Ways to Improve Learning and Development Opportunities in the Workplace

Having opportunities to learn and grow is a major driver of employee satisfaction and a key selling point for organizations in the global jobs market. Despite having a grasp of this concept, many businesses are hesitant to invest in employee training and development programs.

This might be due to fears of costs, impact on productivity when employees time is taken up by non-essential work activities, and the risk of employees upskilling and leaving you for a role in another company. However, while there are some careful considerations to be made about how you integrate development opportunities in the workplace and how to achieve a good return on investment, the data shows that companies that invest in their employees perform better.

Whether it’s helping your organization be preparedas technology and changing consumer behaviour present new challenges for your business, reducing turnover, or simply improving employee engagement, adapting development schemes is a smart move for businesses of all types. Below are just a few ways you can bring such schemes into your workplace.

Internal Exploration

Many companies operate with large divides between different departments. However, while this might be necessary from a logistics point of view, with specialised teams handling very unique areas from supply chain to custom service, this can often impede organizational alignment.

One way to remedy this while offering a chance to present new learning and development opportunities to employees is to provide ways for team members to interact with other parts of the organization that they are unfamiliar with or aren’t even aware of.

This is especially effective in large global businesses where it is sometimes a challenge for people to see beyond their immediate job role or department. Providing lectures, tours and interdepartmental activities can help to make people more aware of the role they play in the company and allow them to expand their experience and understanding of the industry they are in.

One clear benefit for employers is that employees moving into management positions can always benefit from a better overview of how things work, even if they’re not directly involved in certain areas, giving them a greater chance of bringing values to life and embodying the culture of the entire company rather than just the immediate circles they interact with day to day.

Invite Specialists

By inviting specialists to run workshops and share insights into your industry, you can improve your team’s knowledge in particular areas while helping them to keep up with industry best practices and trends. Many different outside facilitators can come into the workplace as a neutral third-party, contributing to your employee’s overall learning and development.

Some organisations choose to invite guest speakers to talk or run workshops as part of an annual calendar of events. This can be a cause for excitement if well-known industry experts are taking part and can also be adapted session to session based on your current needs as a business or simply the interests of your employees.

While internally conducted sessions are also useful, an external perspective provides a ‘fresh’ view which can enhance your organization’s innovation and growth.

Encourage Self-Learning and Build a Hub of Free Resources

Having a way to share the existing knowledge you already hold as a company through easy to access and use resources can offer employees the opportunity they need to learn at their own pace. It’s common that really valuable research, guides, reports, instructional videos and other documents that organizations have already invested money into producing are not widely available, or even known about, among your employees.

For example, if you have tutorials on how search traffic and funnels work for your brand, this can be useful to more than just people in your marketing team. Equally, comprehensive brand guidelines and mood boards that really capture your story and mission as a company, should not only be available to a select few people. Why not give everyone access to this asset and encourage greater integration across your business? This can also really help in bringing values to life.

Focus Building a Culture of Education and Growth

Actively integrating education and growth into your company culture is also a powerful way to quench your employee’s thirst for learning and developing, while positioning yourself effectively to constantly adapt and evolve as an enterprise.

Strong organizational leadership requires conscious measures to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different professionals in your company before making a plan of action to improve the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. This macro scale approach is something that can also be felt on a personal level as employees play an important role in how the collective unit grows and matures.

Final Thoughts

Letting your employees constantly grow and strive for improvement is one of the best ways of bringing values to life in any organization. When you are actively encouraging and supporting people’s growth, they are more likely to recognize how the organisation’s values are aligned with their personal values and see the organization as a vehicle for progressing rather than a barrier.

Providing opportunities internally will help to retain the employees you want, while providing the kind of employee experience that attracts the best talent in the jobs market.