The Ledger No. 55: Professional Development

June 23, 2022 Sarah Dameron

CFO Encouraging professional development in organization

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of how to utilize professional development to build the team you need to boost your business’s bottom line as well as how to encourage it in your organization. Read on to discover how to structure your right-skilling and professional development programs in the workplace, how to boost retention through professional development, why learning and development is a competitive differentiator and why learning and development is key to facing challenges this year head on.

The Weekly Ledger how to encourage professional development

Why Right-Skilling is More Important Than Ever

Thanks to the pandemic and a digitally transformed workforce, companies are having to rethink their training and development programs. Years ago, businesses would reskill their employees so that they could pivot more easily. However, with the rise of emerging technologies, leaders are shifting their training strategies towards right-skilling. A recent Deloitte report found that “flexibility/adaptability” was ranked the most critical workforce trait for an organization’s future. So how can right-skilling help?

  • Increased productivity

  • Increased job satisfaction

  • Improved bottom line

And more importantly, how do you begin?

  • Don’t improvise - start by identifying gaps and go from there.

  • Explain how right-skilling can benefit your employees, not the company.

  • Make learning interactive and meaningful - no two employees are the same.

To explore how right-skilling can help companies drive business success, check out the full article on forbes.com.

On-the-Job Professional Development: How to Encourage and Prioritize Learning to Boost Retention

The last few years have completely changed peoples’ perspectives. Instead of wanting a higher salary, flexible schedule, unlimited PTO, employees are demanding something else: on-the-job professional development. The 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report found that employees believe professional development is the number-one way to improve company culture. What’s more, a report by The Execu|Search Group showed that 86 percent of professionals said they would change jobs if a new company offered them more opportunities for professional development. Not only that, a Better Buys survey found that employees who get professional development opportunities are 15 percent more engaged and have 34 percent higher retention rates than those who don’t. Undoubtedly, prioritizing learning and development in the workplace is key to a thriving business. But how do you make it front and center?

  • Connect your employees to learning from day one.

  • Make it a part of your routine, whether that’s daily or weekly.

  • Foster a coaching culture that moves beyond the c-suite level.

It’s no secret that people are wanting more from their employers. By making learning and development a part of your business’s growth strategy, your improving employee retention (and loyalty). For more on how to prioritize L&D opportunities, view the full article on hbr.org.

Making Your Company a Great Place to Work: The Key Differentiator

Data from the new TalentLMS and SHRM research showed that employees see a learning and development culture as a key part of what makes a company a great place to work in 2022 and beyond. So where exactly is L&D heading this year? Key findings include:

  • 67 percent of HR managers have an increased L&D budget in 2022.

  • 46 percent of HR managers already have specific training in place for new graduates just entering the workforce.

  • 55 percent of employees say they need additional training to perform better in their roles.

  • 38 percent of employees advise companies to align training with job responsibilities.

Evidently, L&D is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity. Christina Gialleli, Director of People Operations at Epignosis, said it best: “Learning and development training programs are in high demand from employees, becoming one of the top benefits that are being sought after from their current and future employers.” She continues with saying that “L&D training has become a competitive advantage.” So how can organizations approach learning and development opportunities?

  • Set unique goals for each generation – Gen-Z, Millennials, Gen-X and Baby Boomers.

  • Normalize mental health needs by offering life skills training.

  • Offer continuous training; learning should be a lifelong goal.

  • Cater to your employees’ needs and not your own.

To discover why implementing learning and professional development throughout your business is a competitive advantage, as well as some other ways to encourage it, head over to forbes.com to explore the full article.

Preparing for the Future: Why Learning and Professional Development is Vital - It's Time to Encourage it in Your Organization

Historically, learning and development has taken a backseat to other workplace strategies. But since the onset of the pandemic, L&D has become a crucial asset as the benefits alone are enough to drive company growth. Here are a few reasons why learning and development is indispensable:

  • The Great Resignation fueled the need for businesses to craft new learning experiences. As of last year, over four million Americans quit their jobs. And while this might seem like something to panic over, companies now have the opportunity to help improve retention through L&D.

  • People are naturally opposed to change. And when the world’s workforce went completely virtual overnight, many people struggled with the shift. But if we’ve learned one thing through this whole pandemic it’s that resiliency is key (and a skill in high demand).

  • It’s safe to say that we’re entering into a new age of working. In fact, Gen-Z and Millennials make up over half of the U.S. workforce. And 87 percent of them say “learning and development in the workplace is important.”

  • There’s a growing need to think futuristically. A recent Future of Jobs Report highlighted that skills gaps are expected to remain high for the next few years, and 94 percent of business leaders expect employees to pick up new skills on the job. Moreover, leadership development skills remain high on the skills list, with many wanting real world skills like:

    • Creating psychological safety

    • Managing crises

    • Uniting a team

To dive deeper into why relying on learning and development for support in overcoming challenges, check out the full article on bigthink.com.

Interested in hearing how other CFOs and accounting executives are navigating this new landscape? Check out our podcast, CFO Weekly, where you’ll discover what hurdles other financial leaders are facing, what’s working (& not working) and what opportunities you can take advantage of this year and beyond.

Ready to get back to networking with other like-minded professionals? Attend one of our CFO Leadership LIVE panels – head over to our main event page for exact dates.

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