Employee engagement: Why learning and development is a key ingredient

We so often hear the statement, “our employees are our biggest asset” from well-meaning organisational leaders. Unfortunately, unless these words are authentic and backed up by meaningful actions, employees will quickly become disengaged. To make matters more complicated, strategies such as offering free fruit, coffee machines or Friday drinks don’t really cut it when it comes to engaging your workforce. The truth is that improving employee engagement is more complex than implementing a few ‘nice to haves’.

According to AHRI, 23% of the Australian workforce can be classified as ‘engaged’, meaning Australia has one of the most highly engaged workforce in the world. The flipside of this statistic, however, is that 77% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged. There is much work still to be done!

In this article we explore a critical pillar of boosting employee engagement – learning and development. Leading organisations invest in their employee’s learning not just to meet the expectations of their current role. They also provide extended learning opportunities for their future careers. As a result, employees feel highly valued and that the company is invested in their personal success.

Getting learning and development right from the start

Building employee engagement starts from day one, with a smooth onboarding and training process. The faster a new employee understands their role and how to get things done in the company, the faster they will hit the ground running. Effective onboarding training can help dramatically improve employee retention through giving new-starters the basic knowledge and skills to perform their role. This in turn sets them up for success within the organisation.

Learning programs to challenge employees

A culture of ongoing learning and investment in employee’s individual learning needs can really boost employee engagement. A highly developed learning and development program helps to boost the skills employees need to do their current role, and also the broader career skills they need for the future. Consideration should be made for the specific discipline and function-specific skills that are required for each employee. Companies that invest in their staff through ongoing learning programs can also use this as a recruitment tool, to attract the best talent in a competitive marketplace.

Learning technology – How it can help

Learning Management Systems (LMS) can help to streamline and elevate the employee experience of learning. LMS tools such as Inquisiq powered by Acendre incorporate advanced eLearning technology together with traditional training methods. Both internal and external course options can be included for employees, and user-friendly dashboards mean that employees can easily access learning options from any device, at any time. Supervisors and managers can also benefit from the automation of repetitive tasks, and easy access to the status and completion of their employee’s learning modules.

Shifting the needle on employee engagement

HR leaders recognise the importance of taking action to drive up employee engagement. Engaged employees are committed and passionate about the work they do, and consistently exceed expectations within their organisation. Improving learning and development programs and systems can help to engage employees by providing staff with opportunities to learn and grow in their current and future career. Learning management technology can help an organisation to achieve these goals at scale, therefore truly shifting the needle on employee engagement.

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