How learning and development drives talent retention and growth

Female leader presenting at a table to her team

In the ongoing quest to attract and retain top talent, organisations are discovering that offering robust Learning & Development (L&D) programs are critical to their success. A strategic focus on L&D can be a game-changer for nurturing talent and driving growth, which in turn can foster a high performance environment in the organisation.

Importance of Learning & Development

The desire for continuous growth among employees is evident, according to the 'Ready, Steady, Upskill' Report by RMIT and Deloitte, 70% of employees desire more investment in their learning and development. However, only 64% of employers believe they are meeting this demand adequately. This gap highlights the potential for organisations to stand out and differentiate themselves by prioritising L&D initiatives.

”Candidates today seek employers who offer robust training programs and tangible opportunities for skill and knowledge development. A company's investment in employee growth signals its commitment to nurturing talent and fostering long-term career progression.”

Tara Todd-Chidley, National Learning & Development Manager.

Showcasing talent development

Companies are increasingly focusing on their Employer Value Proposition (EVP) in job advertisements and career pages. By highlighting initiatives like L&D, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), and career pathways, organisations can attract candidates who are more inclined to be looking for long term opportunities.

Providing a clear career pathway with defined learning opportunities is essential for retaining top talent. By empowering employees to take ownership of their professional journey through competency-based frameworks and diverse learning activities, organisations can foster a culture of continuous growth. It’s a bit like providing a roadmap and letting the employee drive themselves to the destination, completing learning activities along the way. Learning activities could include anything from training, e-learning, coaching, researching, shadowing, apps or even the use of AI to increase knowledge and technical skills.

What returns can employers expect from training?

Investing in a well-developed Learning and Development (L&D) strategy brings numerous benefits to employers. It contributes to a highly skilled and motivated workforce by addressing skills gaps and enhancing productivity and competitiveness. This fosters increased autonomy, mastery, and competency among employees, leading to heightened job satisfaction and improved retention rates.

Companies with strong learning cultures not only experience higher retention rates but also benefit from increased internal mobility and a healthier management pipeline. This, in turn, attracts top talent and enables organisations to stay ahead of market trends. 

For employees, L&D investments empower them to enhance their skills, stay relevant, and pursue meaningful career paths, resulting in increased job satisfaction, engagement, and overall performance. Studies show that 7 in 10 people say learning improves their sense of connection to their organisation, with 8 in 10 people saying learning adds purpose to their work. 

There are four key ways that employers can maximise their training and development:

  1. Measure ROI: Use competency based frameworks to measure return on investment and improvement in skills and knowledge.

  2. Match training programs to skills gaps: Conduct a training need analysis and drill down to the key areas that need upskilling.

  3. Capture on-the-job training: Implement skill sprints and leverage on-the-job training for practical skill development.

  4. Leverage new technologies: Embrace generative AI to create personalised learning experiences and enhance on-the-job learning through Q&A.
    ('Ready, Steady, Upskill' Report, 2024)

Investing in Learning and Development is not just an option - it's a strategic imperative for organisations looking to thrive in today's competitive business environment. By prioritising L&D initiatives, organisations can attract top talent, retain valuable employees, foster a culture of continuous learning, and ultimately drive engagement and commitment to the business.

Read more Employer Insights.