29 January 2019

How L&D can Drive Business Success

Learning can drive business success

The challenges facing modern businesses are many and varied but, as with any commercial enterprise, your bottom line relates directly to your business’s success. If you aren’t making enough money, you won’t be able to pay your bills or invest in future opportunities for business growth.

With such tight financial tracking, it can be easy to disregard the value of additional expenses such as learning and development (L&D) – yet these investments are central to employee retention. They might even attract the best and brightest to join your organisation, helping you to stand out from the crowd – with a return on investment (ROI) that could last for generations.

In this article, we explore the essential connections between business management and L&D – considering the benefits with an accountant’s eye on your ROI.

Establish a direct line between management and human resources (HR)

As successful businesses expand and grow, organisations run the risk of becoming siloed into isolated departments. If your HR and L&D staff aren’t in direct contact with management at all levels, it can be hard to filter effective training into every corner of your organisation. Interconnectivity is important for business success – if your L&D team is accessible and responsive, you can quickly guarantee your staff the training they require to minimise operational slowdown and maximise productivity.

We live in a world of restructures and reorganisation, primarily driven by digital disruption and an evolving global marketplace. In fact, recent research shows that 88% of companies believe that reorganising and future-proofing are central to business success. If you want your business to stay ahead of the curve structurally, ensure that your HR and L&D departments are well-connected across your organisation. This enables you to deliver on the necessary changes while retaining talented employees.

Encourage senior management to lead by example and nurture new talent

Everyone in the organisation benefits when the senior management team supports L&D and openly encourages the next generation to shine. Fortunately, businesses have a range of ways to create a strong leadership programme that’s led from the top down.

The leadership development process can start before recruitment even occurs. For example, HR might look for leadership potential as part of the business’s talent acquisition strategy (so new recruits will be engaged with their professional development from day one). In this way, their development can also be closely aligned to your business strategy from the outset.

One effective way of engaging talented employees is to offer mentoring support. Mentors may operate through an employee’s reporting line or provide a more independent perspective on professional development. Maybe your employees could work with different people in different scenarios as required, with one core mentor as a guide – the possibilities are endless and can be shaped to suit your needs.

However you approach mentorship, the key feature is experience – if a mentor has already succeeded on a similar path, they will have a unique perspective to share. But it is also important to consider the benefits of forward-thinking mentorship as well as experience-led mentorship – do your mentors engage with new technologies and progressive business strategies? If not, this is where you can lead by example, showing your employees that everyone is important and has something to offer at every stage of their career, whether as fresh-faced young innovators or seasoned experts in the foundational aspects of the business.

Challenge the status quo by embracing technology and bespoke training

Busy staff may feel that they will struggle to find the time for useful training – even if they requested it as part of their performance review! Training therefore isn’t a one-size-fits-all option – its effectiveness relies on being able to identify genuine solutions that accommodate both your employees’ and your organisation’s needs.

Encourage your team to prioritise L&D, but also look for ways to connect your staff to training in efficient, effective and manageable ways that work with them rather than against them. Perhaps you can incorporate online training modules into your L&D strategy or provide an app-based solution that allows employees to track their progress as they learn. Technology opens exciting doorways into innovative and personalised solutions that are flexible to the requirements of your business, so look for training providers that understand your need for a bespoke service – one that accommodates your team’s learning preferences.

Retain and develop talented employees through professional development

L&D is increasingly integral to building robust businesses – it aids with employee satisfaction and retention, and it attracts an innovative pool of talented and enthusiastic staff who are looking to further develop their careers. If staff feel valued, they may feel more inclined to stay with your company and dedicate themselves to shared business targets. It also helps if you can incentivise employees to develop themselves while achieving business goals (for example, by learning a second language).

Each of your colleagues needs to be engaged in the vision and direction of your business and understand their role in the business’s success if you expect to succeed into the future. Supporting your team through training, skills development, mentorship, and the prospect of new and challenging opportunities allows you to create a professional environment that builds a bright future for your company, including every individual who works towards this shared success.

Here at Simon & Simon, we understand the essential value added to an organisation by effective training strategies that target the personal and professional requirements of your employees and represent a smart financial investment. If business language training is on the agenda for your valued colleagues, contact Simon & Simon today to find out how our bespoke language learning courses can help to develop your team.

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