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How to drive employee performance through Learning & Development

Keeping pace with an ever-changing business climate is no easy task for modern brands. In such a competitive market, managers are working harder than ever to ensure that they’re maximising employee productivity and getting the very best from their staff. In addition to hiring the top talent, this means companies will need to nurture them throughout their journey, boosting their potential to perform well both independently and as part of a wider team. Recent research shows that 68% of employees will leave a job if it doesn’t offer the right learning and development opportunities, while the majority of millennials have previously cited it as the most important benefit a company can offer.  With the cost of replacing an employee rising to an estimated 213% of the base salary, brands also need to consider the financial impact of staff retention.

When used in the right way, learning and development can not only make employees happier in the workplace, but also significantly boosts performance and save companies money in the long-run.

Choosing the right tools and evaluating your goals

The days of dusty boardrooms, cartoon presentations and rote learning are long behind us, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to choose the right programme for your team. Learning and development techniques have become more creative than ever before, with thousands of app-powered and immersive options now available. Instead of delivering an ‘off-the-rack’ package, learning and development programmes can now be tailored directly to your company’s needs, giving you greater flexibility. With so much choice, you’ll need to be clear on your goals from the outset, identifying any areas of weakness and analysing the improvements you’d like to see before launching into a programme. According to The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) a strategic learning and development plan can support management change, enhance engagement and drive business success. At the moment, the organisation estimates that just 7% of learning development professionals evaluate the impact of events and initiatives on the wider business, indicating that brands need to do more to align their l&d practices to their wider goals.

In addition to exploring new and interactive learning programmes for the team, companies also need to be assessing their leadership style. Top down management has been the tradition for the past few decades, with the top dogs making key decisions and directing the vision of the organisation. But with a Gallup study showing that only 41% of employees strongly understood their company identity, it may be time this changed. Moving away from strict hierarchies and micro-management can not only boost employee engagement in the office, it can also be applied to learning and development. From employee-led lunchtime education sessions to interactive games where everyone can share their ideas, your staff will engage and perform better if they feel involved in the planning and delivery of learning programmes. Regular staff satisfaction surveys can also be useful tools for measuring engagement, but you’ll need to ask employees how they’d like to see change being delivered if you want to encourage individual empowerment and productivity in the workplace.

Incorporating learning into the here and now

There’s no doubt that regular group training sessions have a positive impact on team morale. Whether it’s an app-based game or a group quiz on new products and offerings, interactive learning has been proven time and time again to be one of the most effective tools for boosting engagement and productivity. However, businesses don’t need to wait for events to incorporate learning into employee development. During one-on-one sessions, managers can use the time to outline employee goals and develop plans to help them reach these. Continual communication and avoiding the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will offer employees a personalised approach, which is far more likely to boost their productivity in the long-term.

It’s important for brands to remember that instigating change doesn’t happen overnight. Learning and development should be an ever-evolving process, and small steps can reap big rewards. Breaking down your goals and listening to your staff will help you build a strategy that can revolutionise your company and maintain a happy and productive workforce.

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