Learning & Growing
Learning and development is one of the most popular parts of HR – but also one of the most frustrating. There’s no question learning and development (L&D; sometimes “learning and leadership development,” or L&LD) is important: How can an organization grow if its employees are not building their skills? And why should talented, ambitious employees continue to work at a place where they have nothing to learn? Clearly there are imperatives for organizations and their workers.
And yet the whole situation can be extremely frustrating, both to employees and to the CEO. Employees may feel that the “training” they receive (we’ll take a look at this term later) is ineffectual, or doesn’t help them reach their goals. CEOs may wonder what benefit they are receiving from the very substantial amounts they spend each year, and they may see disconnects between L&D and organizational needs. Or they may wonder why there is so much leadership development but so little leadership talent in evidence when they need it. For something that ought to make employees happy and meet real organizational needs, learning and development disappoints far too often.
This situation needs to improve – and it can improve – but it will require fresh perspectives and some real change. This module will give you our perspective on how this can happen. The solutions include better alignment between business strategy and learning strategy; proper ownership; stronger ties between learning and career development (but not a civil service approach where completing 30 credits guarantees you a 1.3% raise and a next-step promotion in three years); better design, focusing on learning rather than on training; more involvement of managers; a focus not just on individuals but on teams and the organization as a whole; and – no surprise here – better measurement. As we said, it’s a lot of work, but it can be done – and the time, effort, and cost involved will pay for themselves in increased productivity, stronger organizations, and higher engagement and retention.