In a small company, there are constantly many things fighting for attention. With every new thing that pops up seeming more important than the last one. But there is always a constraint on resources to deal with them, be it time or money. So amidst all of this, it’s easy to neglect the Learning and Development side of the business – that area concerning an employee’s growth, learning and skills development.
For small businesses it’s an area often seen as a luxury that they can’t afford. Something more suited for the big guns in their industry, those with presumably the people, time and budget to allow for such ‘luxury’.
The impact of embedding learning into the workplace is quite astonishing. There is a body of research that point to how learning that occurs as part of the day-to-day workflow influences performance and employee engagement positively; more so than when learning occurs away from work.
For instance in a 2009 study by the Learning & Development Roundtable, on-the-job learning was described to be three times more impactful to improving performance than formal training programs. It was also reported that employees with a high exposure to on-the-job learning activities were 262% more engaged than those without that exposure¹. (High exposure was defined as engagement to 11 or more on-the-job learning activities in the past month.)
“The right training and development will enhance employee engagement.”
That’s one of the lines we feed when we’re asked to justify the budget for the year’s training initiatives.
Yet does training and development in your organisation really live up to that promise? Given the rising trend of employee disengagement, that line might end up becoming your Achilles heel…unless we start to re-think learning in the workplace.