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Employee Engagement: Impact of Learning and Development

An engaged workforce who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise is crucial for any organization who wants to achieve high levels of business success. In our current challenging and competitive business environment, learning and development has never been more important as a means to keep employees engaged and maintain that competitive advantage.


Good employee engagement training focuses on teaching the skills which are needed to do this effectively.

During an economic downturn, it is tempting to slash or even remove training budgets. However, this is a short term view which will inevitably produce dire long term consequences. Thriving organizations rely on their people to perform consistently well.  This can only be achieved if they are feeling engaged and motivated.

Nuture Talent, Help People Learn And Improve

The right training and development can greatly enhance employee engagement by nurturing talent and helping people to learn new things and improve their performance. Most people want to feel that they are doing a good job and that they are valued by their organization for the part they play.

In addition, few people like to remain static in a work environment and prefer to have variety in their work and see development potential in their role.

Learning and development provides a way to address all of these human needs and greatly improves employee engagement. Companies who invest in their people through training and development are also viewed more favourably by employees than those in organizations who don’t.

However, if training and development is to make a significant impact on  employee engagement, employees must see the benefits to themselves of undertaking training activities. This is where many good intentions fall short.

Show The Benefits

Organizations who are keen to demonstrate their commitment to their people can sometimes get carried away with the “sheep dip” approach to training – leaving some people confused about the rationale behind attending it.

In order to harness the positive effects of training, employees have to see the link between where they are now and where they want to get to and how training is going to bridge this gap.

It sounds obvious but without this being made explicit, organizations run the risk of training and development being viewed as a chore instead of a reward.

The answer is to link training and development to specific objectives and the only way to make this work effectively is for managers to have one-on-one conversations with their people about the purpose of training and what’s in it for them. Asking people what they think they need and setting specific learning objectives is crucial at this stage.

Done efficiently, learning and development will then provide the means to motivate and engage employees like never before.  People will feel valued for their contribution and they will understand that the organisation supports them to be the best that they can be.

Developing people really is key to having an engaged workforce and achieving business success.

Training [1] Photo via Shutterstock