Giving your employees the opportunity to learn at work has several benefits. Not only does it sharpen their skills for their current role, but it also gives them the opportunity to develop professionally for the future. A company that cares about its employees by giving them multiple opportunities to expand their skill sets is one that they’ll want to work for long-term.
If you don’t yet have an established corporate learning culture, here’s how to create one.
For the Onboarding Process
While there are multiple opportunities to incorporate learning within your company, the first place to start is with new hires. Not only will proper training ensure that they’re equipped to handle their new roles, but it could mean more success for your company as a whole: companies that spend the most per employee on training have 24% higher profit margins and 218% higher income per employee than those who spend the least on training.
When it comes to new hire training, variety makes for better retainment. Start with a learning management system that allows new employees to access cloud-based training materials online at their leisure. Include quizzes to test their knowledge. Additionally, pair each hire with an established employee who can demonstrate how to perform certain tasks, then observe as the new employee tries them out.
Give new hires plenty of resources to succeed, and be there to answer questions that they may have. Consider the first 90 days an adjustment period and check in frequently to ensure that each new hire feels adequately prepared for their role.
To Promote Internal Mobility
New hires aren’t the only ones who need to learn. Creating an ongoing corporate learning program not only keeps existing employees engaged and challenged by giving them the opportunity to learn new skills, but it also provides them with the chance to position themselves for internal promotions and different roles.
It’s easy for daily tasks to feel rote after a while, and that’s where complacency sinks in for many employees. If they’re not being challenged at work, they may look for new jobs elsewhere. A better strategy is to keep them engaged by providing a robust learning environment that allows staff to pick and choose what they want to learn.
Maybe a social media manager wants to learn about content management systems so they can start blogging for the company. Or an accountant is curious about a new software tool the department is considering. If you provide learning opportunities for these employees, they’ll feel your company is invested in their success, and they’ll work harder.
For employees who outgrow their roles, they need to understand that internal mobility is encouraged at your company. Certainly, you have self-serving reasons for wanting to keep employees working for you for years, but it also benefits the employee who can take it upon themselves to learn new skills to add to their resume or apply towards a promotion or different role.
Online courses come in handy in this case, too. Create learning modules that employees can choose from and take at their convenience. Align the modules you create with specific roles so that if an employee wants to apply for a position, they are already armed with the knowledge needed to qualify through the training you provide.
So how much should you spend on training an employee? It may depend on your resources and budget, but companies that spend $1,500 per employee have been shown to see 24% more profit. It’s less important how much you spend than how strategic your efforts are to retain and engage employees. Even a 10% increase in educational development can produce an 8.6% gain in productivity.
To Attract Quality Candidates
Everything comes full circle. While you now incorporate strategic learning and training tools in the onboarding process and provide established employees the ability to grow through learning, you can also attract better candidates when you’re hiring by promoting the fact that you encourage professional development and internal mobility.
Just like great health insurance coverage and work-from-home Fridays appeal to a job candidate, so too is having the ability to get additional skills training without paying to do so or having to attend courses outside of work. You can leverage this benefit to attract the best talent.
Employees want to learn, whether they’re joining your company or have worked for you for years. Companies that understand this fact and value a corporate learning culture see increased productivity, higher employee morale, and less turnover. Talk to your employees about what they want in terms of learning opportunities, and provide it. After all, aren’t your best assets worth the investment?
About the Author
Christine Soeun Choi is a digital marketing associate at Fit Small Business. Currently based in NYC, she has a background in business studies and math with a passion for business development. Outside of work, Christine enjoys taking photos, exploring artwork, and traveling.