Editor’s note: The third and finalin our guest blogs from (blogs.terrapinn.com/total-learning). I am always delighted to post a blog on employee engagement- my passion, and I am grateful that our media partners Terrapin, organisers of the Training and Development show in December have generously shared their blog site with our members.
Training Mag recently posted an interesting article on the relationship between learning and development opportunities and employee engagement.
Research consistently shows that engaged employees are more productive, which boosts your bottom line. And one of the best ways of keeping employees engaged is to offer good training and development opportunities.
In fact, Training Mag compared the 2012 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list with its own 2012 Training Top 125and Training Top 10 Hall of Fame lists, and found that an impressive 19 companies featured on both lists. So what makes these companies’ employees so enthusiastic and how is training used to boost morale? Here are some of the key points you can take away and apply in your own business, to improve employee engagement:
- Encourage innovation and create an environment in which employees feel free to learn and innovate and – most importantly – that they have a real stake in their company’s success.
- Ensure that learning is a key part of your company’s philosophy – for example Capital One Financial Corp (Top 125 rank: 31; Best Companies To Work For rank: 98) focuses on the value of Excellence, which drives its employees to look for continuous improvement in their jobs – training is obviously the key factor in ensuring they have the right skills.
- Manage employee engagement as a critical business process. Find out where the critical talent segments – i.e. those who have a disproportionate impact on business success – lie and use this to get information on decision-drivers, that may then be used to increase engagement and retention.
- Allow for a high degree of personalisation in training and development – your company culture should recognise and appreciate each employee’s individual skills and talents, and this should be reflected in their learning and development opportunities, allowing them to grow their career in their own way.
- Think holistically about engagement and employee development. Give your staff opportunities to apply what they learn in training – and sooner rather than later!
- Concentrate on increasing the satisfaction and engagement of participants through training programmes, rather than just on wider business benefits. The CHG Healthcare Services (Top 125 rank: 21; Best Companies To Work For rank: 9) L&D team says: “We create learning and development programs with the primary objective of increasing the satisfaction and engagement of the participants or helping improve culture, followed by skills development.”
- Show your staff that you’re serious about their development by investing both time and money – Deloitte (Top 125 rank: Hall of Fame; Best Companies To Work For rank: 67) makes a significant commitment in dollars and time toward each employee receiving formal learning each year. That has ranged as high as 164 hours for certain jobs in certain businesses, Deloitte’s National Director of Talent Development says.
- Make sure you get feedback on any training you run to determine employee satisfaction and engagement – it’s crucial that you listen to your staff if you want to keep them happy!
What do you think? What other tips do you have for keeping staff engaged through training and development? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Guest blog post by Total Learning: Total Learning is an online resource for learning and development and HR professionals, offering commentary, news and case studies on topics such as e-learning, engagement, leadership and learning and development in general. Subscribe to our weekly enewsletter to keep up-to-date with the latest news and strategy in the learning and development field.