Why learning is worth the investment

Employees will quit if you don’t develop them, writes Heather MacNeill

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When weighing the costs of running an organization and keeping employees happy, sometimes the c-suite has to make tough decisions. Decisions include investing in technologies for standard operations, funding various company culture projects and, of course, whether to invest in continuous learning opportunities for employees. Not surprisingly, prospective employees see professional development as a key perk when hunting for their next gig. Despite this, there seems to be a looming disconnect among talent pools and organizations. Half of learning and development decision-makers think that learning is not seen as important by leaders within their organizations. That’s according to The Challenges of Global L&D survey, conducted by Open University Business School. Ignoring the benefits of learning is a major cause for concern.

PwC estimates that the cost of losing an employee in their first year equals about three times the person’s salary. To that end, seven in ten professionals say development opportunities influence their decisions to stay with a company. So, without clear and present opportunities for learning and growth within an organization, employees won’t stick around for the long haul.

Benefits of investing in employees

Aside from the cost savings associated with rehiring and retraining new team members after an employee leaves, there are more impactful benefits of investing in employees’ ongoing professional development. When I talk about professional development, I don’t mean flying your team to countless conferences around the world. I mean investing in collaborative learning: content and technology that integrates into everyday work. Collaborative learning platforms are a key solution for such integration. For example, a platform like BlueBottleBiz provides access to expert content built around collaborative tools and a professional network, so employees can take control of their learning when and how they want. Here are five benefits of collaborative learning:

Increase staff retention

Employees won’t stay with organizations that don’t invest in learning opportunities. With 24/7 access to published content – via desktop or mobile device, a culture of continuous learning is easily achieved.

Increase your ability to hire internally

One of the reasons professionals today value opportunities to learn is because they realize shifts are taking place across many different industries. Industries are blending, and as a result, professionals need to be adaptable. Today’s employees need to learn what’s next in their industry before the change occurs.

By providing employees with the content and tools needed to skill up, the next time a position opens within your organization, you can look to your team and promote internally rather than spending time and money searching for the perfect external candidate. With a collaborative learning platform like BlueBottleBiz, it is easy for leadership to pinpoint the best internal candidates for new openings, based on team engagement in the platform.

Increase your team’s productivity

Today, learning and training closely integrate. Collaborative learning serves as a complement to mandatory employee training, and can be used by your team to expand on concepts derived from each training. Investing in collaborative learning means providing employees with the resources needed to find quick answers and solve problems independently, as well as share new ideas to help others. All of these factors play into building a more productive and efficient workforce.

Promote innovation

By investing in modern learning platforms and other cutting-edge technologies, you’ll lead by example when it comes to embracing innovation. With an open, collaborative learning platform, not only will your employees get to learn using innovative tech, they’ll also have direct access to innovators and experts within various industries.

Boost your company’s reputation

If you go the route of investing in collaborative learning, employees won’t be the only ones that benefit. Clients, customers and prospects will too. The more your team invites external audiences into the learning experience, the more these audiences will realize the investment your team is putting into them. For example, in BlueBottleBiz your team is able to build out Discovery Paths – collections of bite-sized content – which can be shared with clients to bring them up to speed on specific topics.

When employees learn, your company excels

The benefits of collaborative learning can make a big impact on your employees’ happiness and willingness to go all in with your company. Investing in employee happiness results in a thriving organization with low rates of attrition, higher levels of productivity and satisfied customers.When will you begin reaping the benefits of investing in your employees? 

— Heather MacNeill is head of communications at BlueBottleBiz

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