Learning and Development (L&D) is one of the core HR functions. Most workplaces look at L&D as an integral part of the HRD activity. While designing an effective L&D program, both the individual goals and organizational goals are to be kept in mind. Although it may not be entirely possible to ensure synchronization, competencies are chosen in a way that a win-win is created for both the employee and the entire organization.
L&D in workplaces is planned on the basis of need and demand to enable employees to fulfill the following purposes:
- Upgrade proficiency in their existing jobs
- Learn new skills coupled with technologies.
- Acquire job-specific knowledge and abilities.
- Be part of the overall organizational development process.
- Accomplish individual goals and long-term career objectives.
The Main Objectives of L&D In Workplaces
- Individual Objectives – help employees in achieving their personal goals, which in turn, enhances the individual contribution to an organization.
- Organizational Objectives – assist the organization with its primary objective by bringing individual effectiveness.
- Functional Objectives – maintain the department’s contribution at a level suitable for the organization’s needs.
- Societal Objectives – ensure that an organization is ethically and socially responsible to the needs of the society.
Hence, the specifics of your L&D depend on the nature of the workplace and the area of operations. These objectives fall under the following four categories:
1. Business performance
Improved business performance is the top objective of every development and learning activity. Essentially, it implies that companies are training employees to become better at their jobs and meet/exceed the business KPIs assigned to their jobs. Here are the objectives specific to business performance:
- Increase in the volume of work completed within a stipulated time.
- A rise in customer satisfaction scores.
- The ability to gain from emerging opportunities, with new skills available.
- Business sustainability through a period of dynamic changes (regulatory shifts, economic upheavals, DX, etc.)
2. Job satisfaction
Research suggests that employees value the importance of learning in the workplace and would stay on with a company that invests in L&D. LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, which surveyed 3,000+ respondents, reaffirms this insight. A whopping 94% of respondents said that they would stay on in a company that invests in their learning and development. Moreover, employees with access to L&D programs have an advantage over employees in other companies who are left to seek out learning opportunities on their own. The investment in L&D that a company makes shows the employees they are valued. This creates a supportive workplace. L&D objectives pertaining to job satisfaction include:
- Increase in employee retention rates.
- Improvement in your employee net promoter score (eNPS).
- Reduction of involuntary turnover in the long term.
- Lowering of employee stress and increasing confidence
3. Company branding
Another objective to remember when formulating an effective L&D strategy is its impact on your employer brand. Does your company appear to be “learning-focused”? Do candidates want to join your company because it will help their careers and long-term growth? These are some of the key questions that an L&D program should answer. Hence, the most preferred employers in the world – the likes of Google, Amazon, etc – invest heavily in their employee’s L&D programs, as it is directly linked to their value proposition in the labor market. In this context, the core objectives are:
- Shorter time to fill for new job roles.
- Increase in the quality of hire.
- Reduction in recruitment marketing costs.
- An uptick in the number of unsolicited/inbound applicants.
4. Overall employee performance
In the era of new work, employees value the holistic aspects of a job as much as its tangible components like benefits or compensation. As a result, L&D becomes a means of self-actualization and fulfillment, allowing employees to tap into their full potential. This also links to business performance as well as employee satisfaction. Moreover, continuous L&D also keeps your employees on the cutting edge of market developments. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help your company hold a position as a leader and strong competitor within the industry. Performance-specific objectives are:
- The ability to reach personal improvement targets.
- Enhanced work-life balance enabled by robust skill sets.
- Increased employability, driving greater job security.
- Realization of hidden potential such as leadership skills.
To Sum Up
Development programs lean towards empowerment – a transformative quality within employees, management, and leaders. Therefore, L&D programs need to align with the general trend of future workplace skills and also support the organization’s business objectives and higher vision. As per studies, workgroups that engaged in employee development saw a rise in sales and profits, as compared to workgroups that didn’t engage at all. Dedicated L&D fosters greater employee engagement that is critical to your organization’s overall performance across all business functions.