As the way we work continues to evolve and change, one defining factor has emerged — companies who don’t embrace learning at work won’t keep up with competitors. In fact, those companies are in the minority, with 77% of companies now prioritizing learning at work. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2022, 54% of all employees will need significant upskilling.

In the past, the solution to filling skills gaps was to simply hire new employees, but this ends up being more costly in the long run. Though CEOs have perceived learning as a “nice to have,” upskilling a current workforce is more beneficial to the organization. A company culture that acknowledges its skills gaps and works to fill them from within needs to start at the executive and CEO levels.

For HR and learning and development leaders who have previously struggled to make the case for learning, here are five business benefits of bringing learning into the flow of work that every CEO should know. 

1. Increases workforce productivity

Studies have found that for every dollar a company invests in learning at work, it sees a $30 return in productivity. These productivity gains happen when employees learn in the flow of work and can apply their new skills quickly on the job. 

2. Improves employees retention

Opportunities to learn at work are vital to attracting top talent and keeping them. A Work Institute report found that nearly a third of employee turnover is due to a lack of development opportunities. When employees are encouraged to learn at work, businesses have a 25%-50% higher retention rate.

3. Reduce costs

It can cost up to six times more to hire outside talent versus building and upskilling talen from within. Internal talent development isn’t a new concept, but it’s imperative now with the higher cost of and risks associated with hiring outside talent. Not only is it more efficient to upskill and promote from within, but it also reinforces a positive culture of learning at work. 

4. Grow revenue

If a culture of learning at work increases productivity, it also will grow revenue. According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development, companies who offered learning at work saw a 25% higher profit than those who did not have learning opportunities at work. Those companies who embraced learning also saw a 218% increase in revenue per employee. 

5. Supports business continuity

Business continuity and the learning agility of your workforce tend to go hand in hand. Strong business continuity saves time and money. Especially in the wake of the pandemic, previous ways of doing business no longer yield the same results. Ensuring your company has a strong learning culture can offset that and limit interruptions within the flow of work. 

Don’t fall behind the learning curve

A company stands to lose if CEOs don’t encourage a culture of learning at work. It’s more than just falling behind competitors. They also risk a drop in revenue, retention, and productivity. 

Lay the groundwork for your company’s learning framework. Start by analyzing your workforce’s current learning culture with our Workplace Learning Culture Evaluation