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Why everyone should have a New Year’s 'learning resolution'

Despite the growing popularity of workplace extras like office bars and unlimited holidays, learning and development opportunities are still one of the core reasons that people join and stick with an organisation. According to a recent survey by the website total jobs, two thirds of employees think that training is even more important than it was two years ago. So as we gear up to move into 2019, we’ve brought you the top reasons why you should be prioritising your learning and development programme for the new year.

Keeping up the skills

In a fast-paced world, the right skills are essential for a successful business. And while you may have selected people based on their experience and talents, the type of skills your business needs could change over time. In order to account for this, the CIPD says continual training is essential to ensure that your staff are up-to-date and you avoid ‘drifting’. Whether it’s technology, a new brand ethos or an exciting product that needs a different selling approach, companies are continually changing. If you want to thrive you must ensure that you continue to close any skill gaps that arise, to prevent a shortage of specific skills as the company evolves.

Retaining staff

With the days of ‘jobs for life’ long behind us, there’s more competition in the workplace than ever before. The younger generation in particular are known for job hopping and portfolio careers, so it can be a challenge to retain staff. However, a recent survey by Deloitte suggests that only 28% of millennials feel their skills are being fully utilised by the organisation they’re working for. Better training options would expand on these skills, which is beneficial to the business and will help you to retain your talented employees, supporting them to progress through the business.

Pushing out of the comfort zone

Although the majority of people, particularly from younger generations, look for training opportunities, there are still some employees that resist change. A survey by AVADO showed that 32% of workers are negative or indifferent about learning, suggesting they need to be better engaged. By providing fun, useful and insightful learning and development options, you’re more likely to attract employees who seek out these opportunities and make the best of them. It also gives you the chance to reach staff who’ve become disengaged and help them rediscover their love for their work through new skills.

Enhancing company reputation

Your learning and development opportunities won’t just attract employees, they’ll also attract clients. Around 70% of people’s skills come from on-the-job experience, so if you are able to integrate learning and development experiences into daily life, your staff are likely to be better equipped to do a good job. As well as helping you to stand out from the competition by demonstrating you can deliver what the client needs, increasingly people are looking for working relationships with companies who value their employees. While negative approaches and brands with a reputation for bullying push clients away, those that show they are invested in people will win the business.

New Year is time for change

Around 84% of managers say learning and development is an essential tool, but it’s not always being used to full effect. The New Year is the time for change and improvement, so it’s the perfect opportunity to kick off any new ideas or projects you have in mind. Consider starting the year with an interactive group meeting to gain ideas and insight into what your team are looking for. This should help you to work out your training objectives and deliver a programme that works for both the organisation and the team.

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