They say that knowing is half the battle. In business, learning and development do have a measurable impact on the organization in multiple areas, though it may not be as easy to monitor. More importantly, these benefits are seen across all industries, and you can reap many of these benefits even if you have a basic training program in place. Not only that, but learning and development are becoming an expectation for many employees entering the workforce. Here are 5 reasons why learning and development should play an essential role in any organization.

It Is a Recruitment Tool

When someone talks about training and new hires, the default assumption is that you’re discussing training new hires on how to do their job. However, many people now consider learning and development a necessity.

Around sixty percent of Millennials say that learning and development provided by the company is an important factor in deciding whether to even apply for a job. Nearly ninety percent rank it as important. They know that they require that training to remain competitive in the marketplace as well as to keep up with changing technology and business processes. Your company must have a good learning and development program in place soon because Millennials will be half of the workforce by 2025 and 75 percent by 2030.

It Improves Retention

Learning and development should be considered an investment in your team and could be a great way to improve your retention rates. The revolving door is a big issue for a lot of business and is a problem that will only become bigger as more Millennials enter the workforce.

Around one in four employees leave their job. More importantly, roughly three-quarters of them left for reasons the company could have addressed. Many employees associate training with trust in them by management, while it improves their overall confidence and morale.

More than ninety percent of employees surveyed said they will stay longer at a company that provides learning and development opportunities. This, in turn, reduces recruitment and new employee training costs. And hiring is more expensive than investments in education that keep people onboard longer. This is aside from the 15 to 30 percent increase in profits seen when you fill in knowledge gaps and upskill employees.

Not only that, but learning and development and lower turnover also means that your team will be more experienced as well, which will not only affect productivity, but reduce some of the friction and hazards of having to work with an inexperienced workforce.

What You Don’t Know Can Cost You

Work-related training can make your employees more productive. One industry study found that companies that spend at least $1500 per employee per year earn nearly 25 percent more profit per year than those that don’t. You can also take steps to optimize the training to maximize the benefits.

Management can make mistakes when they don’t know all of the options available to them, too. This is often an issue for small businesses still operating as general partnerships.  If they don’t know about tax breaks or the rules regarding the financial records of an LLC, it could cost you money in the form of higher taxes or greater legal liability. Not to mention that many still don’t understand what is an LLC in the first place and how they could benefit from them.

But what is an LLC? It stands for Limited Liability Company. As this guide explains, LLCs can provide liability protection for the owner, and comes with relatively little paperwork. If you don’t know how to maintain the paperwork, you could lose that protective umbrella. If you still are unsure about LLCs and how they work, this guide will also explain some of the legal requirements of forming one, as well as the best place to start one.

Untrained employees can put you at risk in other ways. Employees who haven’t had proper safety training are a literal risk to themselves and others. You’ll pay for it in higher workers’ compensation premiums, medical bills and downtime. On the other hand, good safety training will help people feel safe. Ethics training can teach people proper decision-making criteria and reduce the risk the company is sued.

It Can Improve Customer Service and Satisfaction

If the goal is to sell more products or deliver service more effectively, a good learning and development program is a must. Training support staff in how to properly deal with an irate customer or defective product allows them to resolve issues more quickly to the customer’s satisfaction. Training everyone to document information in knowledge bases prevents them from having to reinvent the wheel because information about how to solve unusual issues is already available. Educating the sales staff about your products and productive sales techniques increases sales. All of this produces an average of a sixteen percent increase in customer satisfaction.

You’ll be Able to Train Future Leaders

Another great benefit of learning and development programs is that you’ll be able to foster talent in-house and be able to build leaders from your own talent pool. These will already have a relationship with your company, and a real understanding of what could be improved. They will also have a better understanding of your company’s culture.

This is another way that you can save on recruitment, and will also be able to increase the chances that they will stay within the organization. Not only that, but other employees will also be motivated by the fact that advancement is actually feasible. Offering chances for advancement will be a big motivator for new hires, and you can start scouting future prospects by evaluating those who already show leadership qualities.

While even a basic training program helps, a full learning and development program is best for seeing these outcomes. Determine your company’s overall objectives relative to what you have so that you can create an effective L&D program that yields a strong return on the investment.

Author Bio: Zoe is a young, passionate writer with ample experience in business, blogging and all things e-commerce. Connect with her on Twitter @HelloZoePrice