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According to the 2018 Workplace Learning Report published by professional networking site LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay longer with their current employer if they feel that their employer is investing enough in their professional development. This is no surprise; in today’s increasingly tight and borderless labour market, any professional who fails to regularly update their skills and develop their capabilities are sabotaging their own career. Those with foresight and a long-term view on their career paths—in other words, high-potential talent who are usually among the most sought after by employers—are thus unlikely to stay with companies that don’t invest in their development.

This is because the rapid progress of technology in almost every facet of the corporate world means that skills are trending towards short shelf lives. Therefore, staying with an employer for the long-haul—once thought to be a safe and reliable track that would allow employees to “work their way up”—would actually hinder a professional’s prospects if the employer fails to continuously prioritise their learning and development.

Of course, every manager hoping to put their teams through a training program will inevitably run into one of the primary roadblocks to learning and development identified by the same report; the number one challenge faced by organisations trying to implement L&D initiatives is the lack of time. This is particularly true in fast-paced, high-stakes sectors and business functions such as finance, sales, and client servicing, where time spent on something else other than their immediate responsibilities could literally mean the difference between profit and loss.

Given such scenarios, employees often end up postponing training programs their managers would like to put them through, often at the expense of proven long-term benefits for both workers and their companies.

Time management is thus a crucial factor, which is why it’s so integral to the Personal Efficiency Program (PEP) that PEPWorldwide Asia runs for its clients, many of whom are large, multinational corporations that operate within highly competitive sectors such as finance, banking, energy and pharmaceuticals. The “Time Matrix Tool”, that all participants of PEP get to apply, has often been identified as one of the most urgently needed tools among professionals, especially those who thought they’d been doing a relatively good job of managing their own time!

Once time management becomes a core focus of our clients’ work culture, which PEP advocates for, they often find that they’re suddenly able to schedule things they’ve always never had the time for, such us additional training programs, strategic planning sessions, company projects that have fallen by the wayside, or even time-off for some of their employees who are almost burnt out.

Without good employees, businesses will fail, which is why many top corporations are highly selective when it comes to hiring (as they should be). However, retention has become a primary challenge for even the most popular employers, especially when their employees don’t feel as if they are growing and progressing professionally. Learning and development should thus be a top priority for talent management teams and not something that any company that’s hoping to come out on top should skimp out on.

References:

https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report-2018

https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/2018/07/23/developing-your-employees-is-the-key-to-retention-here-are-4-smart-ways-to-start/#c6850bd37344

About the Contributor:

Hidhir Razak is the Corporate Relations Manager of PEPWorldwide Asia. An ardent believer of the power of storytelling and its unique ability to bring people and communities together, Hidhir is a reader, writer, and researcher by training. His articles have appeared on The Middle Ground, Yahoo Singapore, and Poetry.sg while his creative works have appeared in numerous anthologies and collections in Singapore. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he specialised in English and Creative Writing.