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The Power of Learning and Development

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The Power of Learning and Development


Attracting and retaining good employees is vital to the health of any successful business. Guiding the cycle of continual improvement through training and skill development is invaluable.

Understand the value of corporate training and be an advocate for continual learning. An investment in training helps your business run better. Trained employees are more competent and efficient. These qualified, productive workers will help your company succeed.

If you’re not sold on the benefits of lifelong learning and employee development, consider this. Research reveals that 40 percent of employees who do not receive necessary job training needed to do well in their positions will leave their positions within the first year. They cite the lack of skills training and development as the key reason for moving on.

Understand the need for different strokes for different folks. Employees are individuals, each with their own motivations and learning styles. Figuring out what makes each employee tick and what training will help them excel is particularly useful during early phases of the corporate training implementation process.

Strive to fill in the gaps between skills and performance. A more tailored approach allows you to evaluate the current needs of your company and find specific training initiatives to fill the gaps. Look at the specific capabilities within your organization and consider ways you can improve productivity or minimize mistakes or inefficiencies.

This is unique to each organization, and even to departments within an organization. In every case, companies must continually revise training programs. Identify gaps in performance and consider ways to include and align training accordingly. Managers should have a hand in strategizing and selecting development initiatives that exemplify the skills of their team.

Many of W.M. Jordan’s continuous learning programs are long-term paths designed to be completed over the course of several years.

Learning and development extends beyond the workplace. W.M. Jordan’s in-house Learning & Development team provides programs to help employees develop both personally and professionally. Offerings range from job specific technical programs to classes on self-defense, gardening and personal finance.

Aside from job specific training, we strive to develop hard and soft skills, including communication, emotional intelligence and leadership. The goal is to enable and inspire our team members through learning experiences that prepare them to be their best in life.

Strive to create a corporate culture of learning. W.M. Jordan’s corporate training and employee development initiatives are anchored by a culture of life-long learning. A “lead by example” attitude is particularly important for leaders, managers and higher-level executives to create a leadership culture from the top down.

Encourage freedom to learn and share lessons learned with others. This means having the more uncomfortable conversations as well — discussing failure, mistakes and how to improve the next time around.

Revel in the rewards. Helping employees maximize their potential in work and in life is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I also believe W.M. Jordan’s investment in life-long learning is our most valuable competitive advantage.

Training employees and providing opportunities for career growth shows employees the company is invested in their future, which improves job satisfaction and retention. Training can also be used as a recruiting tool. Today’s younger employees seek more than a paycheck. Offering development opportunities helps attract top talent.

Simply put, development programs are the way to develop leaders. Creating a leadership culture is one of the most beneficial assets a company can build. This starts with advocating a life-long learning culture within your organization. After all, when you are learning, life is an adventure.