Today, effective corporate learning
and development (L&D) plays an all important role in engaging existing employees,
and attracting and retaining top talent. Future-looking organizations are realizing
the value of developing sustainable learning strategies to boost
engagement, productivity and enhance capabilities.
However, according to Towards Maturity’s The Transformation Journey report, the constantly evolving corporate
landscape calls for L&D to leverage a more prolific and evidence-based methodology
to achieve an effective learning strategy. Yet, research suggests that
of learning leaders are more overwhelmed and under skilled to deliver
Laura Overton, Founder of Towards
Maturity says, “The focus this year is
the fact that our community is faced with uncertainty. Our focus is about helping
people look at their data and their journey. L&D leaders must focus what
they can do today that will help them prepare for tomorrow.”
Towards Maturity researched and
analyzed 7500 L&D leaders along with 50,000 employees and leaders across 55
countries, to discover three major barriers to an effective learning strategy. Let
us explore these key barriers and how L&D can address them.
Our world is
becoming increasingly digital, and in this digital age businesses as well as
consumers are more informed, aware and better connected, becoming a crucial
part of the value chain. Digital technology has transformed the
world that is now more mobile, social, and data-driven. Today, digital
technology can deliver more value in terms of creating enhanced customer
experiences, making workplaces more agile and unlocking newer avenues of growth
and success. Employees and people as a whole are indispensible for this
transformation, and empowering today’s employees is up to L&D that needs to
be agile, aware of latest digital trends, employees’ changing mindsets and
intuitive towards the next disruptors to their business.
Although there is
a lot of talk about how fostering a learning culture goes a long way in the
development and retention of employees, creating an effective, sustainable and
organization-wide learning culture is one of the major barriers towards an
effective learning strategy. The two
things holding L&D back are a lack of effective learning culture and the resistance
from leaders towards continuous learning, with almost
29% of L&D professionals saying managers are averse to learning.
Global Chief Learning Strategist at PwC says, “It’s really hard when people say managers don’t create time for
learning. The business must provide time for people to gain and practice skills
in a safe environment. It’s also about L&D being willing and able to
challenge the business and say, ‘If you want to shift the culture and get
people reskilled, you have to create the environment for them to do so.’”
Though businesses are making larger investments to develop their L&D capabilities, over 50% of them say they don’t expect to shift their focus to ELearning, learning technology, content development, analytics etc. So, while more L&D leaders seek to maximize performance and productivity, only 53% of them believe they are enabled by diverse options that go beyond course-based learning. Highlighting this point is Ruth Stuart, research adviser at CIPD, “It’s very interesting how, as L&D professionals, we constantly champion the importance of staying ahead of the game in terms of skills and capabilities, but don’t take our own advice. In this volatile work environment we need to be agile, adaptive and ambidextrous to drive performance and stay relevant, aligning our work to the wider business.”
However, in order
to accomplish this, L&D
needs to assemble the right capabilities, roles and resources along with a
clear vision and purpose to ensure all resources are leveraged effectively.
Towards Maturity’s The Transformation Journey report suggests that, to overcome these
barriers and to take all those involved on the transformation journey, L&D leaders
need to build an effective learning culture, both internally as well as
externally. For L&D to navigate the digital world, it must ensure the
availability of rightly skilled people to bring about the much-needed push
towards digital maturity. Furthermore, L&D leaders must also stay abreast
with the latest technology trends and invest wisely.
Learning decisions taken smartly
can open up newer ways to achieve better business outcomes. Innovation in
corporate learning can consistently deliver a minimum
of 9% improvement in results that lead to growth, productivity and profit. Newer
learning tools and solutions have already led to improved growth (customer
satisfaction grew by 21%), productivity (increase in productivity by 14%) and
transformation (ability to be agile improved 28%), and profit (increase in revenue
L&D needs to efficiently manage
learning, and ensure that it’s implemented and measured effectively in order to
build an effective learning strategy. Technology is fast-paced, as is the corporate
learning landscape, and L&D needs to be adept in the tech-lingo to be able
to better engage with the workforce.
This is all the more evident when
it comes to choosing a robust learning
platform or an LMS to deliver training, as well as offering more and diverse
learning opportunities through online content
libraries with limitless eLearning courses and videos on a range of topics.
Today, more than ever, L&D needs to align learning objectives with larger business goals, and to do so they must work in tandem with other business functions to improve training and incorporate those results into their learning strategy.