After years of needing to extract as much productivity as possible from the workforce, companies now need to focus on becoming great places to work in order to attract and retain talent. That’s why employee disengagement is the top workforce challenge facing businesses today.
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The business unit best situated to solve this problem is learning and development. Employees demand workplace learning more than any other job perk. Millennials especially seek growth opportunities at work: they prefer effective learning as 8 percentage points more than cash bonuses and three times as much as a 401(k), according to Mary Meeker. Aside from providing the single most necessary and desired job perk, L&D also drives engagement directly in the following ways:
Create a happy workplace.
When people learn better, they work happier. Effective learning gives employees confidence to tackle everyday work. Learning effectively spreads positivity in a workplace.
Build great leaders.
Companies only go as far as their managers are able to take them. And individual workers can only excel with the support of their managers. Great leaders aren’t born; they’re developed. Professional skills training helps aspiring managers gain the competencies they need to effectively manage.
Align your culture.
People want to do work that’s meaningful. L&D aligns people with the culture starting from the first moment they step foot in the organization. Everyone who works there will be clear on the company’s shared goals, and how he or she contributes to them.
Clarify career pathways.
A pathway is the story of an employee’s professional life: it contains their past, their present, and their potential. Show employees not only where they’re going, but where they came from.
By giving employees what they need to grow professionally and succeed today, effective learning creates a culture of positivity and confidence through learning. Effective learning solves the most pressing issue facing businesses and empowers people to do their best work.