An advanced college or graduate school degree used to be a major asset, but the realities of today's fast changing business climate require a staff with deep skills and ability in rapid learning and continuous development.

Specified knowledge still has its merit, but organizations that solely rely on yesterday's knowledge won't be around very long. Cultivating a culture of life-long learners is paramount to future success.

Top talent today is looking deeply at how each role they trade their time and energy for will further their overall career and intrinsic value as an individual contributor. Great companies hold on to great people by being a committed partner in their personal and knowledge development.

Continuing education or professional learning opportunities allow employers, employees and trainers alike to follow the cutting edge in their field and keep abreast of changes that can pay huge dividends down the line.

Certifications, continuing education credits and corporate training can broaden a worker's skill sets and make them a more attractive candidate. Managers and employers can learn the latest techniques to streamline their business while ensuring that their staff is both happy and highly productive.

Leading compliance information publisher BLR® recently conducted a survey of employers from a diverse array of industries and organizational sizes and it demonstrates that employers are aware of how important learning and development are to their organizations' success.

"People are increasingly valuing the benefits of learning in small intimate communities. They value the privacy and safety of being in a small online classroom and the interactivity with real people across the world who share their passions", said Elspeth Briscoe, Founder & CEO at Learning With Experts .

Professional learning and development offers great benefits to both employers and employees. The employee becomes more capable, competent, and confident in themselves and their work; the employer gets maximum return on their investment in human capital and promotes innovation across their business. Here are two specific reasons why continuing education can help any business grow to its full potential:

1. See around corners in your industry

No matter your niche, odds are the landscape is changing rapidly, so it's essential for any business to keep up with current developments and innovate a few of their own to avoid being left behind. Regulations are also constantly struggling to keep up with innovation, so it's vital to have a finger on the latest developments in that arena as well.

2. Identify critical weaknesses or skill gaps in your team

With consistent staff training, businesses can easily see any gaps in the market and skill gaps within the existing workforce. By understanding these gaps early, there is enough time to provide training in those areas so that employees can effectively fulfill their role.

We can see that professional training is important not only to the employee but also to raising the standards and success of the organization. 

With Forbes reporting a total of over 13 Billion USD in company spending on training and investing in staffs all over the world in 2013, it's clear that many businesses are now starting to see the benefits of professional learning and development for their teams.

"The main reason why business owners tend not to see staff training as a priority but rather as something optional is that they see it more as an expense rather than an investment that will give their business a superior return over time", states Robert Klinck, the CEO of Klinck."

This can be understood to a certain level when training and development is not actually focused on achieving a specific target result for the company.

The bottom line is that professional learning and development is important in all aspects of a business and in most cases leads to increased growth of small, medium and large organizations.

The tricky part is that many companies simply aren't sure which systems or approaches make the most sense in their case.

One of my favorite places to expose some of our growing portfolio companies to when they are trying to create a strategy around professional learning and development is BLR's Workforce L&D 2017. It's a great way for you to see what's out there in terms of workforce learning systems and initiatives and determine how they could apply to your organization. You can discover how training can be designed effectively, helping to increase engagement and reduce turnover.

As this approach continues to gain traction, these on-site opportunities will become even more important to insure that your organization isn't left behind.

Published on: Sep 27, 2017
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