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10 Reasons Why Learning and Development is So Important Right Now

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Education is the reason we develop as a species. It helps us to make major advances in important areas, like medicine and technology. For many, it removes boundaries and opens the door to new opportunities. No matter how tough the world gets, we will always need education. The learning and development (L&D) function within an organisation is the vehicle that delivers education within a business setting. 

So if you’re in L&D, we want you to know that your work matters. There’s also plenty to feel optimistic about. Still unconvinced? Here are 10 reasons for you to feel encouraged right now…

The Importance of Learning and Development

Only 12% of the world’s population could read in 1820. As of 2016, only 14% remain illiterate. It’s no coincidence that during that time, the world has changed significantly. The industrial revolution, motorcars, trains, the telephone, the internal combustion engine, photography and electricity. The list goes on (and on and on)! This shot of ingenuity and creativity would not have been possible had it not been for all the learning and development we have done as a species during this time.

But that’s all in the past, right? What reasons do you have to feel encouraged in the here and now? Well, here are 10 reasons:

10 Reasons for L&D Professionals to Feel Encouraged Right Now

1. In a Changing World, Learning and Development Keeps Employees Up to Date

There are over 250 listed channels dedicated to 24-hour news worldwide. This doesn’t include dedicated sports, business and weather news channels. The point is, our thirst for keeping updated with current affairs is as high as ever. It’s no different when it comes to the industries we work in and, in particular, our own companies. Learning management systems supply the communication tools needed in order to keep employees and management in the loop with all the latest happenings. 

The Academy LMS is a NextGen learning solution that includes a host of communication tools. These include live chat, social streams, virtual clubs, expert areas and much more.

2. Learning Development Inspires Employees to Learn More

A big chunk of L&D focus involves ensuring that learners keep learning once they’ve gone through the onboarding stage. After all, learning is an ongoing journey, not a moment in time. A NextGen learning management system allows admins to keep a huge learning library, where content can be created and uploaded daily. Admins can also encourage learners to continue learning by using the social features included.

3. Learning and Development Attracts Top Talent

Investing in learning and development has a flood of positive outcomes. One particular benefit is that your organisation will attract better talent. How? A prospect is much more likely to join your company if you have a strong focus on employee development. 87% of Millennials say that personal development or career growth opportunities are important to them, so give the talent what they want!

4. Learning and Development Keeps Remote Companies Together

Modern learning management systems and learning apps give a sense of unity, even when you’re not together. As of 2020, 4.7 million US employees work from home at least one day, per week. The global pandemic has only served to accelerate the rise of remote working. A NextGen LMS or a mobile learning app builds a sense of community by allowing your teams to interact freely and share their knowledge. With The Knowledge Arcade mobile learning app, learners can keep in touch anytime, anywhere.

5. Learning and Development Reinforces Business Values

As they grow bigger, lots of companies sway from their initial organisational values. An important part of L&D’s role in any business is to remind management and employees about these values and the philosophy behind them. Stray too far away from these and things can start to crumble.

For instance, 73% of employees who report working for a purpose-driven company are engaged in their work, as opposed to just 23% of companies without an obvious purpose. L&D can help reinforce your core values by giving users a chance to demonstrate them. For example, Growth Engineering’s core values are to be kind, bold and responsible. We encourage our teams to live these values by ensuring they are rewarded for displaying them with virtual Badges and XP on our learning management system.

6. Learning and Development Reinforces Organisational Culture

Organisational culture is at the heart of every company. 94% of executives believe that company culture is important to business success. Modern learning technologies don’t just focus on learning content, they also put a strong emphasis on the social side of things. Social clubs, Live Chat features and an Expert Area can help to breathe life into your learning management system.

Battles are a mobile learning asset unique to Growth Engineering. They use gamification to pitch players against each other in order to see who knows the most about a topic. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody!

Employees can also earn virtual XP (experience points) for completing learning objectives. The results can then be placed on a leaderboard and that’s where the real competition starts! 

7. Lifelong Learning is Becoming More Important

‘Once you stop learning, you start dying,’ as Albert Einstein once famously said. We agree with him. Lifelong learning has a mountain of benefits. Among other reasons, a study by the University of California revealed that learning keeps your brain healthy and sharp. As the human lifespan is increasing globally, this is something that is becoming more and more crucial to us all. Better start doing those crosswords!

8. Learning and Development Enables Better Futures

Amongst many other things, education opens your mind up to new ways of thinking. It contributes to a society being geopolitically stable and it leads to economic stability. That aside, think about your creative heroes. Robert De Niro would have been terrible in Taxi Driver and Raging Bull without his acting education! We wouldn’t be making a worldwide effort to rid the oceans of plastic, if it wasn’t for David Attenborough educating us about the inevitable dangers (otherwise known as The Attenborough Effect). Education creates inspiration.

9. Learning and Development Inspires Others to Learn Too

If a colleague prospers and develops in their career, this in turn can inspire others to do the same. As a species, we tend to think a goal is unachievable until it’s actually been achieved. Take Roger Bannister, who was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. Everyone said this was an impossible feat until it actually happened. Once that mental barrier had been removed, others then went on to equal or improve upon Roger’s time.

By using your learning platform to celebrate accomplishments, L&D can be used to inspire others to achieve greatness too. Why not celebrate your own heroes by awarding virtual badges?

10. Learning and Development Helps Facilitate Great Innovation

Curiosity and necessity have inspired us to do great things in the world. Without it, we wouldn’t have cures and vaccines for diseases. We wouldn’t have put a man on the moon and we wouldn’t have invented Rock ‘n Roll! We can wrap all this up in one word: innovation. So what is L&D’s role in innovation? Innovation relies on collaboration, steep learning-curves, trouble-shooting, constant tweaking, mentoring, testing and launching. L&D provides a platform to help facilitate these objectives.

Final Word

Being a learning and development professional isn’t easy. Particularly in today’s modern work environment. But you can stand proud in the knowledge that you are making a difference in the world! Without your hard work, your organisation and the world at large would be a worse place. And for that, we salute you!

Make sure you have all you need to train your team, download our Training Checklist Tipsheet!

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