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L&D: The key to attracting and retaining employees of all ages

L&D: The key to attracting and retaining employees of all ages

Learning and development programs benefit employees across generations—and strengthen your employer brand.

If you look at the generations making up the American workforce as a pie chart, millennials are one of the largest slices. And according to one study, 59% of them say opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important to them when applying for a job.

When you’re newer in your career, it’s critical to gain knowledge quickly. As such, learning and development programs are essential to an individual employee’s success—and, by extension, the success of the company.

In addition to training fresh workers who may eventually rise to the ranks of senior management within the organization, L&D initiatives communicate to candidates (and prospective candidates) that an employer is invested in their professional growth.

L&D programs benefit older employees, too. According to a recent presentation by Josh Bersin, 80% of all companies rate their business as “highly complex” or “complex” for their employees. This means many workers need new skills or training to stay relevant, particularly in an increasingly connected, “always-on” digital world.

Other workers may be looking to grow into a more senior role, or pivot to an entirely new function. Again, L&D saves the day in these cases: when you invest in developing your employees, they feel as if they’re being invested in, and in turn often become more committed to the organization. This helps increase retention, and keeps more experienced employees’ valuable institutional knowledge within the company.

Like most things related to employee engagement—or the employee experience at large—there are no immediate fixes. Learning and development programs take time to build and implement, and a culture of learning takes time to take root. But the long term benefits are real: educated and engaged employees will become some of your organization’s most effective brand ambassadors.

As Igloo Software CMO Mike Hicks wrote to HR Dive, "You can create a positive internal culture, which will be reflected in a positive customer experience and help build your company's brand.”

Strong L&D programs not only help keep top talent around longer—they help you attract your organization’s future rock stars.

Interested in learning more? Check out our new eGuide, 3 ways learning and development programs improve employee engagement.