Upskilling initiatives don’t just benefit employees who seek career advancement—they can benefit employers in powerful ways. In fact, a robust learning and development (L&D) program can help employers solve some of the most pressing workforce challenges of 2023.
If you don’t place much emphasis on professional development—or you haven’t upgraded your L&D program in some time—consider these five compelling reasons to do so now. Your employees will thank you, and your business will, too.
1. Learning Opportunities Drive Employee Retention
According to Gallup’s American Upskilling Study—a massive survey of more than 15,000 employees—more than half of the U.S. workers would like to upgrade and broaden their skills. More specifically, 61% of survey respondents cited upskilling opportunities as a primary reason that they stay with their current employer.
And when upskilling sparks internal mobility—i.e., promotions and lateral moves—so much the better. Providing employees with paths to advancement is a proven strategy for keeping them in house, along with their acquired company knowledge.
From a financial aspect, it makes sense as well, because training a current employee is generally far more affordable than recruiting a replacement, considering that hiring a single employee costs an employer roughly $4,000.
2. A Strong L&D Program Is a Powerful Recruiting Tool
In that same Gallup study, 65% of workers indicated that development opportunities are is a critical factor when considering a potential job change. For younger workers, it is even more important: —66% of respondents between the ages of 18-24 ranked upskilling as a top-three benefit when evaluating job offers—right after health and disability insurance.
The appeal holds across the board. According to a survey by Execu|Search Group, a recruiter, 86% of professionals said they would switch jobs for one that offered greater professional development opportunities.
3. Prioritizing Learning Enriches Company Culture
When an employer invites its employees to pursue a range of upskilling initiatives, it sends a clear message that the company embraces a culture of learning and values its employees’ professional growth.
Case in point: according to the 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, employees believe that nurturing professional development is the leading way that employers can improve their company’s culture and thus, create a supportive, employee-centric environment.
4. Professional Development Improves Engagement
In this era of remote work and quiet quitting, employers eagerly seek fresh ways to increase employee engagement. When businesses are willing to invest in their workers’ futures, it helps forge a bond between employers and employees.
In addition, well-executed L&D courses engage employees’ minds—literally—through the learning process. Not surprisingly, studies show that workers who take advantage of employer-sponsored development opportunities are measurably more engaged than those who do not.
5. L&D Sparks Productivity and Innovation
When employers commit to helping employees grow their knowledge and hone new skills, powerful things can happen. According to Deloitte, companies with a solid learning culture are 92% more likely to develop innovative products and processes and 56% more likely to be the first to bring them to market.
In addition, Deloitte finds that not only are such organizations 52% more productive, they’re 17% more profitable than their less L&D-focused peers. In other words, offering employees training opportunities can translate to a healthier bottom line!
At the end of the day, updating your L&D program may be one of the best investments you can make right now. It will not only ease entrenched HR challenges like recruiting and retention, but foster a vibrant culture of learning and innovation that will give your company a true competitive edge.
If you’re interested in building a more effective L&D program, but not sure where to start, read our Guide to Upskilling and Reskilling Employees—and learn how to position your workforce for greater success in 2023.
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