COVID-19: Supporting employee development

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Health Assured team

22 April 2020

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would choose to stay with a company longer if there was an investment in learning.


Normally taking place in May, Learning at Work Week is a unique annual event that encourages employers to “build learning cultures” in the workplace.


The campaign highlights the benefits of continual learning and development for employees, and for organisations as a result.


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the event organisers, Campaign for Learning, have decided to postpone the official dates to October 2020. However, while the event has been pushed back to a later date, the need for employers to focus on employee learning and development during these uncertain times is imperative.


Benefits of learning at work

The virus outbreak has affected businesses from across the globe in an unprecedented manner, for instance, many UK and Irish team members will be working from home or in some cases, furloughed for the time being. Not only will this be affecting the daily running of your organisation, but the mental health of your workforce will undoubtedly be affected by the change to their work lives.


While the situation is far from ideal for businesses, employers can use time as an opportunity to improve the learning and development of their staff. By doing so, proactive employers will see various benefits for both their people and the businesses as a whole:

Attract the best talent - By implementing a thorough training and development plan within your organisation, potential employees will see how serious you take the development of your staff. This will be a key factor for many ambitious candidates.


Improved employee performance - By developing your team members in their roles and detailing a pathway through the ranks within your organisation, employees will feel motivated to improve on their performances. Which in turn, will benefit the business as a whole.


Increased employee satisfaction - When a business fosters an atmosphere of development and support, the workplace wellbeing benefits also. Team members who feel appreciated and challenged at work have greater satisfaction towards their roles.


Reduced turnover - Research from Gartner has found that 40% of departing employees cite a lack of career development as a dissatisfying factor in their jobs. Employees will feel more valued in an organisation who invests into their future by offering training and development opportunities. Thus, making them less likely to leave the business.


COVID-19: How can I maintain employee learning and development?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, maintaining the learning and development of your team members will be more of a challenge than ever before. However, there are multiple adjustments that you can make to your learning and development structure that will ensure that your employees remain feeling valued during this time.


Online webinars - The cheapest and most familiar method of remote training is through online webinars. There are varieties of online platforms that allow you to connect with your teams and provide them with learning opportunities. You can use your internal trainers to conduct the sessions and tailor the experience to the individuals taking part. This will also help ease any anxious participants, as they will be familiar with everyone involved.


External courses - Empower your people and encourage them to pick online course that they think will benefit their career within your organisation. Explore all the reputable providers available and pick a course supplier that you recommend. If necessary, amend their work schedule to allow them time to participate in the course.


Ask for feedback - Alarmingly, studies have found that nearly 50% of employees don’t speak their mind while at work. This is why it’s vital that employers need to ask their teams whether they feel fulfilled in their roles and if they would like to develop within the organisation. Some employees may feel nervous about asking for more training because; they will not want to appear ungrateful for their current role, are unsure if their employer will pay for the training or don’t have the confidence to take part in the sessions.


We are all living in an uncertain and emotionally charged time, but by focusing on the learning and development of your employees during this difficult period, you will see a more loyal, better performing and mentally resilient workforce return to work.



If you would like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on:

UK: 0844 892 2493

ROI: 01 886 0324


To read our updated COVID-19 statement, please click here.

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