Why Is Learning & Development Important?

Amberjack helps future focused organisations bridge the gap between today and tomorrow.

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In the present era, marked by the swift evolution of technology and the constant shifts in market trends, the significance of continual learning and growth, especially for those new to the workplace cannot be emphasised enough.

Whether you’re seeking personal growth or an organisation striving for success, embracing a culture of learning and development is crucial.

Today, we will explore the significance of learning and development for personal and professional growth and businesses’ sustainable growth and competitiveness.

The Individual Perspective

Personal Growth

Learning is a lifelong journey that begins in childhood and continues throughout our lives. It is not confined to the walls of educational institutions; instead, it extends to all areas of life.

From acquiring new skills and knowledge to understanding different perspectives, learning enriches our lives.

Personal growth is a natural byproduct of continuous learning. Investing in our personal development makes us better equipped to navigate life’s challenges and opportunities.

Whether learning a new language, taking up a new hobby, or reading about a subject of interest, learning not only broadens our horizons but also enhances our self-esteem and self-worth.

Now, more than ever we find that your new hires, especially those in the Early Careers space, are hungry for constant and development learning to help them transition to the workplace and kick-start their careers.

Career Advancement

In the professional realm, learning and development are integral to career advancement. The world of work is constantly changing, and those who fail to adapt risk becoming obsolete.

Employees actively engaging in learning and development opportunities are better equipped to excel in their current roles and seize new career opportunities.

Employers appreciate employees who are committed to personal and professional growth. They are more likely to invest in these individuals by offering promotions, pay raises, or additional responsibilities.

Therefore, ongoing learning can translate into tangible benefits regarding career progression and financial rewards.

Many Early Careers employers report a gap in their expectations vs reality when their new hires join the business. Core soft skills such as communication, business etiquette and problem solving are often highlighted as the key challenges.

Setting your new hires up for success is critical for their on-going career advancement so investing at this point can drastically improve speed competency.

The Organisational Perspective

Adaptation and Innovation

Learning and development are crucial for organisations to stay competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. Those who embrace a learning culture are better equipped to adapt to market shifts and innovate. This adaptability and innovation are essential for long-term success.

The combined wisdom and inventiveness of the workforce frequently propels innovation. Organisations that promote learning cultivate an environment conducive to innovation, creating novel products, services, and procedures that can provide them with a competitive advantage.

In our own research, Gen Z highlighted that their biggest concern about joining an organisation was meeting expectations. Setting teams up for success is vital to drive innovation so focusing training on the key areas of relationship management, teamwork and problem solving should be considered.

Employee Engagement and Retention

Employee turnover can be costly, and organisations that invest in their employees’ learning and development are more likely to retain top talent.

Engaged employees who feel their employer supports their personal and professional growth are more committed and satisfied in their roles.

Furthermore, providing learning and development opportunities communicates to employees that they are highly regarded and that the organisation is committed to investing in their future.

This not only boosts retention rates but also attracts top talent to the organisation, as prospective employees seek employers who offer opportunities for growth and development.

Gen Z regularly state that Learning and Development is one of their key drivers for choosing and also staying with an organisation.

When we explored this in a bit more detail, two of the key areas that they wanted support was around mental health and conflict management. Be sure to cover this in any Early Careers programmes, as your cohorts will expect it!

Improved Performance and Productivity

The link between employee development and performance is well-established. Employees granted training and development opportunities are more aptly prepared to carry out their duties effectively and efficiently.

This leads to higher productivity and, consequently, better results for the organisation.

As employees gain fresh skills and knowledge, they can put them into practice in their positions, enhancing overall operational efficiency. This translates into cost savings and better outcomes for the organisation.

This is even more critical for those just starting on their career journey. Demonstrating the ROI from your Early Careers programmes can be challenging, so ensuring your new hires are equipped with the right level of soft skills and technical training will support them to reach the required levels of productivity more quickly.

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

In today’s globalised world, competition is fierce. Organisations that stand still and do not invest in learning and development risk falling behind.

To remain competitive and relevant, companies must keep up with industry trends and best practices, which requires a commitment to ongoing learning.

Learning and development allow organisations to stay ahead of the curve, offering innovative solutions to customer needs and keeping pace with industry advancements. In essence, it helps them maintain their competitive edge in the market.

The Role of Technology in Learning and Development

The advent of technology has revolutionised the learning and development landscape.

Online courses, webinars, e-learning platforms, are examples of how technology has made learning more accessible and convenient.

This has opened up new opportunities for individuals and organisations to engage in learning and development activities.

Accessibility

Technology has made learning more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Online courses and e-learning platforms provide a flexible and convenient way to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Individuals with an internet connection can tap into vast information and educational materials.

Personalisation

Technology also allows for personalised learning experiences. With adaptive learning platforms, individuals can receive tailored content and assessments that match their skill level and learning pace.

This personalised approach ensures learners can focus on areas where they need the most improvement. 

Remote Learning

The rise of remote work and telecommuting has made remote learning necessary for many organisations.

Technology enables employees to engage in training and development activities from the comfort of their own homes, reducing the need for physical classroom attendance.

However, it should be noted that Gen Z overwhelmingly prefers in person delivery which should most definitely be considered when designing your induction and training programmes.

Challenges and Considerations

While learning and development offer numerous benefits, there are challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

Cost: Investing in learning and development can be expensive for individuals and organisations. Nevertheless, the enduring advantages frequently surpass the initial expenses.

Time: Learning takes time, and individuals must balance their learning activities with other commitments. Finding time for employee training can be challenging for organisations, but it is essential for long-term success.

Relevance: It’s essential to ensure that the learning and development activities undertaken are relevant and aligned with an individual’s or organisation’s goals. Otherwise, the time and resources invested may not yield the desired results.

Resistance to Change: Some employees may resist learning and development initiatives, fearing change or feeling overwhelmed by new information. Communication and support are crucial in overcoming this resistance.

Conclusion

In a rapidly changing world, the importance of learning and development cannot be overstated.

The benefits of learning and development are multifaceted, from personal growth and career advancement to organisational success and competitiveness.

Technology has further facilitated learning, making it more accessible and personalised.

People and entities that adopt a culture centred around learning and growth are more effectively prepared to handle the challenges and prospects of the 21st century.

By investing in continuous learning, we can enrich our lives, improve our skills, and ensure a brighter future for ourselves and our organisations.

Whether you seek personal growth or an organisation striving for success, remember that learning and development are the keys to unlocking your full potential.

Be sure to check out our research report below for further insights into Gen Z’s preferred learning styles and formats, biggest concerns and expectations when joining the workforce, and more!

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