There is undoubtedly a skills shortage many employers find they’re facing right now, and it’s actually been a significant hindrance to growth for several years. It’s not that employers don’t have positions to fill in many cases, but instead, the issue is that they just can’t find the professionals with the right skills and training.
At the same time, employers are also facing a problem on another front, and that’s retaining top talent. Talented people have their pick of positions, so businesses are always struggling to find creative ways to keep their best employees on board, especially since frequent job hopping is becoming the norm.
Many business owners realize the best way to tackle both issues is to significantly up their learning and development budgets.
Below are some tips for any business owner or leader who’s considering a move like this.
One of the reasons so many companies are still reluctant to invest in learning and development is because they’re not able to see its monetary value, but that value is there if you’re strategic. Look at investing in your learning and development initiatives as you would anything else in your business. Create specific goals with results that are measurable. This will allow you to get a solid idea of the financial ROI your efforts have.
Consider External Training
Many employers think to have an L&D program, it needs to be internal, but this carries with it some issues. The first is that having a traditional internal learning and development program can be costly and can require a lot of resources that businesses today simply aren’t willing to dedicate. Also, this is typically going to create a one-size-fits-all approach to employee development, which isn’t likely to accomplish any of your business goals.
Instead, think about turning to third-party education providers and certification programs, so training is targeted and streamlined. For example, e-Learning providers offer things like Scrum certification and data science certification online, and it makes it much more manageable to design individualized learning paths for employees, improving your ROI.
Start From The Top
If you want a successful learning and development program, it has to start from the top. If you’re the business owner and you’re interested in investing in these areas, that’s simple.
On the other hand, if you’re a manager or executive of a larger corporation, interest and buy-in to the idea need to come from the top. It’s important to create a monetary justification that highlights the specifics of why investing in L&D will be advantageous for your organization.
As a final note to this list of tips on investing in employees and L&D, go straight to the source to have a better understanding of where to put your money. What’s the source? Your employees. Ask them where they feel they have deficiencies, or where they’d most like to engage with learning and development. If you’re asking their opinion and input, they’re going to be involved at a deeper level, and that level of involvement will also improve your ROI for your learning and development budget.