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The Connection Between Learning and Job Satisfaction: How Education Improves Employee Engagement

Jan 8, 2024

Blog-080124Research has consistently demonstrated that employee engagement is good for organisations in a multitude of ways. It has been found to increase productivity and profitability, enhance customer satisfaction, lower levels of accidents and even reduce absenteeism and employee turnover. These are all great benefits of engaging employees, yet figures show that on average, only 20% of employees are engaged worldwide.

Employee engagement is typically defined as being present when employees enjoy their jobs and are willing to ‘go the extra mile’ rather than simply coming to work and doing the bare minimum. Gallup defines employee engagement as, “the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in both their work and workplace.” Given all of the benefits attained as a result of employee engagement, finding ways to attain it among employees is very useful for organisations.

Learning and development is closely tied to job satisfaction, and consequently, employee engagement. Back in the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg developed his “Two Factor” theory of motivation. This showed that rather than being motivated by factors such as salary and benefits, employees were more likely to be driven and engaged by intrinsic elements. These included growth and development – in other words, learning and education. Providing learning and growth opportunities also contributes to a third intrinsic factor of Herzberg’s. This is the motivator of recognition. If employees are singled out for learning and education they feel a sense of recognition, which increases their job satisfaction too.

More recent studies have also shown that training is positively related to work effort of employees and lower levels of turnover intention – or in other words – employees that receive training are more likely to be engaged at work. Furthermore, research has shown that more than a third of employees (37%) would look elsewhere for work if not provided with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. The benefit of learning is integral not only to the employee feeling more competent and capable in their job, but also in helping them to feel valued. Both of these elements are helpful in improving job satisfaction and ultimately employee engagement.

To really reap the benefits of employee engagement from providing growth and learning opportunities, these should be shaped around providing training that will benefit both employee and firm. This can be best achieved through tying in assessment of learning and education needs into the employee performance review process. Managers and employees can work together during regular appraisals to pinpoint gaps in existing knowledge that may impact on performance. However, this discussion can also be utilised to determine the employee’s future direction within the organisation and any learning and education that may help them get there. In offering support to meet these needs, employers demonstrate interest in the employee that goes beyond ensuring that they simply do the job, which is engaging for staff and increases their satisfaction.

Companies that fail to focus on learning and education are missing opportunities to improve job satisfaction and employee engagement, and this is an area where we can help. SureSkills offers a wide range of training options that can help kickstart the important process of engaging employees – why not take a look to get started today.



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