The ever-growing importance of L&D

Learning and Development

Training for effective employee development

Learning and development (L&D) is not just about preparing yourself, or your employees, for the obstacles the business will naturally face on a day-to-day basis.

What is equally vital is creating a culture of development; creating an environment where there is on-going investment in the upskilling of employees’ professional and personal capabilities, long-term. 

Emma Chatham, Junior Community Manager at YF explains:

“One of the biggest reasons candidates do not apply for SME jobs is a concern about their formal learning opportunities. Demonstrating a commitment to supporting them through access to structured training, mentorship and community networks is something candidates are expecting of us more and more.

As we all know, we’re currently in a candidate-short market , so it’s really important to do all you can to retain a strong workforce.”


So, what needs to be considered when investing in L&D within your team?

Think holistically

Create an empowered workforce by offering a wide range of training courses that will enhance all skills. This means not only focusing on upskilling at a discipline level but also honing in on the soft skills necessary to thrive within all roles such as; negotiation, time management, or unconscious bias.

Plan and appraise

Working with your employees to create a clear plan for their development will help you assess specific needs and targets.

It is best practice for managers to hold PDP (Personal Development Plan) meetings once every six months – we would even encourage to make this every month with direct reports. 

Typically a PDP will outline the details of the L&D needed, the desired outcomes and the date by when the individual wishes to complete the development. A similar structure to the below is helpful:

  • Predominantly led by the employee, both manager and line report should identify and align on the L&D needs for the coming six months to a year

  • Prioritise these requirements and attach a time-scale to the needs

  • Consider the best ways and methods for meeting the needs identified

  • Identify the desired ‘outcomes’ i.e. what they would like to get out of the development activity. This will help the individual assess the success of the activity when it has been completed.

Resist analysis

Rather than approaching L&D with a stringent focus on the direct correlation between learning and financial return within the business, try and shift the focus to investing in the longevity of your workforce.

Retaining a strong team will save you ten-fold and empowering your employees to take control of their own development, whilst providing the best platform to do so, is vital for the next generation joining the workforce post-covid.

Salaries are less competitive, so the more you can offer a dedicated work environment that encourages opportunity for development, the more attractive the job opportunity will be.

Creating your L&D structure 

If you are interested in implementing an official L&D structure into your business, we can help. Created with high-growth FMCG brands in mind and led by hand-picked industry experts, the YF online-training courses are designed to give you and your team the tools you need to propel everyone to excellence.

Speak to a member of our team by emailing us at [email protected] or use our chatbot function.

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