Every organization talks about learning and development as one of their key focus areas. There are big budgets being talked about, training teams set-up and all the boxes that you can think of ticked, yet learning happens to be one of the most under-worked and deficient area for most organizations.
The most important part for someone in Learning and Development to understand is that the world around us is causing your department to be more important than ever. The core focus of any L&D function is to ensure that the core of the organization, your people are learning all the time and are equipped to handle the new challenges that businesses face. Learning and developmentaims to improve group and individual performance by increasing and honing the necessary skills and relevant knowledge.
L&D professionals are concerned with getting the best out of their existing workforce and developing their skills and capabilities to drive business performance. Ultimately the goal is to provide the necessary training and create an environment, where employees can consistently improve their performance and organizations can achieve their business goals.
There are three broad aspects that are indispensable for organizational L&D:
Unconventional approach– People don’t do what you say, people do what you do. If, as an organization, you claim to focus on innovation, how much of your learning programs (Education, Exposure and Experience) focus on building/ leveraging/ promoting innovation. Organizations/ Leaders need to lead the way.
Consistency & Rigor – Learning cannot be a great flash in the pan. It must be a main course. Organizations cognizant of this make learning a daily actionable and not a high-flyer monthly program. As basic as new ways to design team meetings to generate feedback or recognizing brave innovation irrespective of the outcome will generate trust in the process among people.
Rate of Investment – Accountability of the impact cannot go unmeasured anymore. The time and effort that organizations put in making themselves a learning organization will only sustain if it is able to stand the test of productivity and business impact. Training is not only a soft skill development anymore. Measures to gauge the ROI of learning are going to be a non-negotiable element of every strong learning organization.
Benefits of Learning and Development
There are numerous benefits why an organization should invest in learning and development. Some of these include:
- Focused Learning programs help to increasekey employee competencies like team work, problem solving, communication
- Structured Learning and Development programs helpdevelop sound working practices that are aligned to organizational goals
- Learning and Development helps to increases productivity and effectiveness across working groups.
- L&D initiatives focused on overall organizational development help to foster shared attitudes and values, change management, etc.
- Training helps to improve business performance productivity and efficiency, helping to gain a competitive edge
The world around us is causing your Learning and Development department to be more important than ever. You don’t have to sell anyone on it, but you do need to have the vision and ability to execute it.