When you think about benefits, are you thinking about who benefits? The phrase “employee benefits” implies that employees are the ones benefiting. While that’s true, it doesn’t have to stop there.
Some benefit offerings can be positive for both the employees and the employer. Learning and development is one of the most mutually beneficial programs and should be considered by all organizations looking to truly invest in their workforce.
Millennials and Gen Z are especially interested in learning and development opportunities. However, only 25% of employees feel that their organization provides adequate opportunities for them to develop professionally. Employers should be quick to change that statistic, as it can be beneficial for both the employees and them.
The win-win benefit
Some organizations make the mistake of hiring talent and never investing in their career education. That often results in high turnover rates and a lack of true employee engagement.
However, organizations that implement learning and development programs see quite the opposite. Their workforce tends to be extremely engaged, highly skilled, and plan to stay at the company for much longer. Not only will employees be happier in their professional lives, but employers will benefit from a workforce that is more educated, skilled, and motivated.
Beyond proficient employees
This benefit goes beyond efficiency and skill numbers. Providing employees the opportunity to invest in their skills and professional development proves that employers really care about them. They are more likely to feel that they have potential for growth at your company, which opens up a number of doors:
- Employees feel more supported. With advanced projects and purposeful tasks designed to challenge and motivate, employees feel more supported and feel like their work really matters.
- Employees fulfill more potential. It’s hard to get employees to really push themselves to go above and beyond. Continuing education for employees helps them reach their full potential.
- Employees stay current. Learning and development programs introduce employees to the latest tools, technologies, and trends within your industry.
- Employees increase productivity. With new skills and access to new tools, employees become more efficient at their job.
Investing in learning and development for your employees will transform the entire employee experience. So how can you do this successfully?
Make the right resources available
Employees can’t take advantage of this opportunity if it’s not made readily available to them. Make sure to communicate often about opportunities, and approach certain employees with opportunities that you think would be a good fit for them.
Besides in-office opportunities, you can provide employees with online resources and ways for them to advance on their own.
Create an environment conducive to continuous learning
Engrain professional development into the culture of your company, so it becomes part of the employee experience. Whenever a project or challenge comes up, use it as an opportunity to assess gaps in skills and develop learning programs to meet specific needs.
Instead of hiring outside resources, try as much as possible to teach existing employees the skill sets they would need to meet the needs in your organization.
Prioritizing learning and development helps you set organization-wide expectations. Employees will understand that they are expected to be committed to not only doing their work efficiently, but always trying to find ways to do it better and expand their skills. Since learning and development benefits the employees as well, there should be no backlash with these expectations.
Offering learning and development benefits is a two-way street that can lead to fundamental changes in your organizations. As a mutually beneficial benefit, this is something that can lead to growth in individual employees, the workforce as a whole, and the organizational culture.