As a leader, it is your responsibility to guide employees in the right direction. You must ensure that you are someone they feel like they can trust, communicate with and learn from. However, it is also important that you provide the necessary resources and opportunities that allow them to educate, develop and grow within their positions. In the words of Jack Welch, "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
The United States workforce is changing. The millennial generation now makes up the majority of the job market and an increasing number are resuming leadership roles. In order to ensure that these workers are satisfied in their roles and maintain high levels of productivity and performance, it is imperative to facilitate a corporate culture that meets their values and needs.
A study recently published by PwC examined some of the biggest emerging trends in todays workforce that are affecting how how employees manage. One finding that deserves particular attention is that the majority of Generation Y cited learning and development as the most important factor in a job – most named this more important than compensation. Below are some of the top benefits you'll experience from prioritizing learning in the workplace:
1. Lower turn-over rates
It's no secret that the happier workers are in their positions, the less likely they are to go looking for employment elsewhere. And with only 18 percent of the participants in PwC's study saying they expect to stay at their current company for a long time, there is clearly a lot of room for leaders to improve the strategies and solutions they're using to retain workers. By implementing training and development programs, managers are able to give their staff an extra incentive to stay.
2. Better cost-savings
The price of having to replace employees can be a financial pitfall for businesses. It takes time and money to find, onboard and train new workers. When one member leaves an organization, they take all the knowledge they gained on the job with them. However, if you offer learning and development opportunities that actually interest them, you can significantly improve retention rates and, in turn, see a higher return on investment.
Leaders must promote opportunities for growth and development."
3. Improved productivity
It is important for company leaders to realize that simply having a learning program in place is not enough. It must be designed and executed in a way that their staff responds positively to. This is something that not enough organizations have mastered. For example, research conducted by Degreed revealed that, today, so many workers feel that their employers are not providing them with the adequate levels of training and development that they have started to search for ways to teach themselves through eBooks, online courses, videos, etc.
Obviously, if your workers are spending their time (and possibly money) seeking ways to learn and advance their skill set, they are not dedicating as much time as they could be to achieving business objectives. This is why it is imperative that you take the time to assess your leadership style, as well as the company's training and development programs, to determine if there are ways you could better align their personal and professional goals and interests with those of the organization.
4. Healthier corporate culture
Employees want to feel like their leader genuinely cares about them. One of the most effective ways to demonstrate that you do is by making their growth and development a priority. By giving workers access to the resources, tools and opportunities they both want and need to excel in their positions, you are creating an environment of respect and trust. As a result, this will facilitate a happier and healthier workplace atmosphere.
One of the most important roles you have as a business leader is to motivate and inspire your followers. And a simple yet necessary way to ensure this happens is by making employee learning and development programs a priority.