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Should You Invest in Learning & Development During a Crisis?

4/28/20 11:27 AM

As the world responds to the outbreak of COVID-19, there’s been major— albeit necessary— changes to the workforce. Most organizations have made the shift to working remotely, and teams are leveraging technology to collaborate and increase efficiencies like never before. Despite the many positive changes, organizations worldwide are trimming their budget and cutting the spend on Learning & Development (L&D) initiatives. However, in this new economic climate, Learning & Development has never been more important.

During tough economic times, organizations place a large focus on protecting their bottom line. While many believe that cutting spend on L&D can protect profit margins and decrease unnecessary spending, it actually does more harm than good. Why?  

Employee Engagement Remains Priority 

Employee engagement is more important than ever. It has the potential to significantly affect employee retention, productivity and loyalty, and links directly to customer satisfaction, company reputation, and overall stakeholder value. For example, disengaged workers have 37 percent higher absenteeism and commit 60 percent more errors. 

In addition, research shows that developing positive organizational concepts during times of crisis—like optimism, trust and participation—create positive shifts in dynamic markets, while positioning organizations to achieve long-term sustainability.  

As employee engagement increases, productivity increases— and when productivity increases, so does revenue. According to studies performed by IBM: 

  • Companies with highly engaged employees have earnings-per-share levels 2.6 times higher than companies with low engagement scores 
  • Those with highly engaged employees experience a net income that is two times higher than companies with poor engagement scores 
  • Organizations with highly engaged employees experience a 5-year total annual shareholder return that is seven times higher than organizations with less-engaged employees 

 

Sales Quotas Are More Pivotal than Ever 

A major challenge that Learning & Development solutions can solve is sales team effectiveness. While salespeople have always had quotas to hit, they are more pivotal than ever— and many sales professionals are struggling to balance their everyday routine in this new climate.   

This is where Learning & Development plays an immensely crucial role. It’s easy to lose sight of an organization’s brand and culture (two of the most significant aspects of an effective sale) while working in remote isolation. Sales enablement tools help create a systematic approach to selling, with consistent and scalable ways to close the deal.  

Learning & Development providers offer robust solutions focused on eLearning and microlearning that are affordable and can be taken anywhere, at any time. These solutions can focus on:  

  • Consistent training for globally dispersed and remote sales teams 
  • Updates training in line with product and company developments during the changing climate 
  • Technical product knowledge that coincides with ever changing industry trends and adjustments 

 

Technologies are Changing— Organizations Need to Keep Up 

It’s no secret: COVID-19 is forcing organizations to adapt to the Digital Transformation, quicker and more vigorously than planned for some. A recent survey shows that only a third of people in the United States worked from home before the pandemic, and many aren’t as prepared as they’d like to be. According to industry leaders, this high demand for technology expertise “means that companies must rely more heavily on their current employees to fill the digital void. Learning is, therefore, critical to companies’ growth strategies, transformation and revenue objectives.” 

Learning & Development solutions help prepare organizations for sudden shifts in the economic climate by ensuring teams are aligned with the business goals and strategy. By creating training based around necessary goals and technologies, organizations can better protect their resources while addressing and serving customer demands.  

 

Want to know more about leveraging Learning & Development to meet your goals? Click here to contact Megan, our Vice President of Business Development for complimentary consulting hours for a custom learning solution. 

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