6 Key L&D Considerations to Achieve Better Learning & Business Outcomes

2019-10-23

Today’s workforcehas undergone significant changes on the back of an increasingly competitive corporatelandscape. Frequent digital disruptions and increasing complexities in doingbusiness has reshaped today’s employee, while growing uncertainty aroundjob-relevancy, emerging technologies, multigenerational employee-base, have allplaced a higher impetus on reskilling/ upskilling.

According to research,highly skilled employees, credible leaders, and a knowledge-based model havebecome key assets for organizations to retain businesses in the longer run. And,an increasingly digital, knowledge-based economy calls for a workforce that is not only future-ready but alsorelevant today.

This brings usto the importance of Learning & Development (L&D). Understanding andbeing aware of industry trends, best practices and business priorities inL&D reveal how the function is gearing up to meet the challenges of skillsshortage, talent development, higher attrition, among others. However, to make themost of your organizational employee training programs, L&D professionalsmust not only adopt an agile approach but also build a comprehensive and sustainableL&D strategy.

Among themyriad of responsibilities resting with L&D, the most primary one is the developmentof its employees (aligned to overall business objectives). So, here are fivekey considerations for L&D to achieve better learning and businessoutcomes-

    1.Developing and retaining talent within the organization

In an age where employees are in control of theirprofessional development and career growth, the traditionalproductivity-focused learning falls short of attracting individuals, especiallymillennials. Today, employees seek professional development opportunitiesbefore joining any organization, while the lack of development opportunities isamong the main reasons employees quit. On the other hand, employment trendshave also evolved where employees are no longer retained if they no longer addvalue to the company.

    2.Leadership Development

Human capital development is directly linked to theeffectiveness of L&D and the value it adds to the organization. Organizationsready to invest in the development of their human capital are sure to seehigher returns, especially those with effective leadership developmentprograms. According to research, organizationswith strong leadership record almost double the earning as compared to otherorganizations with ineffective leadership; while organizations who invest inleadership development are (2.4 times) likely to achieve the desired performance results.

    3.Building a Learning Culture 

Often easier said than done, building a learningculture is crucial for organizations to future-proof their workforce. Themodern workforce has gone increasingly (if not completely) digital and globallydispersed, and it’s up to L&D to build a culture of learning to help employees as well as the organization stayrelevant and competitive in the years to come. Moreover, employees are largelyattracted towards organizations that have a values-based system that contributestowards the welfare of society.

    4.Creating a brand identity

The brand identity of any company cannot beunderestimated, and is an all important asset that indicates how successful andrespected the organization is in the market. Brand value often always alsotranslated into financial standing, market cap, and the quality of products andservices. L&D needs to play a big role in furthering the organizations’ brandand enhance its reputation, so as to attract and retain talent in a shrinkingtalent pool.

    5.Engaging & motivating employees 

In the face of today’s business scenario, it hasbecome absolutely crucial for businesses that their employees feel completelyconnected to the core of the organization in terms of values and aspirations.In simple terms, each employee needs to be engaged at the workplace in order to perform better and add value. Employeeengagement is the glue that binds each employee with her organization’s core,whereas business’s short and long term success is dependent on employeeengagement now more than ever. And, to engage today’s employees it is absolutelycrucial for organizations to offer L&D opportunities to develop newer competencies. When employees are highly engaged, coupled with relevantskills to further their careers, they are certain to stay with theirorganization and work towards a collective business objective.

    6.Integrating L&D with HR

Today, it is critical for L&D to be aligned with largerorganizational objectives, as well as with sister functions like HR, given howL&D plays a critical role in recruitment and onboarding of employees, inaddition to continued performance management, reviews and more. According to McKinsey, many L&D professionalsare only loosely connected to annual performance reviews in the absence of astructured approach. It is crucial for L&D to work closely and collaboratewith HR and understand and leverage HR’s feedback from performance reviews tobuild higher capabilities. In fact, a large number of organizations are substitutingannual performance reviews with frequent and real-time feedback processes,where L&D professionals can help leaders by advancing higher performingindividuals.

Takeaway

In order to be moreeffective, L&D must take into account these six considerations to create aneffective strategy to support the organization’s push towards growth. I hopethese considerations will help you achieve better learning and businessoutcomes.