Using L&D to improve every stage of your employee experience
According to Harvard Business Review, ‘the World Economic Forum estimates that more than half of all employees around the world need to upskill or reskill by 2025 to embrace the changing nature of jobs.’ Talk about a tall order for HR teams globally! Add to this a talent shortage, the new hybrid working model and the multigenerational office… HR professionals are suddenly more instrumental than ever when it comes to ensuring their organisation’s survival in this new ever-changing reality.
How can time-poor HR teams focus on all these challenges simultaneously? Is there a way to help future-proof your business and support recruitment efforts as well as employees’ career progression? To ensure motivation levels remain high? That there are contingency and succession plans in place? Yes, there is.
Learning and Development (L&D) is your best asset when it comes to both getting the best talent out there, and keeping them within the organisation. From the first moment potential employees hear about you to the day they leave your organisation, L&D can help make staff’s experience a positive one at every single stage of the professional lifecycle. Here’s how.
L&D as an attraction lever
These days, great salaries aren’t enough to attract great candidates. The pandemic has led to many people re-evaluating their priorities, and job offers now need to go beyond monetary benefits. Candidates want to feel motivated, energised and challenged and they need to know that great career development opportunities await them. In fact, ‘career’ is one of the main motivation-generating factors for employees, alongside ‘cause’ and ‘community’ (have a read of our 3 Cs of careers article for more details).
On the flip side, a lack of career prospects isn’t just slightly demotivating for people: it’s one of the main reasons for leaving an organisation. Staff understand that on the job development opportunities are a critical part of reaching their full potential, and they no longer hesitate to leave when they feel this criteria is not fulfilled.
Businesses therefore need to demonstrate to both their prospective and current employees that they can have a great journey with them.
So how can this be done? Through learning and development. Designing, setting up and promoting a blended L&D offering that takes into account learners’ preferences, their skills gaps and personal goals as well as those of the organisation will help you stand out from the crowd. Alongside salary, L&D resources available have become part of any business’ benefits and rewards package and are a key consideration factor for people looking to make a professional move.
How L&D can help you keep great people
Creating motivation and engagement by unlocking staff potential
It’s no secret that L&D generates motivation and engagement. People need to feel challenged and stretched, and this need can be fulfilled in many ways: by learning new skills, deepening existing expertise through on the job training, expanding their network, shadowing a colleague, or even mentoring or coaching others. All those tactics can contribute to helping staff go beyond the day-to-do as they work to fill any skill gaps they may have. “Giving your talent pool the tools they need to be the best version of themselves is the most powerful retention lever there is,” says Jo Taylor, MD at Let’s Talk Talent.
Indeed, L&D is what links performance and potential, enabling people to constantly improve upon their current performance and strive for more. By offering staff the kind of resources that will empower them to take charge of their own career development, along with guidance on how to use those resources in an optimal way, you can achieve two important goals. First, keeping motivation and engagement levels high, which leads to better staff retention. Second, fostering a culture of high performance and thus increasing your people’s contribution towards organisational goals.
Fostering a great Internal culture
And as an added bonus, L&D is critical when it comes to generating a growth mindset and a positive internal culture. An L&D strategy focused around culture can show leaders, managers and staff alike how to adopt and demonstrate the kind of behaviours and attributes sought after within the organisation. Using L&D to foster a positive internal culture could be done, for example, by providing collaborative learning or networking opportunities, offering resources (such as coaching or mentoring) to sharpen your leadership’s soft skills or overall breaking down silos to create shared experiences.
L&D helping you reach organisational goals
L&D has many other roles beyond talent attraction and retention. It is also a key part of your succession planning efforts. Supporting your organisation’s long-term plans requires creating a map of all essential roles (current and future), identifying your potential skill gaps and finding ways to remedy them through training, on the job development or external recruitment.
What about performance management? Is there a role for L&D to support your performance management process? Of course. Providing staff with clear objectives and performance expectations as well as regular developmental feedback does go hand in hand with giving them the tools to then reach those objectives.
It’s clear that L&D has a part to play in many, many areas of your employee experience, from recruitment and onboarding, to career development, internal culture, performance management and succession planning. It actually underpins every single touchpoint within that employee experience, and allows your people to unlock their full potential and become the best version of themselves that they can be. Which in turn positively impacts their performance, and the performance of the business.
As such, your L&D strategy should be the kind of agile piece that puts your business goals at its core. You should be able to adapt it regularly to consider new trends, market changes or moving priorities. Once you’ve got a solid strategy in place, it’s just about making sure it trickles down to every single pillar of the employee experience.
If you’d like to find out how to do this or to create an effective blended L&D model that answers both the needs of your business and that of your people, have a look at our Learning and Development whitepaper or booking a meeting with the Let’s Talk Talent team to discuss your needs.
Related Learning & Development Resources:
- [Free Whitepaper] Your recipe for a successful L&D Strategy
- How to use virtual coaching as part of your L&D kitbag
- Make the most of Learning at Work Week
- Why Learning at Work Week should be top of your L&D priority list
- What is L&D? And why is it important?
- The 27 best online L&D tools
- [Youtube] What is L&D?