For many years, learning and development programs were thought to be exclusively for larger employers with big budgets.
Thanks to the rise of HR technology, and specifically L&D software, this perception has changed. Now, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have access to resources and tools to make learning and development a priority in their organization. Doing so can help small employers overcome workforce challenges while simultaneously setting up a business for future growth and success.
Here are four areas where small employers stand to benefit from implementing learning and development programs, and why they are important.
1. Boost retention and recruiting
Recruiting and retention are challenges for all companies, but smaller employers in particular can have significant problems in these areas. With competition for talent at an all-time high, SMBs often have their best employees poached by larger businesses or fast-growing start-ups.
Helping employees develop in their careers and advance in your company can keep them engaged, happy, and less likely to seek a new career opportunity.
Additionally, L&D programs can be great selling points in the recruiting process, especially with recruitment marketing strategies. Being able to sell a candidate that they will have a formal process for career development and advancement can make all the difference in today’s extremely competitive recruiting market.
Employees and job seekers today value learning and adding to their skill set, and offering them an opportunity to do so is one step employer can take to overcome their retention and recruiting troubles!
2. Increase employee happiness
One of the most talked about trends in HR today is the employee experience. Providing a poor experience at work to employees can lead to lower engagement, happiness, productivity, and eventually high turnover.
Since happy employees tend to be more productive, employers have stepped-up their efforts to improve the workplace and employee experience. Learning and development programs are one way to do so. Employees see L&D programs and initiatives as their employer investing in their professional well-being and development. This can make them more engaged in their role, which makes them happier and ultimately boosts workforce performance.
Smaller employers need to take notice of how large employers address employee experience to ensure a happy, engaged, and productive workforce.
3. Overcome the current skills gap
One of the main reasons recruiting is so difficult is because of the skills gap that exists today. Many companies and recruiters are struggling to find qualified talent that possess the most sought-after skills.
To overcome this problem, many organizations are turning to learning and development programs to build these in-demand skills internally. Not only does this help employers overcome their recruiting challenges, but it also helps to boost internal promotions (which is great for company culture, retention, and recruiting!).
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Even smaller employers can use L&D resources to help develop their workforce and build their skill sets to match the needs of the organization. Doing so certainly requires significant planning, strategizing, and some foresight, but the rewards are well worth the time.
4. Meet workforce expectations
One of the biggest disruptions to HR and workforce management has been the shifting expectations of today’s employees. With younger generations now fully integrated into the workforce, how companies approach HR has changed – and will continue to evolve. More than ever, employees are invested in their professional growth and development, and they expect their employers to help them. Employers (especially SMBs) who make learning and development a priority can gain a competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting and retention.
Failing to meet the expectations of employees and job seekers can have obvious ramifications for businesses, which is one of the reasons why L&D has become more popular in recent years.
Even beyond learning and development, keeping up with current workforce trends can help employers stay competitive in today’s market. Things such as employee perks and benefits, personalization in the workplace, flexible schedules, and telecommuting can help improve happiness, productivity, and recruitment, while also lowering turnover.
Training for success
By actively developing employees, small employers set themselves up for future success
Small and medium-sized employers face numerous challenges in today’s business landscape. But those companies who invest in the development of their workforce can take a step towards overcoming many HR and employee-related issues.
With all the changes that have occurred in the industry, learning and development plans aren’t just for larger employers anymore!