In previous articles, we defined who modern learners are and their characterising traits. We also looked at how L&D teams can use various learning approaches to meet their needs. Now, we will focus on how meeting modern learners’ needs benefits your organisation.
In today’s ever changing and fast paced working environment, learning and development initiatives have become a necessity to remain competitive. According to the 2019 Workplace Learning Report, 43% of organisations are planning a budget increase for employee development initiatives.
Whilst things may have changed over the last year (organisations who were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic saw their L&D budgets decrease by 75%), meeting your learners’ needs remains important.
As Arie de Geus once famously stated, “the ability to learn faster than […] competitors” is the only sustainable competitive advantage. But what is the nature of this advantage?
How Meeting Modern Learners’ Needs Benefits Your Organisation
1. Employee Retention is Preferable to Hiring a Replacement
It is difficult to pinpoint the true organisational cost of employee turnover. However, we all understand the impact that losing valuable employees can have. After all, when they walk out the door all their knowledge, experience and connections go with them.
According to the Work Institute, 41 million workers voluntarily left their jobs in 2018. Shockingly, nearly 77% of that turnover could have been prevented by employers.
Furthermore, despite all efforts put into recruitment, its outcome contains some uncertainty regarding the actual fit and future performance of the new hire. A study found that half of all senior hires fail within 18 months in a new position.
At the same time, when a replacement is being hired or a new hire is adapting, a natural gap forms. After all, the job role is not being performed to the expected standard.
This has an impact on the organisation’s performance, which varies depending on the criticality of the vacant position. At times the cost can be exorbitant. According to Urban Bound, “the cost of a single failed executive level manager can be as high as $2.7 million.”
In order to prevent this, organisations need to consider the fact that today’s modern learners demand opportunities to learn in the workplace. In 2018, LinkedIn reported that 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.
Simply put, in order for employers to compete and retain top talent, they must commit to an employee’s development and ensure that it meets employees’ needs.
2. Untrained Employees May Put You at Risk
So far we have talked about how offering learning initiatives and meeting the needs of your learners reduces employee turnover and attracts new hires.
Learning and development also contributes significantly to risk mitigation. Organisations must comply with rules and regulations. They are also responsible for ensuring employees work in a safe and welcoming environment.
Compliance training and workplace safety training help make your new employees aware of standards and procedures they have to follow. They also help organisations to demonstrate that they are committed to fulfilling their obligations and properly supporting their employees.
Most employees believe they have a good understanding of what constitutes good workplace behaviour. They use this understanding to guide their conduct. However, there are a lot of misconceptions and it is better for organisations to take a proactive training approach for a safe and inclusive workplace.
Implementing effective safety, ethics and proper conduct training programmes improves your workplace and can drive employee engagement and increased productivity. In addition, it will minimise the risks and consequences of failed compliance checks or of employee lawsuits.
In fact, 63% of organisations believe their policy management programme helps reduce legal costs and the resolution time of regulatory issues and fines.
Finally, it should be noted that customers can be lost due to improper employee behaviour. Up to 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to poor customer experience. To prevent this, businesses need to ensure that all employees follow organisational guidelines.
3. Organisations Need to Have Great Customer Service and Satisfaction
Customers expect their suppliers’ employees to be experts. As such, organisations need to make sure that their employees are knowledgeable about the products and services they offer.
Moreover, empowering every employee to handle customer conversations effectively has a remarkable impact. It can result in an impressive 16% increase in customer satisfaction.
Effective training has demonstrated a positive impact on business growth. Better trained employees become more productive team members and ultimately serve your customers better. As a result, you have better customer retention, and they will buy from you more, as opposed to buying from your competitors.
As a matter of fact, a Fortune 500 cosmetics company found that territories using Growth Engineering’s Impact Suite outperform those who don’t by 20% in year-on-year sales growth.
4. Every Organisation Wants to Improve Its Bottom Line
Sending all managers away for a weekend conference or enrolling your employees to an eight-hour long lecture in a hotel are things of the past. Nowadays, effective training initiatives have to be tailored to meet the needs of both your employees and the organisation.
In addition, it has to be an ongoing thing. Learning is a journey, not a specific moment in time. A constant increase in competition and ever-evolving technology requires a continuous approach to filling knowledge gaps and upskilling.
The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that companies investing in learning enjoy on average:
- a 24% increase in profit margins,
- 218% increase in income per employee,
- and a 26% increase in price-to-book ratios.
Another study by the IBM Institute for Business Value found that well-trained teams have a 10% increase in productivity.
A manager’s role is to get the best out of every employee. Meeting modern learners’ needs allows you to empower them to succeed. This, in turn, enables you to succeed. This sounds like a win-win to us!
We have now seen the four key benefits that arise when you meet the needs of your modern learners. The first three reasons are important. They are compliance-based and will help to support your business as you grow. But the fourth reason trumps all the others.
Meeting the needs of modern learners isn’t easy. However, well-trained employees build critical capabilities, get orders and fulfil them and achieve marketing and production objectives. This helps you to transform strategy into reality. By design, a realised strategy builds bargaining power and competitiveness, and positively impacts sales and the bottom line.
And those are the kind of results we all want to see!
Interested in finding out how you can turbocharge your modern learners and unleash your organisation’s potential? Contact us now!