Opinion

Providing opportunities to learn at work increases employee engagement

This week (16 to 22 May) is Learning at Work Week, an annual awareness campaign organised by the Campaign for Learning to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development in the workplace.

“Here at Pure, we are strong supporters of an active learning and development culture. We provide opportunities for our own staff to learn and develop new skills through initiatives including apprenticeships and graduate training schemes. As a result, we have been presented with awards for People Development and achieved the Gold Investors in People standard,”- Abby Dillon, Pure’s Learning & Development Manager.

We run annual training programmes to constantly develop and motivate our talents. These programmes are made available on “Pure’s Training Menu” for employees to attend based on their quarterly performance review requirements.

We are also passionate about supporting learning and development within other businesses. We provide training initiatives including our Women's Leadership Programme and Finance Leadership programmes which employers can use as part of employee learning and development plans. We also support and celebrate workplace training initiatives held by employers in conjunction with providers such as Kaplan and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).This all helps us to further develop and enhance the success of the fantastic organisations in our region and to put the Eastern Region on the map as a great place to work.

Why is learning in the workplace so important?

The opportunity to learn at work has a significant impact on employee motivation and engagement levels. In turn, a high level of employee engagement increases productivity and makes a noticeable difference to the bottom line.

Here’s

just a few other examples of employer benefits stemming from a strong culture of learning and development:

  • Opportunity to discover and recognise new talent

  • Creation of an effective progression pipeline

  • Chance to build internal skills needed to achieve business growth

  • Enhanced employer brand, helping to attract and retain the best talent

There are many different ways employers can implement workplace learning from traditional classroom based activities to interactive webinars. It can also be carried out completely in-house by sharing knowledge between teams and enabling employees to learn and experience different parts of the business. Learning initiatives don’t even have to be work-related to make a positive impact on employee engagement. Encouraging employees to share their own knowledge, passions and interests with others can create engaging team activities.

Questions to ask yourself about learning opportunities in your organisation

If it has been a while since you’ve spent time looking into the learning opportunities available within your organisation, use this week as a prompt to investigate and introduce changes if needed. This will help reinforce your organisation’s commitment to staff development and create a culture where learning a work is celebrated all year round. Take the time to find out answers to questions including:

  • Is there an inclusive approach to learning in your organisation?

  • Are there any perceived barriers? These could be personal barriers or historic organisational structures which meant that development was only focussed on particular staff.

  • Are your employees aware of the learning and development opportunities available to them?

  • Are learning and development plans aligned to the business plan, ensuring you are developing the internal talent and skills needed to achieve the objectives set out?

If you would like to find out more about the perception of learning and development within your organisation, sign up for our free Best Employers Eastern Region Survey. The confidential employee survey, which would normally cost in the region of £2,000, is available to local organisations of all sizes and sectors. It captures the data employers need to monitor how engaged their employees are, and to establish what employees really think about topics including development opportunities as well as leadership, communication, team work and much more. It also comes with a tailored report summarising the findings and an action plan for further development.