Trish Burridge, Director, Customer Success, EMEA, Skillsoft discusses why employers should prioritise an L&D Programme within their organisation, and what they can do to maximise it’s impact.
If your organisation is yet to put in place an L&D programme, it’s behind the times. In today’s competitive corporate landscape, where employees are conscious of career development and mobility, ensuring that your organisation caters to their learning and developmental needs is a must. Once a perk, L&D is now a necessity.
Creating a strong L&D programme requires a strategy. To ensure that employees engage with L&D and benefit from it, employers must go further than sending their workers on ad-hoc away days or directing them to use an unmonitored online tutorial. To make L&D a differentiator to employees – and improve retention and productivity as a result – employers need to follow three steps.
1. Ensure L&D goes at the pace of your employees
Learning on the job allows employees to solve workplace problems in real-time, and learn from their experiences. To facilitate learning on the job, employers should look for a learning programme that allows their employees to utilise learning when and where they want. Learning needs to be on-demand and available whenever the employee needs it. Whilst you can let your employees turn to search engines like Google to help them with a problem, the sources that they use will often be unverified. This process can also be very time consuming.
The best L&D programmes will also cater to employee individuality. The workforce now spans more generations than ever before, and different generations and personalities will want to learn differently. Some will prefer audio books, other video clips and others quizzes. By ensuring that the L&D programme caters for all types of learners, employers increase the risk of strong engagement and ROI on their learning investment.
2. Get management onboard
The right L&D programme is integral to an employee developing his or her skills. When it comes to career development, it’s critical to ensure senior management is on board with the L&D programme. Business leaders need to understand how the L&D programme works and, more importantly, understand what their employees want to get out of learning. That way, they can work with employees to set L&D targets and goals that will, in the long term, help employee career progression. An intelligent L&D programme will assist managers and employees in setting these goals and demonstrate to managers how their employees are getting along with their training courses. Without endorsement from executives and managers, an L&D programme won’t get very far.
3. Embed learning into culture
Fundamentally, a successful L&D programme revolves around a big cultural change. Employers need to explain why learning is important and encourage employees to utilise the resources made available to them. Employers should also be conscious of performance metrics before and after introducing the L&D programme, and measure these often. As performance begins to improve, both employers and employees will feel a morale boost.
This is because people are generally much happier when they know that coming to work every day makes a difference to the success of the company. When employees know they are making a real difference, it gives them the motivation to continuously learn and grow.
Employers who build a culture of learning understand that investing in employees today pays dividends tomorrow.
Ultimately, to truly reap the rewards of L&D and make it a company differentiator, employers need to look at creating a cultural shift within their organisations to encourage learning. They must also ensure that they choose the right, intelligent eLearning programme, which gives employees the needed flexibility to learn how and when they want.