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Learning at Work Week: Why Investing in Training Should Be a Leading Focus for Businesses in 2024

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According to research from Indeed, one of the main factors leading to an unmotivated workforce is a lack of professional development opportunities. Restricting opportunities for further developing skills and professional qualities can leave staff feeling anxious to progress and unable to face new challenges.

For businesses, there are a number of myths around training in the workplace. These include upskilling employees for a new job opportunity or that training courses waste working hours.

As we enter Learning at Work Week (13th–19th May), career expert Neil Finegan from distance learning provider DLC Training, discourages these negative connotations around nurturing new skills while at work. Neil comments,

“Businesses aiming to develop a dedicated, motivated, and well-rounded workforce should not overlook the importance of learning new skills and undertaking training at work.

“There are a number of outdated myths around learning at work, mostly surrounding loyalty to a business and fear that employees may seek new opportunities as a result, but in fact, we now know that one of the best ways to keep staff happy and motivated is to allow them the freedom to develop professional skills, and widen their abilities to promote a sense of pride and accomplishment.”

What are the benefits of investing in training?

Neil highlights the top benefits of investing in training for your team. 

  1. Investing in employees encourages more motivation and productivity, which in turn improves their performance at work.
  2. Increased skills and development of knowledge enable businesses to promote key people within the organisation.
  3. Improved training engagement also results in loyalty and higher staff retention rates.
  4. Improved retention rates result in savings on recruitment costs, as well as initial training fees. According to Indeed, recruitment agencies typically charge 20–30% of the average salary for the role to find the right employee.
  5. Trained people have more skills and are therefore more efficient in their role. This improves their capacity output, which results in higher revenue overall.

Ways to encourage learning at work

Neil suggests ways in which businesses can implement learning opportunities in a work environment.

External training

While this can come with an additional cost to the business, sourcing training from external experts is one of the most valuable ways to encourage learning and development. 

Neil said: “External training may include webinars, industry events, and talks, both in person and virtually. These training opportunities are vital for plugging gaps in the team’s knowledge with outside support. 

“Investing in these training sessions can help your team feel more valued and confident in their skillset. Knowing that as their employer, you are equally as invested in their professional growth.”

Where budgets are limited, Neil recommends selecting one or two members of the team to attend the training and deliver a recap to the rest of the team shortly afterwards. 

Internal training 

One of the benefits of expanding your employees’ knowledge is the training they are then able to share with their colleagues. For example, hosting a monthly training session where a member of the team delivers a training session on an area of their expertise is a great way of utilising the talent already in the business. 

An advantage to this is that the employee delivering the session will already be aware of the gaps of knowledge in the team and be able to personalise their training to fulfil this. They will also be available for follow up questions and further training if required. 

This can also encourage cross-department rapport, where employees can learn about how the other departments work in the business and have a better understanding of how it impacts their role. 

Typically, this training is also free, and will only require allocated work hours to produce and present the training session. 

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