HR Florida


Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

Leveraging Learning and Development for Business Success

By Jessica Larson

The terms “training” and “learning and development” are often used interchangeably, but understanding their differences can improve an organization’s employee experience, retention and productivity. In a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 62% of workers quit their positions due to a lack of career advancement and growth within their company, speaking to the importance of providing opportunities for employees to learn.

Upward mobility and growth opportunities are crucial elements of creating a learning culture. Employees typically do not join an organization intending to stay there indefinitely. However, by offering learning and development opportunities, your organization can create an opportunity for your company and your employees to evolve together. The first step in creating a strong learning and development (L&D) program is clearly defining how it will relate to the businesses’ long-term goals and strategy.

Here are three ways that a dynamic L&D program and a learning culture can enhance your organization:

Boost your employee retention

A fulfilled workforce is less likely to consider opportunities with your competitors. Often, managers are concerned that employees will use skills gained in L&D programs to jump to another organization. However, this could not be further from the truth.

In actuality, organizations that neglect to offer growth opportunities to their staff can see greater turnover than organizations that invest in employee growth.  A 2022 survey from The Conference Board found 58% of employees reported they were likely to leave their current employer unless they had access to professional development opportunities.

Investing time and resources into L&D programs is a sure way to retain top talent and stay competitive. A skilled workforce is also an asset in a tight labor market.

Create upskilling and reskilling opportunities

Upskilling can help your company stay ahead of the curve by reducing skill gaps and preparing employees to advance within their organization. You can pair an upskilling strategy alongside reskilling, which teaches employees how to perform an entirely new set of skills.

Our 2024 Insperity Business Outlook Report, which asked small- and medium-sized businesses about their priorities, revealed that nearly 75% had already or were planning to introduce an upskilling strategy. These organizations will likely reap the benefits of upskilling programs by developing an internal talent pipeline, which will help them fill critical roles.

When your employees experience how upskilling programs can help them advance into more senior positions, or how reskilling initiatives allow them to enter entirely new roles, they will feel empowered and motivated to grow. Through leveraging AI and analytics, you can also design an upskilling program that includes specialized employee recommendations based on experience, career goals and your organization’s needs.

Stand out in the labor market

You can stand out and attract top talent by providing growth opportunities. By building a learning culture and an effective L&D strategy, you will attract the notice of your employees and top talent on the labor market.

In a tight labor market, half the battle is keeping your current team members on board. L&D can shift the balance in your favor. In LinkedIn’s 2024 Workplace Learning Report, data showed a 57% boost in employee retention for organizations with a strong learning culture.

Career advancement is especially valuable to Generation Z when deciding between prospective employers. Per research from McKinsey, career development in advancement potential is the number one reason why Gen Z left one position for another. Not only does that statistic emphasize the significance of L&D to retention, but it also speaks to the possibility of leveraging the youngest generation on your team for succession planning.

Your recruitment materials and employer brand marketing can also emphasize L&D to maximize the recruitment benefits. With top talent fixated on growth opportunities, your recruitment marketing should tell a story around internal mobility and advancement to attract their attention.

Finally, continue to bring attention to your L&D initiatives during employee onboarding. Onboarding is a critical period in the employee life cycle when you can instill your mission and values in new hires. By spotlighting L&D from their very first day, you can ensure new employees understand the available benefits, which increases the chance that they will take advantage.

In Conclusion

As more companies prioritize learning and development, now is the ideal time to reassess your organization’s strategy. Creating a solid foundation for L&D builds a more adaptable and resilient organization.

Jessica Larson is a senior human resources specialist with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources offering the most comprehensive suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit