In the profound words of one of the world’s most celebrated business executives and former chairman and CEO of General Electric (1981-2001) Jack Welch…
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
The idea that people and not capital are what adds a competitive edge to business has become a cornerstone in moving the business world into the modern era.
5 reasons you should invest in your organisation’s learning:
- Improves business performance, staff productivity and efficiency, which helps gain a competitive edge.
- Improves employee’s skills and knowledge for their current job role, giving them a sense of pride and ownership.
- Enhances organisational development, ie. fostering of shared attitudes and values, which build a strong business culture and environment.
- Ignites employee motivation, by showing you are willing to invest in their development and growth.
- Compliance with legal requirements.
There are many more reasons than just five, the majority of these being unique to your organisation. The bottom line is if you want to succeed you must invest in building the knowledge and experience of your workforce.
The breakdown: What is organisational learning?
It’s the process of creating, retaining and transferring knowledge within an organisation.
An organisation improves over time as it gains experience. From this experience, it’s able to create knowledge which can be broad and over any topic that’s relevant to the organisation.
There are many ways employees can be developed, including; induction, on the job training, internal and external courses and workshops, compliance training, supported external study, coaching and mentoring.
An organisation is responsible for ensuring that its employees have the appropriate skills and knowledge to fulfil the organisation’s strategic and operational objectives. This responsibility also ensures the organisation is committed to their employees learning and development and ensuring their skills and knowledge are maintained and developed for ongoing competitiveness and adaptability.
It is critical for organisations to establish an organisational focus when setting goals for its learning and development activities. The learning and development objectives and strategies should link with the broader organisational objectives.
Understand what your organisation needs to achieve your goals
Organisations should ensure that appropriate needs analyses are undertaken to identify the learning and development requirements of the organisation, the business units/departments and individuals. These needs should be prioritised in terms of their potential impact on organisational effectiveness and profitability.
For an organisation’s learning and development strategy and policies to be successful, they should be focussed on helping the business to meet its objectives, and they should also reflect its mission, values and culture.
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