Moving Beyond Learner Engagement to Influencing Organizational Performance

employee engagement

Learner engagement is always top of mind for learning and development teams. But, to achieve high levels of learner engagement, L&D needs to look beyond learner engagement and start seeing the role of training in the wider context of overall employee engagement.

Learner engagement offers L&D a prime opportunity to impact organizational performance and cement their role as strategic partners within the business. Employee engagement drives success across the board, from customer satisfaction to productivity and bottom-line results:

  • Companies with high levels of employee engagement have 89% higher customer satisfaction and 50% more customer loyalty than those with lower engagement.
  • Highly engaged employees make their organizations 21% more productive.
  • They also make their companies 22& more profitable.
    (Source: Emplify)

While there are many factors that make up employee engagement, training and development is one of the most influential. But it goes far beyond the training itself. Here are five ways learning and development can influence employee engagement and, therefore, business performance:

1. Talent Development

In terms of employee engagement, talent management is central to ensuring the best and brightest within your organization achieve job satisfaction. Talent management falls right within the sphere of L&D as they can take plenty of opportunities to be involved in both the identification and development of the company’s rising stars.

For example, well-developed leadership training programs are known to provide a myriad of benefits to employees and, in turn, organizational performance. But 63% of Millennials (who now make up the most significant chunk of the workforce) say that their leadership skills are not being adequately developed. 

When employees don’t feel like their personal goals align with the organization, employee engagement takes a massive hit. L&D can actively counteract this by taking the lead with talent development training programs. Learning and development can also take the opportunity here to act as learning consultants with other business partners that have a vested stake in employee engagement as outlined by a panel of experts in this recent on-demand webinar.

2. Employee Retention

Employee retention rates are tricky business these days. Part of the problem is generational (Millennials and Gen Z are staying in companies for far shorter periods than older generations) and part of the problem lies with organizational structure. Progression is important to employees. They want to upskill, reskill, and move forward in their careers. If the company cannot offer these opportunities, they will quickly decide to look for those opportunities elsewhere. 

While the questions of employee retention and organizational structure are part of wider executive management strategies, L&D has a massive role to play. Training that focuses on providing that progression goes a long way towards satisfying the employee’s need for development and the organization’s need to identify overall engagement levels.

3. Change Management

Any company that hopes to be successful going forward needs to get comfortable with change management. In fact, the best performing organizations embrace change and have learned to navigate it in a way that optimizes performance and adds value for customers and employees alike.

But if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s how essential L&D are to the effective management of change and the calming of chaos when unexpected events occur. Whether it’s new skills, procedures, products, or compliance measures, training teams have the perfect opportunity to lead from the front and ensure that change is celebrated as an opportunity rather than feared as a disruptor. 

types of SMEs

Managing change often requires a more Agile approach, especially when it comes to quick turnarounds for changes to your training program. Check out this free ebook to get to grips with Agile Learning in your organization:
The Beginner’s Guide to Agile Learning

4. Fostering a Learning Culture

Promoting a culture of learning in the organization starts with the very first step of onboarding new employees with whatever new-starter training they will need. But it doesn’t stop there. By providing an opportunity for continuous learning, and developing more personalized learning paths, L&D play an active role in boosting employee engagement and saving the company’s bottom line.

In fact, the cost of not implementing and promoting a learning culture speaks volumes. Poor training motivates over 40% of employees to leave a company within the first year. But learning cultures are proven to boost overall employee engagement. Employees who work for organizations that invest in learning are 83% more likely to feel happy in their role. 

Organizations that achieve a thriving learning culture create high employee engagement, which means less turnover, more productive staff, higher profit margins, and a very happy c-suite.

5. Promoting and Embedding Organizational Values

These days, organizational values are important to employees. They like to know that they align with their own values and professional goals. So, promoting those values and making sure they are embedded in the organizational culture is paramount to employee engagement. 

Learning and development teams have the opportunity to do this at multiple touchpoints during the training experiences they offer to employees. From initial onboarding to training paths and social learning, aligning your training offerings with organizational values makes for more engaged employees overall.

So, the next time you need to find ways to state the strategic value of learning and development to business partners and executives, make sure they understand that learner engagement drives employee engagement – an invaluable tool to driving overall business success.

Learn how one company increased learner engagement by 80% to drive organizational value.
Read the Case Study

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