Various learning opportunities are essential for employee engagement: Here's why | Business Upturn

Various learning opportunities are essential for employee engagement: Here’s why


Keeping employees engaged and involved in business well-being is one of the main HR tasks. Moreover, the issue of employee retention is mostly visible at the senior level. Many businesses struggle to retain the most experienced workers and keep them motivated to do their best.

Each employee can contribute to the company’s longevity. If the latter is sincere about its workers’ needs, the personnel will feel valued and imagine their future together. On the other hand, demotivated employees will avoid performing at their maximum. Sometimes it can create waves of procrastination throughout the whole department.

Answering why some businesses fail at keeping their employees happy is not easy. Some will cite low salaries, and others have trouble with office culture – the list is endless.

However, more recent studies reveal the correlation between learning opportunities and productivity. For example, a study by Udemy reveals that 80% of employees would feel more engaged if they could learn valuable skills during working hours.

The ability to improve professionally on your job time is called Learning and Development (L&D.) As we will see throughout this article, it’s becoming one of the more successful ways to train and retain the workforce. And to keep them more engaged and happy.

What Do Employees Need?

It’s quite difficult to tackle each individual’s needs, as people are very different. Some enjoy the luxurious company culture with expensive team buildings and glamorous parties. Meanwhile, others value child-friendly workplace politics and more days off on demand.

You will not be able to fulfill everybody’s needs. Hiring for a specific mindset is one way out. However, lacking diversity will create other troubles. A diverse and engaged collective is second-to-none brainstorming ideas that would be popular among various consumer groups.

Instead, you can respond to specific needs that nearly everybody has—the need for security. Let’s take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a concise visualization of our many requirements.

We need food, water, warmth, and sleep to survive. These are the very basic primary needs without which life would not flourish. Going hand in hand is the need for security and safety. People will first respond to these needs and only then re-evaluate their situation.

Then there are psychological needs. Productive relations with colleagues, a pat on the back from a supervisor, and the feeling of mutual accomplishment fall under this category. Lastly, there are self-fulfillment needs. Achieving one’s full potential and taking pride in one’s work comes at the very end.

However, some CEOs and team managers have an inverted vision of the Maslow Pyramid. They consider personal achievements the driving motivational force. They focus on their company’s prestige and pride, expecting workers to take the extra mile they expect. Meta is a perfect example. Mark Zuckerberg lost touch with his employees regarding his upcoming metaverse project. Horizon Worlds costing more than $10 billion with no end in sight, negatively affects morale across all departments. Not to mention the terrible blow of the mass layoffs.

In other words, some CEOs believe that self-fulfillment and psychological needs motivate their workers way better than anything else. The reality is quite different. Many workers want to have their basic needs fulfilled before anything else. That is, a sufficient salary to guarantee nutritious food and comfortable housing. And security guarantees that they will not feel like they have to look for another job within the foreseeable future.

How Can L&D Improve Employee Engagement?

Let’s focus on safety and security as a motivational drive. 2022 has not been a good year for BigTech and IT industries. Meta, Twitter, Amazon, and others, laid off thousands of employees after recovering from the pandemic stress.

How can you expect an employee to be mindful of your company’s future if they know there’s a possibility of being laid off without a second chance? Of course, Amazon will find workers for their warehouses. However, will they find qualified workers to secure their servers? Will a person with 20 years in cybersecurity choose Meta after it kicked off more than 11,000 employees in one go?

The answer is, most likely, no. And many BigTech companies are aware that senior-level specialists avoid them. Workers choose smaller competitors with closer relations among the staff, be it a CEO or a Quality Assurance mid-level, shaking hands goes a long way. Moreover, they expect to be heard. Their insights are more likely to be used to improve current processes. Meanwhile, every argument against the Metaverse is fiercely ignored by Mr. Zuckerberg.

The way to show you genuinely care about your employees is by carving out significant finances for their training. If you invest in their skills, they will tangibly feel positive results.

For example, many programmers start their careers in technical support departments. However, their tasks do not include coding. Providing them with, for example, data analytics courses and a few extra weekly hours to learn new skills will achieve multiple goals:

  1. They will be motivated to remain within your company because they are developing valuable skills.
  2. There’s a good chance you will have a loyal programmer for years to come.
  3. They will improve their current performance because such training corresponds to their basic needs.
  4. They will not look for another employer if they feel like changing their career path.

To summarize, employee training satisfies at least two of the essential basic needs – security and also self-fulfillment. Let’s take a look at a concrete example.

Information Security Training Example

Cybersecurity is one of the most challenging issues for any business. Hackers target small and big companies with ransomware, and 60% of SMBs go out of operation after suffering a data breach. Moreover, in most cases, human error remains the primary cause of security vulnerabilities.

Many regular Internet users among employees are afraid of online business operations and for a good reason. They lack sufficient knowledge about cybersecurity and the best practices to remain safe during working hours. Moreover, the fear of making a mistake affects concentration and productivity.

Instead of letting nature run its course, you can organize thorough cybersecurity training for your employees. Hundreds of professional cybersecurity businesses offer to educate casual Internet users on advanced cybersecurity software, safe browsing habits, and business data protection.

Firstly, you will reduce the chances of suffering a cyberattack. If a cybercriminal launches a Phishing campaign, your employees will identify the fraudulent letter and inform the responsible department. Simultaneously, your employees will learn how to upload client data to the cloud in an encrypted format, reducing the chances of a data leak.

From a psychological perspective, your employees will feel safer during working hours. They will be more relaxed, shifting attention to other productive tasks. Moreover, the accomplishment of learning something new should not be underestimated. They just added a few skills to their growing resume.


To summarize, the safety and security that professional training provides are invaluable. It connects people to the business more closely because they imagine the future together. The ability to learn during working hours will open up new possibilities for cooperation. You never know. The young web designer may lead your front-end team in a few years. L&D practice is a decisive step toward personal growth for employees as much as your business.