The key to company growth relies on its workforce; therefore, attracting, engaging and retaining the best people are critical to the success of any company. This is even more critical for smaller organizations where resources are commonly stretched thin. Numerous studies have been conducted regarding employee engagement and productivity. Most of these studies have concluded that engaged employees are more productive and are therefore more profitable then employees that are not engaged.
Employee Engagement Statistics
Despite the findings of this research, employee engagement remains a lofty goal for many companies. In fact, according to the Gallup Organization, only 33% of the American workforce is engaged at work; 51% of employees are not engaged and 16% are actively disengaged.
Employee Development – A Win-Win Strategy
There are many initiatives to consider in support of employee engagement, such as flexible working hours and open communications/transparency, but one of the most beneficial initiatives to consider is implementing an employee development program. Investing in employee development is a win-win. According to Deloitte, “learning opportunities are among the largest drivers of employee engagement and strong workplace culture – they are part of the entire employee value proposition, not merely a way to build skills.”
Employees crave a career path. They look to their employers to create learning opportunities and development goals. Seriously, nobody seeks out a position that lacks growth and opportunity. Creating a culture of learning throughout your organization that provides employees with development goals and ample time for learning engages them and drives productivity, creativity, innovation and ultimately profitability.
The Small Business Conundrum
While larger companies may have an easier time developing the foundation for employee engagement initiatives, many small business owners may be overwhelmed by the concept due to lack of a large HR support team and smaller budgets.
However, the fact remains that the loss of a key employee can be devastating to a small business. Loss of productivity, morale issues, and staggering employee turnover costs all work towards disrupting the business. Clearly, small businesses have much to gain by engaging and retaining their employees. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to invest in employee engagement rather than turnover costs?
Employee Engagement Solutions for Small Businesses
A learning management system (LMS) is an affordable solution for small business owners and provides a solid foundation for employee engagement. For what it costs to recruit, hire and onboard one employee, including the losses associated with the open position, a small business could implement an LMS that would benefit all employees. An LMS provides small businesses with a central location to manage, distribute, and track learning and development opportunities with little effort. Existing training materials can be supplemented with off-the-shelf eLearning content from a wide variety of providers. Alternatively, there are a plethora of learning materials available for free on the Internet including articles, presentations, and videos (think TED talks). Quizzes and assessments can be developed quickly to measure the impact of learning and solicit feedback from your employees. When your employees incorporate what they’ve learned into their work, it provides a great opportunity to recognize your employees and show them that they are valuable and impacting the way your company does business. So…win-win right?
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband, Steve, and her Siamese cat, Elvis, and with family and friends.