Creating an Employee Learning and Development Program

employees taking part in a learning and development meeting

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Employee learning and development are important employee benefits that must be a part of every organization that hopes to attract and retain a skilled workforce in an ever-competitive market. According to Deloitte University Press’s Human Capital Trends 2015 Survey,

“Companies that transform their learning and development organizations are not only able to accelerate skills development but also can dramatically improve employee engagement and retention—one of the biggest challenges cited by this year’s respondents.” Further, the survey added that “the Learning and Development market has grown by 27 percent from 2014 to 2015, and is a $4 billion industry.” 

Embrace Modern Learning and Development

It’s clear that all organizations can and should have some form of learning and development benefits that can be utilized by employees. Traditional training methods, such as on-the-job training and focused workshops can be beneficial for many, but enhancing skills development through the use of L&D technology will become even more important in the years to come. We live in a digital world now, and everyone owns a mobile device where information and education can take place on demand. Therefore, it’s important to prepare to meet learning needs by tapping into these resources.

Benefits of a Tech-Enabled Program

There are many benefits to adding a technology-enabled learning and development program to any organization, including:

  • Faster and more effective onboarding of new hires through an advanced training cycle
  • Employees are better prepared to face the challenges in the workplace and the market
  • Greater success with attracting Generation X and Millennial high-performance candidates
  • A never-ending pool of skills and talents ready to move into management positions
  • Commitment to excellence with clients is apparent, which supports company growth
  • Increased employee motivation and engagement levels at work 

Get Ready for a Workplace Program

Fortunately, it’s not as complex as one would expect to add learning and development technology to any organization. Creating a corporate culture that treats learning as positive and necessary for success is only part of the equation. Learning and development must become part of the operational focus of the organization, with clear pathways of skills laid out for every job type.

Getting Corporate Leaders Participation

One of the most critical aspects of getting ready for a learning and development program for employees is getting 100 percent participation and encouragement from the executive leadership team. Start from the top down, and get the CEO and CFO on board. Then work on other management levels, focusing on the ROI of the L&D planning.

Writing a Corporate Policy

Solidify all learning methods and requirements for employees at all stages of their career development with a written policy, published and promoted in the corporate handbook. Make sure it defines how often employees are expected to participate in formal training, the types of programs acceptable, and how employees will be reimbursed if they choose off-site learning opportunities (college degrees and industry certifications). The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports in the 2015 Employee Benefits Survey that, "56 percent of employers offer undergraduate tuition assistance and 52 percent offer graduate tuition reimbursement."

Integrate Resources

Select a learning and development vendor to provide the types of courses and tutorials that will support job skills needed in the work environment. Provide access to learning opportunities for all employees and encourage them to reach certain milestones in their careers. Make employee training a part of the normal personnel budget. Explore LMS that is mobile-friendly so that employees can learn on-the-go. Train supervisors and team leaders how to access these systems so they can then transfer this knowledge to employees.

Over time, measure the results, failures, and successes of your learning and development program to tweak it and improve things for the future.