The importance of investing in learning & development is gaining increasing recognition. If you don’t have a retraining programme in place, you could be missing out on untapped profits.
Stick around for our insights into how strategy-reinforced staff training positively affects employee satisfaction and business outcomes.
Why you should invest in your employees
A generational revolution is taking place. Gone are the days when L&D was seen as an optional extra. Employees now expect to develop new skills throughout their careers, regardless of their position in the company. Statistics bear this out. Research from Statistica has found that 76% of Gen Z employees see learning as key to success in their career in 2021, with Gen Y (millennials) close behind at 61%.
The takeaway is startling: without a structured L&D plan in place, staff will seek growth opportunities elsewhere, potentially foregoing salary for companies that make education a priority. And as younger employees become the majority, the demand for workplaces that value learning and development is only set to grow.
But it’s not just about employee retention. New employees, particularly graduates and those new to the industry, value learning too. By putting L&D at the forefront of your workplace culture, you also stand a greater chance of attracting new talent.
The business case for e-learning
Even where managers recognise the benefits of L&D, the return on investment (ROI) may be often hard to identify. While ROI depends heavily on strategy, some advantages are easy to predict, for example: by training existing staff, you prove your cultural value to your employees, in turn enhancing your brand as happy staff are likely to post their qualifications on social media.
Benefits like these, however, can be easily lost without the right L&D provider. A reputable training programme should be certified by recognised industry regulators, like CEFR for language learning. Since employees are likely to have a range of work-based commitments, it’s also crucial to choose an L&D programme that’s flexible. Although using in-house seminars and timetabled classes might seem a good idea in principle, in practice, traditional courses tend to be rigid and difficult to manage alongside daily tasks.
Unlike traditional learning institutions, e-learning allows the user to self-pace, providing a range of modules that can be picked up and completed at any time, improving the chances of completing the course as well as the odds of gaining high pass marks. And because e-learning is easier to monitor and keep track of, metrics like pass rate and time to completion will help in calculating your ROI.
How to develop a strategy
Using tried & tested methods
Whilst there are many strategic frameworks you can use to develop an L&D strategy, our favourite is the ACADEMIES framework outlined by McKinsey & Company which takes on the following structure:
The framework derives its inspiration from Nick Van Dam’s 2008 learning & development study which focuses on the strategic role learning plays in the following 5 areas of an organisation.
It likely goes without saying that focusing on how your training programmes will help to inform and strengthen these areas of the business will support in providing rigour & focus to your L&D strategy.
Experimenting with other frameworks
You can also consider freestyling with your strategy - in a way that still aligns with your business’ goals - and borrow strategic frameworks from other business functions like the SOSTAC model (Situational Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions, Control).
Directly involving your team
While choosing a flexible and reputable L&D strategy may be a ‘no brainer’ it’s vital to get your strategy right from the start. You should first run an assessment of capability gaps within your team, identifying areas of weakness or lack of opportunities for growth that are common or frequently cited by individual staff members.
Conversations with executives at all levels are therefore essential. You could begin with a company-wide questionnaire first, listing a range of subjects which you think your staff might be interested in, assessing the interest that each one attracts and based on that considering the L&D options to plug the gaps.
Choosing an online training provider
Based on the skills gaps you've uncovered the natural next step is finding the training solution. Whatever course or provider you choose, however, make sure to future-proof your business against oversights. There may be areas for improvement via training that are not yet apparent within your sector. Regular industry surveys, not just employee surveys, should also be monitored in order to address capability gaps that are likely to arise in your sector as business becomes increasingly global and dependent on new technologies.
You should choose a provider that, first and foremost, enables employees to tailor their learning strategy to suit their particular learning style. You should also aim to select a business that uses the latest technology to deploy training programmes, and which can provide course material that is scalable, providing the same core product to all employees.
How Busuu helps: flexible, blended language e-learning
As an award-winning app with over 100 million learners worldwide, we’ve provided high-quality online language learning solutions for businesses across the globe, continually updating our software in line with feedback from our customers. Our platform boasts 13 languages and over 3,000 lessons created by expert linguists, enhanced with machine learning technology to predict each learner’s individual needs.
We provide optimum convenience and flexibility with through our bite-sized study plans, and in a recent study by the University of Maryland, our e-learning platform has been found to be 4 x more efficient than traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ institutions.
Ready to take the first step? Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help in your digital L&D strategy.