What is learning and development?
Learning and development is the process of continuously improving employee capabilities in the workplace to ensure organisations can be successful in the long term. This includes recruiting and developing employees, adjusting organisational structures, and creating an environment that encourages learning in the workplace.
Why do businesses need Learning and Development professionals?
One of the best ways to ensure L&D is a continuous and embedded process within the organisation to hire dedicated L&D professionals, who:
- Identify skills gaps among employees
- Develop personalised learning plans
- Improve colleague performance through the design and delivery of learning programmes.
Incorporating learning and development professionals in your organisational structure is increasingly important to the long-term success of your business because:
Learning & development fills knowledge gaps
One of the most essential parts of L&D includes identifying any knowledge or skills gaps within the workforce so that employees can continue in their daily responsibilities competently and confidently.
Well-trained employees are more productive and profitable
With confidence and skills, employees can be more productive in their roles and ultimately become more profitable for the company. In fact, a study by IBM showed that well-trained teams increased their productivity by 10%.
Employees favour companies that support CPD
Continuing professional development (CPD) is increasingly important to employees as it enables them to improve their career prospects and salaries. Employers can put themselves in a favourable position by having a clear and transparent Learning and Development process that supports employees’ CPD efforts.
Not only can this help you attract ambitious new talent to your company, but one study has also found that 94% of employees would stay with an employer that offers training opportunities. When you consider that the average cost of employee turnover is £11,000 per person, retaining staff through L&D also has a huge cost benefit for businesses.
Internally developing talent for roles is more cost-effective
In addition to saving costs on employee turnover, it can also be significantly cheaper for employers to upskill existing staff members for new roles through Learning and Development programmes rather than recruiting from outside the business.
Developing talent internally reduces the time spent onboarding and getting to know the company, and enables the employee to develop the unique skills and practices needed for the role.
Learning & development improve reputation
Since L&D programmes improve the knowledge and productivity levels of your employees, this will have a significant positive impact on your customers which in turn will help you develop a strong reputation in your industry.
Being open and transparent about your training for employees will also demonstrate to stakeholders, competitors, and potential talent that you are invested in the future of the business.
While many organisations use L&D as a reactive measure to manage change or performance issues, the most successful companies have learning and development embedded in their day-to-day operations.
If you’re considering upskilling to take on more L&D responsibilities within your organisation or kickstart your career, a CIPD Learning and Development course is one of the best ways to get started.