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Why a Training Mindset Needs to Start from the Top

Imagine two scenarios. In the first, your boss swans into work sometime between 9am and 11am every day. In the second, your manager arrives at 8am on the dot and is already hard at work by the time you step through the door.

Which boss will cultivate a workforce that values punctuality? The first or the second?

The answer seems obvious and yet people don’t realise that setting an example works not only for punctuality, but for a whole host of other behaviours you, as an employer, want to encourage and foster in the workplace.

This includes how engaged your staff are when it comes to learning and development training and, therefore, how successful your business is.


Employee engagement is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to learning and development


In our recent survey of over 4,000 learning and development professionals in the UK, nearly a quarter stated that getting employees involved in training and keeping them engaged during the process was one of their biggest challenges.

Staff who aren’t engaged in training situations are inevitably less likely to be engaged in your company, too, according to our survey. It’s been shown that training and development actually improves staff engagement, showing a willingness to invest in staff and their progression and development. The happier staff are, the more productive they will be. Recent research has found that 39% of staff will work harder or for longer hours if they love their job.

So how do you get employees to buy into the training and development that will, in turn, promote engagement and loyalty with the company?


A poor learning culture stems from the top of the organisation


A whopping 72% of HR professionals from companies with poor learning cultures said that their organisation’s leadership does not value workplace learning.

If you want your staff to be engaged in training, your leadership team needs to put it at the centre of everything they do.

Bosses need to be engaged in learning and development, and pass that down to employees. Passion and enthusiasm are contagious - so if your management team isn’t fully invested and see training as a waste of time, it should be no surprise when staff feel the same way.


A positive approach to training has positive effects on a company’s success


Companies that spend more than the average amount on training for their employees are twice as likely to say that their employees are highly satisfied, according to the survey. In fact, there’s a wealth of statistics to show that investing in your employees makes them happier and even more loyal to your company and your brand.

A recent survey found that 42% of employees rated learning and development as the most important employee perk of their company – above health insurance and tax benefits.

This has wide-ranging, positive effects across the company. Think about how much it costs to train an existing member of staff versus how much it costs to recruit and train a new member. If you retain a staff member for just one additional year, how much are you saving financially? How much are you saving in terms of time - and that’s not just time spent training your new employee, but recruiting them, too?

Given that the majority of companies (80%) only spend up to £600 a year per employee, chances are, the answer is a significant amount.


Leading organisations use learning and development to put employees at the heart of what they do


In investigating a winning learning culture, we spoke to human resources and learning and development professionals from a wide array of organisations. We believe Kim Edwards, Senior Talent Development Manager at Getty Images, put it best:

“A healthy professional learning culture is one that puts employees at the centre of everything.’’

It’s true that people are the heart of any business. Without the people, nothing would happen.

When a company’s leadership team prioritises learning and development, they are prioritising their employees. They are making a statement about the value of their personnel in the very act of investing in them.

This, in turn, makes employees more engaged with the business, more likely to stay and more likely to be more productive and work harder.

A learning culture that comes from the top is key not just to a business’ success now, but its success in the future.

Want to learn more? Read the 2018 L&D Report by

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