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As every good company leader knows, learning and development can be the key to unlocking a successful business. Motivated staff who are given the right tools to learn effectively, upskill, and grow professionally will work hard and remain loyal to your organisation. In fact, 94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn said they would stay at a company who invests in helping them learn.

So, we know that learning in the workplace is important, but as a business, you need to make sure you’re doing it right. If you promise great L&D to your team and don’t deliver the goods, you could face a backlash from your workforce.


Broken promises can destroy trust

Here’s the scenario; you’ve got your team geared up and excited about their future. You may have even recruited new talent who joined the company based on the opportunity to level-up their knowledge and skills. Everyone is poised and ready to learn, and then… it all falls flat.

Fall flat

Why? Because L&D that actually has an impact on employees and the company as a whole has to be driven by an imbedded culture of learning, and a learning culture doesn’t happen overnight. If you tell your employees that they’re going to learn new skills, hone the skills they already have, and be part of a company that puts time, effort, and resources into their staff and then you don’t follow through with an L&D plan that is ongoing and sustainable, your team will begin to question your word. In short, the trust is broken.


Your staff will feel let down

Being told that something exciting and beneficial is going to happen and then being let down leaves a sour taste which can fast grow into despondence. And guess what employees who feel despondent do? They leave and find a new job.

Leave and find a new job

“Learning and development leaders play a key role in retaining and attracting top talent, and inspiring and facilitating change,” explains Forbes. They go on to report that “limited career progression and a lack of learning opportunities are the top reasons why 72% of tech employees say they’re thinking of quitting their jobs in the next 12 months.” If staff don’t feel valued and aren’t given the right resources to grow within your company, the majority of them will find an organisation that can give them what they need.


Does poor L&D lead to poor productivity?

The short answer is yes. We’ve examined what can happen if L&D isn’t executed properly, and a negative impact on productivity is likely if you don’t follow through with beneficial and applicable L&D. Effects on productivity can send tidal waves through your business and lead to missed deadlines, loss of revenue, poor customer service, unhappy clients, reduced quality of output, loss of focus, and overall demotivation. Ouch.


The impact of poor L&D

Adrian Harvey, CEO of AI company Elephants Don’t Forget, says “organisations must realise that purpose, content, and timing of employee training – and the way it is delivered – is going to be paramount to improving employee capability, job satisfaction, KPIs, and wider economic growth within businesses in 2022.” Harvey, who’s company has generated $2.1M in revenue so far this year, notes that “one size fits all training” is counterproductive for improving productivity and is also going to alienate employees and put them off of engaging in the learning process altogether.

Britt Andreatta, former Chief Learning Officer for LinkedIn Learning and author of numerous books tackling the subject of L&D, believes “it’s all about helping people maximize their potential.” She says, “we are wired to want to learn and grow, and we hunger to become our best selves. But unfortunately, managers and workplace cultures often undermine that, causing people to disengage and for productivity to drop.”


She breaks effective L&D down into 3 essential parts and says any L&D programme should consider the following:

  • Solve the real challenges people are facing.
  • Be aligned with how the brain learns.
  • Be designed to create sustained behaviour change.


Who is responsible for getting it right?

Depending on your company setup, you may have a dedicated L&D person or team, or perhaps your HR is responsible for learning within your business. Whoever takes the lead on learning, they have a huge job on their hands to ensure L&D is accessible for all, effective and beneficial for everybody, and helps boost productivity for the company. It can be seen as a big and often quite daunting task which needs to be tackled with a clear strategy and gung-ho execution. The HR Director explains “productivity is primarily about empowering people. Without doubt, skills comprise a major part of the productivity puzzle and therefore L&D departments, as the guardians of learning and skills, increasingly find themselves in the hot seat for tackling the most critical strategic priority for organisations today.”

Productivity puzzle

So, is your company getting it right?

What we’ve learned here is that education and learning is different for everyone. There’s no blanket approach to L&D for your company that will bring miraculous results overnight. Each and every member of your team learns differently, and so finding a solution that works for everyone is the way to make sure that your workforce engages with the process and are as excited a year down the line as they were on day 1 of their learning journey. Your L&D strategy needs to work right off the bat and have the legs to go the distance so that your staff continue to benefit for months and years ahead.

Happy staff

Using a platform like Thirst allows each of your team members to design their own learning journey and to consume information however they prefer. Whether they like to read, listen, or watch, our machine learning will not only recommend the right materials, but also deliver them in a format that best suits your employees. You will be able to view how well your staff are engaging with the platform, and establish if anyone needs additional support. You will be able to track which skills are being worked on, and identify any skills gaps that you may not have been aware of within your business.

Having a clear overview of how your team are benefiting from your learning platform will mean you can ensure the process is working, and that each and every team member is learning and growing, and ultimately, helping your business to reach its full potential.

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