Published on 15th January 2020
‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest’ – Benjamin Franklin
A very fitting quote that directly feeds into the importance of Learning and Development (L&D) programs and strategies for organisations. Not to mention the abundance of benefits that investing in employees brings both to efficiency and revenues.
If we dissect Franklin’s quote and apply it to an organisational setting, an ‘investment in knowledge’ is building up the L&D capability and carrying out the needed actions to promote better-developed employees, and the ‘interest’ is the anticipated profit both tangible and intangible.
Do we really need Learning and Development?
Learning and Development is a vital tool for organisations that wish to teach the skills necessary for employees to align their outputs to the organisation’s vision. Needless to say, L&D is pivotal in facilitating organisational and employee benefits.
In the Business Transformation and Projects space across all industries, I’ve come across a strong trend for digitalisation. Not just specific disciplines, but rather whole organisations. The digital talent gap is widening and a lot of the people I’ve met and work with take personal initiatives to upskill themselves through courses, learning new technologies, and staying up to date with key methodologies. I believe it is in an organisations’ best interest to further facilitate this learning to ensure retention, increase of engagement from employees, and a higher base level of skill within the organisation.
A staggering 87% of millennials regard ‘development opportunities’ as an important point of consideration for them in a job, and considering that in 2030, 75% of the workforce will be made up of millennials, I think it’s a great time to start acting if organisations haven’t done so already. When establishing an L&D Program, it is essential to understand that L&D’s strategic role spans across five areas:
- Attracting and retaining talent
- Developing people capabilities/skills
- Motivating and engaging employees
- Creating a values-based culture
- Building an employer brand
From my personal experience with L&D, I have learned that it is essential in aligning your skills and efforts towards the company vision. It addresses your weaknesses (which enable to you understand where your efforts should be placed) and also provides a strong sense of organisational investment and encouragement into your skills and you as a person. Organisations should make it a priority to maximise their efforts to train and upskill their staff.
Having said that, L&D is a two-way street. Employees need to be engaged in learning and follow through with L&D consistently. For employees, actively partaking in sessions, workshops, programs, and other methods of L&D is essential as you get out what you put in. It’s no surprise that organisations which invest in their employees see profits double compared to those who don’t engage in employee development. For organisations to thrive and pursue greatness, learning is essential.
‘Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.’ – Abigail Adams
I believe that in order for an organisation to remain competitive in its respective market, a shift in focus on developing employees is unavoidable. Organisations will forever only be as strong as their ‘weakest’ employee just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. To ensure strong motivation and engagement from staff and a reputable name in the industry, it’s essential to keep staff constantly upskilled.
What are your thoughts on the importance of L&D in an organisational setting? reach out to me to discuss this further here.