What Is Learning and Development?
April 18, 2022
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Learning and development (L&D) is what fuels people to learn, grow, and improve their skill sets. It’s a company function that can ultimately drive business growth as well. Learning is there for acquiring new knowledge, skills, and attitudes. And development is there to apply that knowledge and help people achieve their professional and personal goals.
L&D is one of the best ways to attract new employees, boost retention, create an energizing work culture, and gain a competitive advantage in your market. L&D professionals are futurists of an organization: uncovering trends and technologies externally and applying new skills and knowledge internally to create confident and adaptable teams.
Some 64 percent of L&D professionals agree that employee development shifted from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” during the pandemic. If you’re thinking about implementing an employee learning and development strategy in your organization, this article will walk you through the benefits, business goals, and best ways to start.
Why is learning and development important?
L&D pros have been responsible for creating high-quality learning experiences. Today, research shows that they are also being tasked with future-proofing organizations. Some 72 percent of leaders agree that L&D has become a more strategic function in their organization.
L&D professionals are tasked with continually developing employees so they can adapt and thrive in a fast-paced environment. Plus, help people navigate a post-pandemic workplace and adapt to remote and hybrid work operations.
“Creating a positive learning experience has never been more vital than it is now. Employees, managers, and executives alike are looking for better ways to onboard, upskill, and retain talent more than ever and good learning programs are a proven strategy to satisfy all of those needs.”
Benefits of learning and development
Retains top talent
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on employee retention. Dubbed “The Great Resignation”, U.S. workers are leaving jobs at higher-than-normal rates. In the last 10 months of 2021, the U.S. saw the largest exodus of workers on record—with more than 3.98 million workers quitting their jobs each month, according to SHRM.org.
Some 20 percent of employees voluntarily leave their jobs due to a lack of career development and training. But give employees the right training and a clear career path, and that would compel 78 percent of them to stay with an organization longer.
The goal is to make your organization an attractive, long-term home for talent, giving them opportunities to move up and around into different roles and teams. That starts with learning and development.
Increases job satisfaction
Ongoing learning and development strategies help employees feel more fulfilled in their roles. By acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for a position, employees feel better about performance. Employees who don’t get the training they need with a current employer are 12x more likely to consider leaving.
Based on a research study, 79 percent of U.S. workers say company culture is an important job satisfaction factor. Learning and development help to keep employees energized and involved and shows team members that you care about them.
“We didn’t have a training or L&D function at Reddit before my team, so there were low expectations around training and development. After establishing our enablement team, ramping up our training strategy, and deploying an LMS, internal NPS increased by 13 points.”
— Ashley Crisostomo, Principal Program Manager, Reddit
Creates great work culture
The number one factor people say defines an exceptional work environment is the opportunity to learn and grow.
This marks a significant shift in attitude, considering learning and growth ranked number nine in a 2019 report. Studies also show that 84 percent of employees in the best-performing organizations receive the training they need, compared to 16 percent in the worst-performing companies.
It’s simple: Make your employees feel appreciated and valued, mentor them, and contribute to their growth by creating a vibrant learning culture.
Glint data shows that employees who feel cared about at work are 3.2x more likely to report being happy to work at their current company.
Earn higher profits
People are the core of any business. They take care of clients, share knowledge, make sales, and provide inspiration for peers. As we emerge from the pandemic, employee learning and development pros are becoming increasingly essential for uniting people and creating a competitive advantage.
Jobs and promotions are increasing, the demand for L&D specialists increased by 94 percent in Q3 of 2021, compared with Q2. Organizations are also allocating more budget to L&D.
Nearly half (48 percent) of L&D pros expect to have more spending power in 2022, reaching a six-year high according to the recent LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report.
“We’ve really leaned into the continuous learning capabilities of WorkRamp to double our revenue YOY and increase the average deal size by 15 percent.”
— Mark Riley, Senior Sales Enablement Manager, Handshake
Learning and development is more important than ever
One thing has become evident in the post-pandemic working world: employees’ priorities have shifted, and it’s more essential than ever to help people feel valued and provide adequate opportunities to enable team members to excel in their roles and achieve their professional aspirations.
There’s no such thing as a perfect employee. But, there is an opportunity to help employees grow into successful individuals and top performers. Welcome to the L&D era, where learning must be front and center to empower employees to succeed and attract and retain top talent.
High employee turnover and poorly-trained teams are unsustainable. Organizations that fail to take learning and development seriously risk falling behind. Follow the tips and programs above as we move through 2022, a year where the “Great Resignation” rolls on and over 4.2 million people quit their jobs in January alone.
Prove your organization is investing in employee growth. Show that you care and prioritize learning strategy through high-value, high-impact opportunities. That’s the secret to improving employee retention, creating an energizing work culture, and earning higher profits.
Ready to prioritize learning and development for your team? WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help you train your employees and empower your team. Get in touch with our experts to request a demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Michael is a SaaS marketer living in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through storytelling and data-driven content, his focus is providing valuable insight and advice on issues that prospects and customers care most about. He’s inspired by learning people’s stories, climbing mountains, and traveling with his partner and Xoloitzcuintles.
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