Learning and development (L&D) programs have become a staple of many companies, large and small, and are highly valued by stakeholders at all levels. So, we decided to take a role-specific look at how an engaging L&D program can improve morale, increase productivity, and boost your ROI.
L&D Leads to Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
Whether evaluating a company as a prospective candidate or an employee looking to build new skills, people value companies that invest in their professional development. Candidates seeking developer-related roles list professional growth as the benefit they find most important when considering a new role . In fact, 94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn  claim they are more likely to stay with a company long-term if the company invests in their career development . Providing L&D opportunities in the workplace helps employees stay engaged with their job and increases productivity, which in turn can help optimize your business performance.
L&D Builds Multi-faceted Employees
Ample learning and development opportunities allow employees to grow an understanding of concepts and skills they have not yet been exposed to. According to LinkedIn , the top skills both employers and employees are after include:
Cloud and Distributed Computing
Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
Middleware and Integration
Web Architecture and Development Framework
User Interface Design
Many of these skills gaps can be filled with existing employees who are given the tools to build new skills. L&D creates a pathway for you to inspire your team to keep up with the demands of changing technology before resorting to external hiring processes.
L&D for the Full-Stack Developer
Full-stack developers are widely sought after by companies of all sizes. Full-stack developers must not only understand each layer of a tech stack, they also need to develop their understanding of a range of programming languages.
Learning and development is crucial to the success of full-stack developers because they often need to learn new languages or technical frameworks each year . L&D can provide developers with the flexibility necessary to keep up with industry demands.
Data Scientists Benefit from L&D
Second only to developers in terms of job demand, the need for data scientists is on the rise. How can L&D positively impact data scientists? Machine learning. Humans analyze and recognize patterns in data, but machines can help them do so faster. Companies that build complex algorithms to deepen the insight they have to behavioral data also need analysts to make sense of it. By teaching data scientists how to automate the extraction of data insights with programming libraries and machine learning , companies can keep up with competitors who have already adopted the innovative technology.
Addressing Cybersecurity Concerns with L&D
Over the past few years, many companies have allowed employees to work remote. This means that companies must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to their cybersecurity operations. Employees accessing company data on home networks need to do so securely so as not to put financial, intellectual property, employee, or customer data at risk.
While every employee benefits from cybersecurity training, cybersecurity engineers benefit from extensive L&D so they can quickly recognize anomalies and mitigate risks to companies' networks and data. Companies that create a pathway for employees to learn new skills and technologies better equip their workforces with skilled security engineers that earn CompTIA, Fortinet, or Cisco certifications, and more.
Is it Time for You to Build a Flexible L&D Program?
Think of the objectives your department and your company are trying to achieve in the next 1, 3 and 5 years— discover that training your workforce to fill organizational skills gaps can help you meet those goals. Not only will you increase the productivity of your workforce, but you will also have more engaged, satisfied, and loyal employees.
Gaining buy-in and establishing your own learning and development program can come with challenges. Be sure to read Part 2 of this blog series, Learning and Development: Get Buy-In from Company Stakeholders, to learn how to get your L&D program off the ground.
 HackerRank. (2020). 2020 HackerRank Developer Skills Report.
 Spar, B., Dye, C., Lefkowitz, R., & Pate, D. (2016). 2018 Workplace Learning Report: The Rise and Responsibility of Talent Development in the New Labor Market. LinkedIn.
 Osbourne, S. (2020). The 2021 Workplace Learning Trends Report. Udemy.