Steps to Encourage Employee Engagement through Learning and Development

by Jody Ordioni

Engaging employees is a critical part of running a business nowadays. Failure to engage employees results in low productivity and stunts the growth of the organization. Employee engagement is a complex strategic process and a part of it is ‘Learning and Development’ (L&D).

According to Gallup report, it was found that 85% of employees around the world are disengaged. This means that while they do show up and fill the hours on the clock, they are not performing to the best of their abilities. Gallup poll states that only 32% of employees stay engaged in the US. Many companies find themselves asking the question, how to increase employee engagement? Fortunately, Learning and Development is one area that has the capacity to increase employee engagement. Training programs are an effective communication tool that allows employees to better themselves.

Emphasize on Culture of Learning

Discussions surrounding the topic of employee engagement often overlook it from the perspective of the employee. They forget to discuss what exactly they want the employee to engage in. Employees need a project or team to connect with and feel that they are a part of a bigger mission and collective. L&D professionals are equipped to identify organizational values that promote engagement from the employees. These values are incorporated into training programs to foster a sense of pride and belongingness in a culture of learning. Leaders should work with L&D to formulate a culture that is aligned with company values and goals.

Promote Onboarding and Training

Not being aware of responsibilities from the beginning can be frustrating for the new employees, they are always running up to the finish line if they are unclear about their roles. Newly appointed employees have to be properly integrated into the fold and onboarding processes are vital tools for the organizations. Our research indicates that a proper onboarding process facilitates employee retention by 82%. L&D professionals engage new employees from the word go. They can also help employees learn faster and maximize their productivity.

Importance of Employee Growth and Development

Employees look at growth opportunities, both personal and professional, before joining an organization. Learning new skills and overcoming challenges is a good method to actively engage employees. L&D professionals hold the responsibility of designing training programs that enhance the skill set of employees and make their daily routine more valuable. Good training programs constantly upscale the employees and allow them to grow in a world of technological advancements. Learning can also be presented in a manner that reduces boredom. Offering educational assistance to the employees is also one way of aiding their professional growth.

Significance of Social Learning and Collaborating

Engagement is a complex term that constitutes many working parts, from involvement, interest to consulting, collaboration. L&D professionals can build social and informal learning on these parameters, at the start. There is an increased emphasis on using social initiatives to build corporate training programs. This strain of development is beneficial in enhancing the knowledge of subject matter experts in the organization. L&D professionals should also be proficient in jump-starting conversations with different groups of the company and using icebreakers to uniformly broadcast information in the workspace.

Using Technology in Learning

Using learn-tech tools should also be a method employed by L&D professionals to tailor their training programs according to the needs of the company. An amalgamation of learning, content and technology is required to achieve the collective goal and produce long term results. Corporate training has seen a great leap in learning, from classroom-based teaching to online-based education. The delivery strategies have been greatly altered and benefitted through tools such as Gamification and Artificial Intelligence. The advancement in learning analytics has created an irreplaceable dynamic in the sphere of employee engagement. Organizations can then analyze data and alter the training programs to fit their needs.

The Bottom Line

A growing need to invest in L&D function directly stems from the usefulness of this process for organizations. The right learning tools can become a great tool in improving the engagement of employees. Innovative learning strategies can create a path for organizations to finally discuss the issue of engagement and tackle the problem, thereby, improving productivity.

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