Talent acquisition and retention can be difficult for many businesses, even in the best of times. No doubt, these post-pandemic years have exacerbated HR challenges due to all kinds of fluctuations in the labor market and business landscape. Gone are the days, at least for the foreseeable future, in which employers have the luxury of sifting through hundreds of qualified resumes to handpick their next great hire. The good news is that current employment dynamics are compelling business owners to rethink the way they approach not just their HR, but their entire company culture. Businesses need to attract the right talent. They need to retain their all-stars and forward-thinkers. They need to build an environment in which people want to work and grow. And that all starts with creating a culture of continuous learning.
A culture of continuous learning is one that supports and encourages employee growth and development, and provides consistent opportunities within the organization for them to do so. This not only makes for happier, more engaged, and more satisfied employees, but also a stronger, more focused, healthier business.
According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report:
- 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development.
- 40% of employees with poor training will leave the company within the first year.
- 86% of employees believe it’s important for employers to provide learning opportunities.
What Does Continuous Learning Look Like?
Employee education and development can take many forms. The key to creating a culture of continuous learning is to take a multipronged, sustained approach to providing your people with the training they need to best perform their current jobs, and the tools they need to grow into their next one.
Learning opportunities in your business can take many forms, including some of the most popular employee growth implementations like:
Skills Workshops: Training that provides employees with opportunities to improve proficiencies in specific aspects of their jobs or organizational processes.
Mentorships Programs: Pairing newer employees with experienced team members for structured one-on-one coaching, skill development, and knowledge-sharing.
Online Classes and Webinars: Web-based courses and webinars are available to enhance just about any skill or development need.
Regardless of which approaches you implement to foster a culture of continuous learning in your business, the goals is to engage, educate, and inspire your employees to grow.
What Do Employees Get from a Culture of Continuous Learning?
Top performers, as well as those who have the potential to become them, desire the knowledge it takes to excel and advance in their jobs. They tend to have an innate love of learning and are motivated in their career trajectory.
1) Skill Enhancement: Continuous learning allows employees to be better at their jobs and improves their productivity, thus increasing their ability for achievement and performance bonuses.
2) A Path for Career Growth: By offering employees opportunities for personal and professional development, you better satisfy their wants and needs for advanced career options.
3) Increased Confidence: By acquiring new or enhanced skills, employees feel empowered within their positions and more valued within the organization.
How Do Businesses Benefit from a Culture of Continuous Learning?
Beyond the advantages of having a team of active learners, businesses reap massive rewards by fostering a culture of professional development.
1) Increased Employee Retention: Providing learning opportunities dramatically increases employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention, which reduces the cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training costs.
2) Greater Innovation: Employees who are provided with opportunities to learn tend to think bigger and more strategically, not just for themselves, but for the entire organization.
3) Better Collaboration: A culture of learning promotes teamwork. When people are empowered with knowledge, they share and infuse that acumen throughout the organization, thus exponentially extending the reach of their newfound expertise.