Whether you work in a multinational corporation or a small independent business, professional development is something you need to have high on the agenda. Nowadays, top-performing organizations are five times more likely to have learning cultures, so it’s more important than ever to start implementing a successful culture of learning at your own company.
Stephen Gill, co-owner of Learning to be Great, LLC, a resource for creating and sustaining a learning culture in organisations, characterises a learning culture as “a work environment that supports and encourages the continuous and collective discovery, sharing and application of knowledge and skills at the individual, team and whole organisation levels in order to achieve the goals of the organisation”.
It’s this discovery, sharing, and application of knowledge and skills that not only help businesses to succeed but also create an environment in which employees feel valued and supported. It isn’t a leap to say that most people will at some point in their lives experience a workplace in which they don’t feel entirely appreciated. These businesses run the risk of building a workforce with low-confidence and job satisfaction and may find their employee numbers depleting.
In workplaces with a thriving learning culture – where professional development is encouraged and invested in – employees are not only happier but far more likely to stick around. In a recent 2018 Learning and Development Report, findcourses.com have outlined the results of their survey of HR and L&D professionals. They found that almost half (42%) of L&D professionals indicated that employees who were highly engaged in learning were also highly engaged overall at the organization:
They also found that employees are more likely to stick around for longer in jobs where the company is investing in training. Companies without staff engaged in learning were found to be twice as likely to lose staff in the first three years of their employment :
But it’s not too late to start a conversation about the benefits of professional development and training, and you will most likely find that it’s not as costly as you were expecting. When you weigh up the many unexpected costs of finding, hiring and retraining new members of staff, managing an expected annual cost for training becomes much less daunting. Then, when you start weighing up the rewards to your business and your employees, it becomes a bit of a no-brainer. So take the first step now, and consider the potential areas for professional development in your organization. But be quick – your competitors may be beating you to it!