- Over two-thirds of talent development leaders in a recent survey said that increased engagement is the benefit they most expected to reap from policies encouraging a culture of lifelong learning. The survey was conducted by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the Institute for Corporate Productivity, and it is part of a report by the two firms sponsored by OpenSesame.
- Aside from engagement, other expected benefits that drove businesses to invest in lifelong learning include better organizational performance, increased talent retention, greater ability to respond to changing business needs, and improved competitive ability.
- Of talent development leaders in the survey, nearly 45% said building lifelong learners was a priority. While only 37% of all organizations in the report actively encouraged lifelong learning, 55% of "high-performing organizations" in the survey did. Half of companies in the report said they're encouraging employees to be "self-directed" learners.
Personalized training strategies that show employees a place in an organization have a better shot at improving engagement, according to industry experts. This may to explain why L&D professionals anticipate engagement being a primary benefit of the lifelong learning approach.
For businesses that provide continuous learning opportunities, the return on investment appears to be more than just a workforce with better understanding of skills. Capitalizing on employee curiosity and the desire to grow, within and above areas of expertise, means driving learning and engagement from top of the corporate ladder down to front-line staff.
But L&D teams may find it difficult to keep pace with employee needs, particularly in rapid-growth industries. The role of those in charge of training has shifted in recent years from one of a teacher to that of a knowledge curator. The challenge for the foreseeable future is providing the right training at the right time for emerging roles, both those that currently impact the job market and those of the future.