A tradesman lives and dies by his reputation. If his work is of poor quality, word gets round and he will struggle to get further commissions. And with the web, it is much easier to share and find reviews on just about anything. Having and, crucially, maintaining a good reputation is of the utmost importance.

The same is true in other lines of business. If you want to be successful, you need to attract the right people. If you want to attract the right people, you need a reputation as a good employer. That means good salaries, good benefits, a good working environment and good opportunities for development. There aren’t very many highly skilled, motivated workers lining up to take poorly paid jobs that will make them miserable.

I know all this. But how can L&D help with reputation? I’m not involved in recruitment.

3m
You

Reputation isn’t about what one or two people in HR do, it is about word of mouth (or press of key). The reputation of your business is based on numerous factors coming together. L&D might not set salaries, decide on pension contributions or set the policy on flexible working, but it can make a difference with development opportunities.

What can I do?

2m
You

Provide those good opportunities for development. This is what L&D is all about! Make sure that you are offering your employees real value in their development. This means training them in skills they need, and in areas that they want to develop. Challenge them, and let them flourish. Get them really engaged and thinking, sharing ideas, concepts and best practice to improve. Help your employees to create a culture of learning and development across the whole business.

Yes, you might be training them for another job, and they might take those skills to another employer. But before they do, they will be using them to the advantage of your business. Happy employees are productive employees.

And better yet, word will spread that yours is a business that encourages development. That you aren’t jealous of skills, and won’t stop your employees trying to achieve their career dreams. Your employees might move on, but they will carry with them a positive recommendation for your company. Give it a little time and that will lead to more highly skilled, motivated workers wanting to work for you and with you. Afterall, studies show that workers are attracted by employment that provides learning opportunities, often preferring this to a higher salary.

Providing your employees with real professional development really will have a positive effect on your reputation, and all the benefits that brings.

Lizzie Evans - Learning Consultant, Rhizome Live

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