The Importance of Learning and Development Opportunities in a Scaleup

When scaling a business, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to invest your money. It’s tempting to place as much as possible on methods to bring in new leads and new business which will fuel your growth quickly. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of investing in your employees and team, their skills and the future of your business could depend on it.

While learning and development isn’t always an obvious priority for businesses trying to scale, taking the time to invest in your people could help give you a more significant advantage than you realise. Everyone knows that a company is only as good as the people working within it, and therefore training your team and expanding their skillset could help your scaling business to go from strength to strength.

Many scaling businesses and startups take an approach of throwing new recruits in at the deep end. As these companies are still relatively small, HR teams believe that new hires will have the opportunity to wear many hats and learn on the job which in many cases is true and makes scaling businesses an attractive prospect. However, this approach may make employees feel less supported and less like part of the team; which could damage your employer brand. Therefore, providing structured learning and development opportunities could be a safer way to ensure your workforce have the skills they need to grow your business as well as feel supported and appreciated by their employer.

While it may be difficult in a scaling business that works at a fast pace to set aside time for training, there are many advantages to providing learning and development opportunities in your startup, including;

Makes you a more tempting prospect

Joining a scaling business is a risk for any candidate; particularly if they’re leaving corporate competitors to join your team. When your business is still trying to establish itself in the market and grow, there are understandably potential consequences for the people working for you. By offering training and development opportunities, candidates may be more tempted to join you. The thought of being able to advance in their career and learn a new skill may be the incentive top talent need to join your organisation over your established competitors. It means they may be able to get ahead in their career and achieve their goals quicker. It also means that they’ll have additional skill sets that they may not be able to get working for larger, more structured businesses.

Improves retention

Studies show that 40% of employees who don’t receive training will leave their positions in the first year. Providing opportunities to enhance skills and learn, shows employees you’re serious about their future and increases their chances of staying with you in the long term. As an employer, it’s essential to take your employee’s ambitions and goals seriously. In a scaling business, you have the benefit of being able to shape and mould roles around their personal progression plans. This will ensure that they stay with you for longer; they can see opportunities to improve their career and that you care about them. Why would any employee want to leave that behind?

Helps with talent mapping

Offering learning and development within your scaleup will help you to identify future leaders. If you make these opportunities optional, the individuals who genuinely want to advance in their careers and are excited about what you’re offering will take them up quickly while others may be hesitant. This way, you’ll be able to identify those who have the passion and drive to help your business grow further. It also means you can provide leadership training; with management courses available, you can give your future leaders the skills they need to be in charge of a team before they have such responsibilities. Leadership within your business will be strong and managed in a way that suits your employer brand. Plus, it will save you the recruiting costs of hiring managers in the future whilst allowing your team to progress.

Creates new opportunities

Training your staff not only gives them new skills but can create new opportunities for your business too. Let’s say you have a software developer who is proficient in Python, allowing them the opportunity to learn other coding languages may broaden their skillset which could lead to a wider variety of products and services for you. Learning opportunities can open doors that you hadn’t even considered for your business and can also reduce recruitment costs as your team will be multi-skilled. For a scaling company, any opportunity to welcome new skillsets should be encouraged as you never know when you could need them in the future.

Strengthens your employer brand

Most importantly, though, investing in your employees and their future is a sure-fire way to improve your employer brand. Your team will value you more as an employer and think highly of you if you show you care about them, their progression and their future goals. Scaling businesses attract determined people; the nature of a startup attracts people that want to make their mark and leave an impact on a company. These are the people who will, in theory, be most excited about expanding their skillset and will appreciate the opportunities to learn. Providing such opportunities will reflect well on you as an employer and will show that you not only value your employees but want them to grow with your business and stay with you for the long-haul.

Talent Works specialises in helping tech businesses to scale, through expert sourcing, building employer brands and using digital campaigns to attract the brightest and best talent. Through strategic recruitment, we’re able to help businesses grow. If you’d like to know how our services can help you, then contact us to start a conversation.