is where it stops. Many do not continue the development of their employees which puts them at a disadvantage and costs them dearly in the longer term. 

Investing in a learning and development strategy will benefit your business. Your employees will exhibit higher morale, collaborate effectively and be better prepared for the tasks assigned to them.

The best businesses invest in their workers

Continuing the learning journey for your team is one of the simplest ways in which to prosper in the competitive employment market of the 21st century. The following are ten key benefits of implementing a learning and development strategy for your business today.

1. Retaining employees

Studies have shown that up to 40% of staff end up leaving companies in their first year of employment due to, amongst other things, inadequate training. Retention is a challenge for all businesses, and the best employees will be tempted by rivals which offer better benefits. As the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them. Offer an excellent training programme that will keep your team working for you.

2. Attracting employees

If your business is known for investing in people, you will be seen as a desirable employer. You will be able to attract employees who are interested in their own improvement. They will be better skilled, engaged, and dedicated. You will be able to attract talent who will bring valuable skills and experience and improve the work environment in immeasurable ways.

3. Increase engagement

Bored employees don’t do their best work. It sounds simple, but many businesses fail to consider this as a factor when it comes to productivity. Disengaged employees will not go the extra mile, and their frustration can quickly spoil a work environment. Don’t become known as a business with a negative work environment. Encourage and invest in continued learning for your workers to keep them engaged.

4. Improve performance

Your employees will not want to stagnate in their careers. Very few people want to stay in the same position forever, and they will want the opportunity to grow as part of their employment with you. By investing in their learning, your staff will improve their working styles and their knowledge. 

Any business wants to have those most skilled and knowledgeable in their specialised field, and you can develop precisely these resources in the team you already have working for you. Employees’ work will improve, meaning your business will benefit. 

5. Save money

Many businesses see education for their staff as being cost-prohibitive for the long term. However, training and development can actually save your business money. The hiring process for replacement talent and the time taken to interview candidates can generate extortionate costs, as will the lost productivity associated with high attrition rates. 

Instead of spending money on searching for a new candidate, why not value and train those already on board? By diverting resources previously used in the hiring processes, the company will save money and time.

6. Keep up to date

How does your business remain competitive? How are you continuously improving to serve your customers and the market better? There is nothing riskier in an increasingly global marketplace than failing to embrace new technology and ideas. Don’t stay in the dark when the latest social media trend or technological breakthrough occurs. Use learning and development to keep your team up to date. Make sure that your staff are at the forefront with new ideas and skills to keep you at the top of your industry.

7. Support personal development

An employee starting at the bottom of the career ladder will want to climb to the top over time. A learning and development plan will support their career and personal development within your business. You will be able to identify key skills, talents and gaps in knowledge that you can address. This will open up communication between you and your team, allowing you both to meet a common goal. 

8. Promote within the business

Your employees, when trained, will become more valuable and able to be promoted. They will be your managers and, potentially, future industry leaders. Can you afford to lose your best talent to a competitor? Can you afford to recruit their replacements who will invariably need to be trained in your company’s procedures and ethos? Focusing on retaining the best in your business and promoting from within will save you time and prevent you from losing your most talented workers.

9. Improve collaboration

The skill of working in a team is crucial, especially where your business requires cross-collaboration to complete tasks. Employees with skills gaps will be unable to perform and contribute as well, leading to wasted time and potentially compromising the output. 

Training to improve collaborative skills will ensure that everyone pulls together to the best of their ability. This will reduce over-reliance upon key staff and spread the workload with a positive effect on morale and retention. 

10. Build a happier workplace

When staff are happier, they are willing to work harder. Employees will have improved job satisfaction and will be more likely to contribute to overall company objectives. It will also enhance the experience of your work environment and thus your employer brand, thereby improving hiring conversion rates as you grow. 

Offering ongoing employee development is an investment in both your staff as individuals and the business as a whole. As you continue to grow and to compete in an ever more global marketplace, you can advance with confidence, knowing that you have the backing of a highly trained, motivated and loyal workforce.

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