Do you have a succession plan? Do you have a talent management strategy? There is no doubt that there are some skills very difficult to find and recruiting them can be very expensive. One way to resolve this issue is to develop your own. We have supported clients with devising training and development programmes where businesses have seen a decrease in staff turnover and an increase in employee satisfaction as there are clear career paths to follow.
Apprenticeships are a great way to develop skills in the workforce. The Apprenticeship Levy encourages business to invest in apprenticeships programmes within organisations. At Peach, our team can provide support and guidance from drafting bespoke apprenticeship contracts to assisting with detailed apprenticeship programmes.
Please find some of our frequently asked questions about Learning and Development below:
Learning and development is about providing individuals within an organisation, the opportunity to learn and grow. A successful business has a learning and development strategy, which is a fundamental part of the overall business strategy. The learning and development strategy aligns with the current, and future, capability requirements of an organisation and empowers employees to grow and develop their knowledge, skills and capabilities, to enhance business performance. A learning and development strategy demonstrates how the business’s performance needs are met through the development of its people.
Training is said to be more about the organisation, whereas learning and development is more about the individual. Organisations may provide their staff with training on a new system for example, and even though this enhances the employee’s knowledge and skillset on that particular system, this training is more beneficial to the business, than the employee. In contrast, learning and development focuses on the individual’s personal improvement areas, to help them progress through the organisation’s hierarchy. Learning and development can also unearth completely new skills and capabilities, whereas training is more likely to enhance skills that already exist (such as I.T. skills, using the example of system training, above).
Learning and development is fundamental to the success of an organisation. Learning and development provides employees with the skills, knowledge and capabilities to target performance objectives. Learning and development is also integral to recruitment and retention; candidates who know there are learning and development opportunities are likely to choose your organisation over your competitors, and employees who are offered development opportunities are likely to stay and grow within your business, than leave to join your competitor. Investing in learning and development opportunities for your most important asset, your people, will boost productivity and profit.
Both the employee and the organisation. The employee must be willing to apply themselves to learn the new skills and the organisation must provide the resource (time and money) to give the employee the opportunity to apply themselves! Line Managers play a crucial role in learning and development and so it is vital that they are also given the opportunity to learn and develop, so that it feeds down and is embedded within the company’s culture.
There is no right or wrong answer. Every employee, department and organisation will do things differently. The learning could take place on the job, such as shadowing a colleague. The learning could involve a group of individuals coming together, in a classroom-based setting, with an external specialist delivering face-to-face learning (which can also be done remotely, via MSTeams or Zoom!) An employer could fund the cost of an external qualification whereby an individual spends one day a week at a University or College to receive off-the-job learning, completing assignments and studying for exams in their own time. The learning could also take the shape of more informal coaching or mentoring sessions, from a colleague. A six-month sabbatical in a different role, in a different area of the business, learning completely new skills may also be an option. A good place to start, to establish how your people would like to receive learning and development, is to ask them! Use an employee opinion survey, a focus group or a 1-2-1 review meeting.
You cannot force them. If they are doing a good job and are not interested in learning new skills and developing within the organisation, so long as they are hitting their current targets, the advice is to not force it upon them. Having said that, every time new technology is introduced, a new way of working is likely to be adopted and this will need to be learnt and so you will likely find that employees are constantly learning (and developing), without necessarily realising it. For those who don’t want to engage in learning and development, there will be plenty of their colleagues that do, and so the best approach would be to find out who is interested in learning and developing and the area they are interested in learning and developing in. They may not know, they may just know they want to be in a certain position within the organisation in 3 years time in which case, great, what gaps do they need to bridge to enable them to successfully undertake this role and how are you going to help them get there?
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