Most executives would eagerly adopt a strategy that would empower employees to feel—and be—more productive, more engaged and more successful. You can accomplish all of that while also keeping top performers motivated and reducing turnover with one simple approach: Offer training. Ambitious corporate training goals can boost efficiency and drive profit in surprising ways.
Learning improves focus
According to LinkedIn's "2019 Workplace Learning Report," employees who spend at least five hours a week learning are less stressed, feel a greater sense of purpose at work and are significantly more likely to have career goals compared with those spending an hour or less each week. Even moderate learners, who spend one to five hours learning each week, see these benefits, though more modestly.
Focused, loyal employees tend to be the highest performers, benefiting the company's bottom line and furthering its goals.
Align learning & business goals
One way to capitalize on the benefits of learning is to align corporate training goals with business goals—and encourage employees to pursue learning that furthers both. This strategic goal alignment will result in employees who proactively develop the skills they need to grow in their roles and advance along their career paths. Companies with a strong learning culture and that invest in their employees have an enormous edge in attracting talent and retaining their best employees. The LinkedIn report found that 94% of employees say they are more likely to stay at a company that invests in their learning and development.
Create a culture of learning
Bersin research found that an organization's learning culture is the single biggest driver of business impact. Creating a continuous learning culture will boost more employees into the highly motivated "heavy learner" echelon. Harvard Business Review notes "rewarding curiosity is not just about praising and promoting those who display an effort to learn and develop; it's also about creating a climate that nurtures critical thinking, where challenging authority and speaking up are encouraged, even if it means creating discord." To ensure that employees find the time to learn and invest it in learning that aligns with both corporate training goals and key performance targets, try these steps:
- Choose a learning management system that supports robust and personalized learning paths.
- Encourage leaders at all levels to learn and lead by example.
- Support performance and problem-solving with workflow learning solutions.
- Encourage social and collaborative learning.
- Ensure learning content is relevant and focused—no "one-size-fits-all" mandatory eLearning.
Bersin consistently found that a learning culture starts at the top of the organization and is primarily driven by managers, not by human resources or L&D teams. Nurturing a culture of learning will pay off as employees close skills gaps and anticipate—and master—skills they'll need to maintain peak performance. Attracting and retaining those superstars will keep your organization among the market leaders.