Last updated: 31.01.24

How To Support Your Employees' Learning


Every employer wants great employees who show up to work each day ready and willing to do their best work for their business. So, it's only fair that, as their employer, you support their professional development - especially if these skills will help them grow within your company.

If an employee expresses interest in learning new skills, it's crucial that you show them you have their back. By doing so, not only can you help build a strongly skilled team for your business, you can also create an environment where employees are eager to grow and learn.

You can unleash all your team members’ potential by supporting and encouraging their professional development. Read on to learn more about why employee career growth and learning matters, and how to empower your employees to build a stronger team through supporting their learning.

What is employee career growth and why does it matter?

Employee career growth is an individual’s progression toward their ultimate professional goals. There are many reasons why investing in employee development is important. 

Supporting employee career growth can:

  • Increase employee engagement 

    A recent survey revealed that nearly 90% of UK employees are disengaged from their job. Engaged employees are motivated to work hard because they care about their work and strive to help their organisation reach its goals. They have a solid understanding of their role and how it ties in with the overall company objectives. They tend to be more customer centric and take less time off work.
  • Improve employee retention

    Employee turnover remains historically high, and career progression is the number one reason for job hunting. But a recent survey discovered that 94% of workers said they’d stay at a company longer if their employer invested in their careers. It also revealed that 75% of employees who receive promotions will stay with the company for at least three years.
  • Prepare your team members for the jobs of the future

    Emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), are changing the nature of work and opening the door to greater employee productivity. Technological advancements are evolving many positions rapidly, leading to the demand for new skills - and the need for employers to consider upskilling employees. Supporting employee career development can help you prepare your team members to fill emerging roles at your organisation and overcome a current or future skill gap.
  • Boost the employee experience

    Investing in employee career growth will help your team members feel supported and valued, improving employee satisfaction and the overall employee experience. By supporting employee learning and development within your business, there is less reason for job hunting, therefore it is far more likely that turnover will be lower.

So now you know why supporting your employees' growth and learning is so important for the overall success of your business, let’s look at how you can support it.

Remember the 4 C’s

1: Create a learning culture

Incorporating learning and growth into your core values can ensure your employees shine through in your people strategies and business decisions. Talk about career growth throughout the employee lifecycle, beginning with recruitment and onboarding, and continuing during 1:1s and performance reviews. Encourage your team members to engage in learning activities during the workday and to share their learnings with their colleagues. Demonstrate your value for learning and growth by rewarding your developing team members with recognition and promotions.

2: Career mapping

Career mapping (also known as career pathing) is the series of jobs an individual intends to hold during their time at a company (or over their career as a whole). It’s more than just a list of jobs, though - think of it as a roadmap. To get started, you can sit down with each member of your team to discuss their career goals and ask questions like:

  • Where do you see your career heading in the next year? What about five years?
  • How could you make an even bigger difference here?
  • Are any of your skills or strengths being underutilised?

Once the employee has a goal in mind, you can work with them to create a roadmap that gets them from their current position to that destination. This might include promotions to aim for and weaknesses to overcome. This can expand into continuous performance management, with regular 1:1s with your employee to ensure they are on track to achieve their career goals.

3: Contribute and collaborate

Employees like to know that their efforts are contributing to the organisation’s success. If your staff see and feel how their contributions to learning new skills are benefiting the company, it makes for a stronger and more confident team. Employees who have the trust and cooperation of their team members outperform individuals and teams that lack good relationships. Employers should express the value of collaboration within the organisation.

4: Congratulate

Based on a recent survey, many employees feel that they receive immediate feedback when performance is poor, and not enough praise when performance is high. Coaching and giving praise boosts morale and encourages employees to continue to learn so they can contribute to the overall success of their organisation.

A Variation of Support

Some of your team members may take professional growth into their own hands by reading blog posts, listening to podcasts, or enrolling in educational opportunities. Others may need more support to find the time, cover the costs, or feel emboldened in their career ambitions. It is important that you give a variety of ways to upskill as every person is different when it comes to learning. This could be through online training, encouraging collaboration with other team members within their team or in different departments, or by 1 on 1 coaching.

It is important not to focus on specific skills related to their current role. In some instances, an employee may have a keen interest in presenting, but they may not have the opportunity in their day-to-day tasks to construct and deliver a presentation. As their career progresses, if the interest has been nurtured, then they are prepared and confident when the time comes to take the next steps. Power skills courses are a great way to help develop both personally and professionally.

Having access to the most up-to-date training that has been created by subject matter experts can not only fulfill the mandatory training requirements for your business, but it can provide your employees with personal and professional courses to encourage and support their learning. 


Your team members will always have an opportunity to grow and learn in their chosen career path, but with your support and encouragement, you can help them realise their full potential. Teams that learn together grow together. By helping your team become smarter, stronger, and more resilient, you are creating a force to be reckoned with. 

At Virtual College we offer a variety of online courses and resources developed by professionals and subject matter experts in a range of topics, from education to retail and hospitality, to offer you and your employees the best learning experience possible. You can search through our online course categories to find the resources you need to develop professionally.