Diversity & Inclusion, Learning & Development

Celebrating National Learning and Development Month

With National Learning and Development Month well underway, it’s important that HR leaders and organizations strive to create a culture that encourages learning and development.

As organizations continue to struggle with employee retention and turnover rates, learning, development, and upskilling opportunities can be essential in engaging and investing in employees. In fact, a recent Gallup study found that more than half of workers (57%) want to keep learning and expanding their skills while 48% would consider switching jobs for those opportunities.  

We recently tapped a few industry experts to discuss the importance of learning and development and how organizations can incorporate it into their culture.

According to Ali Knapp, President at Wisetail, continuous learning is important for everyone – even it’s starting a new hobby or learning a new skill set. “Continuous learning is especially critical when it comes to career growth,” Knapp shared with HR Daily Advisor. “As the job market continues to see waves of resignations, one of the best strategies a company can take to retain valuable talent is to offer opportunities for continuous learning and upskilling. Research shows that 73% of adults consider themselves life-long learners. In order to facilitate that learning, companies need to invest in tools such as learning management systems (LMS) or learning experience platforms (LXP), which can provide learning materials for employees at every level of the company.

“By offering continuous learning in the workplace, employers demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ future, which can lead to more loyal, productive, and creative teams,” she added. “With learning technology, companies promote a culture of community and lifelong learning. This company mindset is imperative for a more innovative future.”

According to MarKeith Allen, Senior Vice President and GM, Mission-Driven Organizations at Diligent, a diverse culture is beneficial to learning and development. “The ultimate benefit of a diverse culture is the cultivation of an environment where diversity of thought can thrive, which ultimately leads to breakthroughs in performance and innovation,” Allen explained. “To achieve that requires that we embrace the various identities that come with race, gender, religion, age, and orientation. But it doesn’t stop there. We must also recognize that diversity in people’s development journey and background are also a source of fresh perspectives that are too often overlooked and undervalued.

“That’s why we created the Baltimore Academy,” he continued. “The goal is to create high-paying, entry-level jobs in tech sales and customer success in Baltimore, while providing career-ready, technical, and professional skills for under-represented job seekers that don’t have the formal education or training common in the tech world. Through these mutual relationships, we aim to build-out robust talent pipelines, while simultaneously supporting the career aspirations and talent potential of underrepresented groups. Learning happens at every stage, regardless of socioeconomic or educational background. To diversify the tech industry, I urge organizations to invest in the development of go-to market talent and help cultivate industry-wide change.”

Ultimately, learning and development month is a great time for employers to engage with their employees to “learn about their professional aspirations and how they can encourage each person to achieve those goals,” according to Connie Diaz, Director of Employee Success at Globalization-Partners. “

“Career and performance development have become hot topics in HR circles during the Great Reset as leadership seeks to retain talent,” Diaz says. “It’s critical, more than ever, for leaders to listen and genuinely invest in their workforce as a way to turn L&D into more established practices within their organizations. For example, some employees might seek to grow their confidence with customers, while others might want to work on ways to achieve key milestones and be promoted at a faster rate,” she continued. “Listening to and collecting this information from each employee can help leaders align individual skills and aspirations with the company’s mission and values.

“Setting clear, realistic, and challenging goals is important but achievement towards those goals will happen most effectively if managers listen and check-in on an ongoing basis,” she concludes. “Setting up “purpose and contribution” meetings with each employee can serve as a follow-up on the status of goals and an opportunity to help them along the journey. There’s really no substitution for individual focus and attention when it comes to creating a purposeful employee experience.”

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