The most valuable thing you learn today might be a statistic about the value of learning itself. 

Most leaders and managers seeking to inspire people and teams intuitively know that learning is connected to employee engagement. New analysis from Glint backs up this belief with a compelling data point: Employees who see good opportunities to “learn and grow” are 3.6 times more likely to report being happy compared to those who don’t. 

And happiness is a strong signal that employees are engaged, which leads to strong performance. In short, learning is a great way to inspire workplace happiness and organizational success.

How managers can boost workplace learning

Glint’s analysis compliments a wealth of new insights from LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report. Among many other findings, the report encourages organizations to recognize the important role managers can play as champions of learning. Indeed, separate research shows the rapport between employees and managers is the most important relationship for employee engagement.

The most effective way to activate and support managers is to integrate learning “into the rhythm of the business,” the report says. For example, learning opportunities can be showcased during onboarding programs, performance reviews, and other key moments of the employee experience. Folding learning into everyday work life counteracts what the report recognizes as the biggest—and unsurprising—barrier to learning: lack of time. While 94% of 2,000 learners surveyed from 18 countries see career benefits from making time to learn, 49% said finding that time is tough.

The value of the right learning at the right time

One way to fight the devil of clock and calendar is personalization. The surveyed learners expressed strong desire for the right type of learning delivered exactly when they need it, such as course recommendations based on their individual career goals and skills gaps.

Targeted and personalized learning programs typically require organizational investment, which means there also ought to be measurable results. The report identifies measuring the outcome of learning as a “top strategic focus area” for Learning & Development leaders.

Metrics and the link to retention and career growth

So what learning metrics are most valuable? It makes sense for Learning & Development professionals to focus on direct metrics such as online course completions, repeat visits to a learning platform, and time spent learning. But the report also points out that the L&D industry has yet to converge on standards. 

On a separate horizon, it’s worth paying attention to the higher-level relationship between learning and signals of organizational health. In addition to happiness, Glint has found that learning relates to employee retention and confident career outlook. People who see the chance to learn and grow at work are:

  • 2.9 times more likely to report they expect they’ll still be with the company in two year’s time. 
  • 3.5 times more likely to report they believe their company can help them meet career goals.

How People Success supports employee engagement, performance, and learning

A new framework for viewing the importance of happy and high-performing employees is outlined in Glint’s eBook, People Success: How an employee-centered approach creates highly engaged people and successful organizations

This framework recognizes that people are responsible for bringing an organization’s strategy to life. People “plan, execute, communicate, and innovate,” the eBook points out, adding, “Increasingly organizations win or lose on the strength of their people.”

At its heart, People Success is rightly defined from an employee’s point of view. It means, “bringing your best self to work and doing your best work.” The People Success approach unifies the too-often separate realms of employee engagement, performance management, and learning. It recommends five pillars to serve as the support structure for employee success:

Fit: Your role matches your strengths and interests, and you feel a sense of belonging at work.

Alignment: You know what success looks like, what to prioritize, and you get feedback that helps you change course if needed.

Enablement: You have the support, tools, and resources you need to work effectively.

Motivation: You have the freedom to own your work, and you feel like you’re having a meaningful impact.

Growth: You are learning new skills, diversifying your experience, and progressing professionally.

How People Success powers global competitiveness

The final People Success pillar—growth—represents substantial challenge and enormous opportunity for most organizations. As pointed out in the Workplace Learning Report, the quickly evolving global economy means “the era of upskilling and re-skilling has arrived.” In fact, 51% of L&D professionals plan to launch upskilling programs (enhancing skills for a current job) this year and 43% will launch reskilling efforts (learning that enables a new job).

Organizations that plan to invest in workplace learning can anticipate a double benefit in bolstering the competitiveness of their internal skills base while also reaping the economic benefits of engaged employees.

But small steps can also be helpful when building a culture of learning and growth—and engaged employees. In fact, simple, achievable actions can be the most effective way to develop more engaged teams.

Kevin Delaney, LinkedIn’s Vice President of Learning & Development, has an easy way of encouraging excitement about learning. When talking with colleagues, he asks what they’re learning and shares what he’s learning. 

Hari Srinivasan, LinkedIn Learning’s Vice President of Product, likes to take time at the end of each workday to record something new that he learned. 

How about you? If you learned something from reading this post, consider sharing it with your own colleagues and network. You can also reach out to to the Glint team to learn more about Glint’s People Success Platform.