For businesses looking to get the best possible return on investment from learning and development (L&D), it’s essential to have an overarching plan that will help generate value for the wider organisation.
A successful L&D strategy can deliver results for employees and the wider business as a whole. Let’s explore how.
1. Recognising a business’s most valuable assets: people
Whilst the surge in digital transformation over the past few years made some organisations see artificial intelligence, chat-bots and software integrations as being the lifelines of their business, there’s now a new perspective which flips these roles, recognising that the most precious asset to any business is in fact, their employees.
For L&D, which is closely related to HR, the goal is to align employee learning goals and performance with that of the wider business. However, the wider business can only ever be successful when employees are performing well in the background.
With this, L&D can help to enhance workplace relationships, bringing employees together on a common platform, leading to greater collaboration and employee bonding in both online and offline channels. As employees come together from across the wider business for training, they get opportunities to explore new topics and share their knowledge. This helps them build interpersonal relationships despite the boundaries of departments or physical locations.
As a result, these engaged employees will help drive differentiation in the market, and a business which is invested in L&D will create significant value for the organisation, as well as competitive advantage.
2. Health and wellbeing
A recent study stated that over 10 million workers in the UK have taken sick days due to feeling burnt out, which is potentially costing businesses more than £700m a year. Deloitte also claim that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £56 billion a year, with Open Access Government recording that 57% of all UK employees feel worn out by work, and half a million people in the UK now suffer from work-related stress.
Supporting businesses to promote that work/life balance, Learning & Development can help employees feel more encouraged, understood and valued, ultimately resulting in better performance and improved wellbeing.
This is especially prevalent in today’s post-pandemic landscape where employees expect a much healthier work/life balance. They have a heightened appreciation of how precious their personal time is, and they expect to be able to spend it unconcerned with work.
Allowing employees to progress their careers and develop professionally during the working day as part of their job speaks volumes about the company as it shows employees they are truly valued. As a result, happier employees work harder.
3. Learning & Development to help with Retention
Learning & Development professionals will be all too familiar with the notion that disengaged employees are not as productive as those who are engaged. According to Rapt Media, over $500 billion is actually lost each year as a result of employee disengagement, and only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged according to recent findings by Gallup.
Investing in L&D helps increase engagement and productivity, as offering training and development opportunities is a great way to keep employees engaged and invested in a business. When there’s nothing to keep them drawn in, or in other words, when employees don’t see what they’re getting back from an employer, they’re likely to leave and move onto a new role.
4. Reducing your environmental impact through Learning & Development
The Financial Express claims that online learning can help reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, and e-learning produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per person compared to traditional face-to-face training.
Learning online could be a great way, then, for a business to make environmental contributions to being more sustainable through means of reducing pollutants and emissions, cutting down on commuting and saving energy too.
As we know, the world around us is constantly changing, now at what seems like an unprecedented speed. At the same time, whilst businesses constantly find themselves adapting to stay competitive in their markets, it also leaves L&D with no choice other than to be open to change too.
In fact, business agility and innovation are closely connected, as adaptive learning is a prerequisite for the performance of the organisation as a whole. And whilst tech solutions such as learning management systems (LMS) or artificial intelligence (AI) can be utilised to create bespoke learning strategies, innovation for L&D is all about adopting an agile framework, equipping employees with the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be innovative and creative.
An example of this innovation would be when L&D encourages risk-taking and celebrates failure, as without taking risks, teams cannot experiment, try new things and learn from failures. Likewise, it’s often failing and then learning that incites further creativity and innovation from employees too, looking to push boundaries and expand their development.
Plan, build, train and support
We’re here to help your business achieve those L&D goals with everything from customised learning management systems to bespoke virtual learning environments.
In fact, here at BuildEmpire, we can design and build the perfect learning system to fit all your L&D needs, and will be there for ongoing hosting, maintenance and support to ensure you and your learners are always getting the most out of your learning platform, saving you time and money in the long run.