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Expert Take On State of Workplace Learning & Development

What Are You Views on “State of Workplace Learning and Development-2018”?

“At EY, one of our biggest priorities is to build capabilities that directly impacts business goals. Hence, our L&D strategy’s prime focus for next few years will be on re-aligning our learning offerings to our business strategy.”

What Should Be the Focus of L&d Programs in Coming Years?

Some years ago, L&D was considered more like an academic endeavor. However, in present times, lot of organizations are changing structures, especially the traditional ones like Pharma, Manufacturing and Finance. This is where L&D will need a major change and will impact the most. Therefore, aligning L&D offerings with business should be the prime focus of all these organizations.

 

“Remember, individual’s KRAs should talk business language.”

What Are the Top Challenges Faced by L&d Departments and How Can These by Tackled?

 

“Well, L&D top challenges are majorly tied to demonstrating ROI.”

This is clearly because of not being able to demonstrate the business impact of L&D initiatives. And, it’s an obvious reason for why L&D isn’t getting sufficient budgets.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit, it’s extremely difficult for L&D experts to measure the impact of learning in the form of ROI. However, knowing how to plug into this can assist L&D professionals vastly and shift their role from being just a “training facilitator” to a “strategic business consultant.”

Secondly, still most of us as L&D experts are doing the mundane programs like presentations, communication, team buildings, etc. I don’t say, they aren’t important. They are hygiene and we must keep doing them. However, “how many of us are focusing on Skills of the Future?” or focusing on what new roles would develop in the organization and question ourselves “do our people have these skills, if not how do I enable them to get these skills for the future?

By putting up with the LMS system, we think our work is done, which is not correct. Every person is unique and has different learning requirements. Hence, before just throwing them into any sort of training programs, it’s important for an L&D expert to delve down to the real training needs of the individual and accordingly, make programs rewarding/engaging. People now have short attention spans, thanks to twitter and its likes, they want real time, crisp and on demand learning that is tailored to meet the learners needs.

Last, but not the least, L&D experts need to focus on quantifiable outcomes and convince the business to stay invested in L&D programs.

So, these were the views of Ajay Venkatesh on L&D. To get into more depth, we bring amidst you the comprehensive report on State of Workplace Learning and Development-2018.

“More than 80% of organizations have some sort of structured L&D. 38% of L&D experts say that ‘Improving Employee Performance’ is the prime focus of their programs in 2018”.

– State of Workplace Learning and Development- 2018

We had an interview with Varun Khaturia, currently AGM at The Muthoot Group, and a certified professional coach of Training & Development.

According to him, “Where, having a strong talent acquisition infrastructure is paramount in today’s economy. But given the pace of change organizations also need to focus on reskilling their workforces.”

Let’s take a dive into some of the informative session we had,

What Should Be the Prime Focus of L&D?

“Give Learners What They Want”

Know your audience. Today’s dynamic workplace occupants expect the very best in user experience, choice and flexibility. Understand your learner’s training needs before you plan on what they learn and how they learn. L&D interventions must be highly employee-centric. L&D cannot be one-size fits- all, it has to be fit with individual & functional/business goals.

What Are the Challenges in L&D?

“Business leaders think in $. Hence, it’s important to make the business case for L&D.”

However, evaluating effectiveness of L&D comes with its own challenges, particularly when the targeted outcomes involve softer skills such as improved collaboration, decision-making, innovation, strategic thinking—common learning objectives in many leadership development programs.

It can be difficult to assign a hard-dollar value to such skills, or to show a correlation between the learning initiative and the acquisition of the targeted skills. It is also often a struggle to find the time to follow-up appropriately after the program has occurred.

Additionally, if the post-program evaluation process and measures were not carefully planned at the program development stage, such post-mortem evaluation may lack a budget and adequate support.

However, I believe, these challenges can be overcome, if well-assessed via various methodologies like manager feedbacks, business impacts and pre/post training assessments.

It is time to solve the L&D dilemma

 

Originally published September 3 2018, Updated June 16 2020

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