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February 14, 2023


4 min read

Unlocking employee success through workplace learning

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In this post:

Employee success is a win-win. 

When an individual excels in their role, it results in increased productivity, engagement and motivation, which contributes to the overall success and growth of the company. On the other hand, an unsuccessful employee may experience frustration, low morale and reduced motivation, which can lead to underperformance, and ultimately, a negative impact on the business. 

A successful workforce contributes to a myriad of advantages to a business, including:

  • Reduced costs associated with turnover


  • A higher ROI on employee benefit expenditure



While there are numerous factors that contribute to creating an environment that supports employee success, a growing number of people teams are realizing that one stands out as a major catalyst: learning and development. Let’s discuss how you can strategically leverage workplace learning to facilitate employee success across your organization.


Defining and measuring employee success

Before diving into how to boost employee success, it’s important to know what success looks like and how to measure it. After all, success is a somewhat subjective term that can mean something different to everyone. If you don’t have a clear definition and measurement strategy as your foundation, tracking the progress of your efforts can pose a challenge.

You most likely already have some metrics and processes in place to measure employee performance, but it’s important that these are regularly evaluated to ensure they’re still the right metrics for your unique workforce structure. 

A common approach is to collect a mix of both quantitative and qualitative data that not only demonstrates an individual’s performance but also considers how they feel about their work by examining their opinions, attitudes and beliefs. 

Other tactics can include:

  • Goals and objectives: Evaluate how employees meet their career goals, as well as team and department objectives.


  • Feedback and evaluations: Gather feedback and valuable insights from supervisors and peers through open-ended questions, interviews and observations.


  • Career progression: Track the progress of career advancement, which can include things like promotions or even lateral moves to other departments.


Regardless of how you decide to define and measure success, the most important thing is making sure that employees have a clear understanding of what it looks like and how they will be measured on an individual basis.


Enabling employee success through workplace learning

As the modern workplace evolves, employee expectations are shifting. Concerns about growing skills gaps are top-of-mind for HR leaders, but workers are equally as concerned about their own skills and ability to build career resilience. A recent study showed that 46% of employees anticipate that their current skill sets will become completely redundant by 2024.  

Today’s employees look to their jobs for more than just a paycheck. They seek out employers that can offer them meaningful development opportunities and career advancement.

When it comes to employee success, a well-thought-out learning and development strategy can make all the difference  – from closing skills gaps to enabling career mobility and fostering engagement. 


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3 ways workplace learning promotes employee success

Let’s look at three ways that workplace L&D influences workforce success:

  • Boosts retention
    Opportunities for skills development are something job seekers actively look for in an employer today. Recent research shows that 94% of employees surveyed say they would stay longer in their current position if given better learning and development opportunities. Offering access to learning and education fosters engagement and shows your people that your organization is truly invested in their growth – giving them a reason to stick around for longer.


  • Supports performance and productivity
    Widespread skills gaps mean employees are less effective in their current roles, however motivated or engaged they might be. Workforce training and education programs are designed to equip workers with the relevant skills they need to excel in their current roles or upskill/reskill into a new position. Better yet, working adult learners can apply what they learn from their coursework directly to their day-to-day jobs, further boosting performance.


  • Bolsters engagement
    Engaged employees are more effective in their positions than their less engaged counterparts. Engaged workers are as much as 44% more productive, with learning playing an active part in that. Another study shows reports that 80% of employees surveyed shared that better learning opportunities would have a positive effect on their sense of engagement at work.


Up-leveling your employee success plan

If your learning initiatives aren’t making the impact on employee success that you expected, it may be time to take a step back and re-strategize.  Here are a few ideas for how you can optimize your approach:


  • Variety of learning opportunities for all skills needs
    An entry-level Retail Associate is going to have an entirely different set of skills needs from a Store Manager with ten years of experience. Make sure your L&D strategy incorporates different learning options that can satisfy a diverse range of needs.

    This includes short-term needs such as training or certification courses, as well as long-term options such as degree programs or mentorship opportunities. This enables more employee learners to find relevant programs that fuel continuous development, and ultimately, employee success.


  • Accessibility of learning
    If your employees are not taking advantage of the learning opportunities available to them, a crucial factor that deserves a closer look is accessibility. Many common workplace learning programs are not designed with accessibility in mind, barring the people who need it most from participating in them.

    For example, traditional tuition reimbursement programs required employees to pay upfront for tuition and then wait weeks, even months, for reimbursement. These programs reinforce institutional bias toward individuals who can afford to pay upfront for tuition, leaving those with different financial circumstances behind.

    Evaluate your L&D programs through this lens to ensure accessibility is always at the forefront.


  • Learning technology
    Outdated learning technology can be a major barrier to engagement for employees. The learning experience should integrate seamlessly into the lives of your people, not be a source of frustration. This means taking the time to update legacy software and hardware so that your people can learn in the location and format that is most convenient for their lifestyle.


One step closer to continuous employee success

A successful employee spells success for the organization too. An essential component for employee success is developing the knowledge of your employees and leaders.   

Guided by flexible, continuous learning and investment on the part of your organization, your workforce will be better equipped to adapt to emerging industry demands and fuel the company forward to ongoing success.

Read more: Skills development is integral to fostering a motivated, productive workforce. Unlock this guide to learn how to fast-track an effective skill-building program at your organization.