HR Advice - How to move learning and development beyond the spotlight

HR Advice - How to move learning and development beyond the spotlight

Written by Guest Blogger Nicki Hayes

Halfway through the decade and 2015’s Global Human Capital Trends Report reveals a learning and development (L&D) capability gap unforeseen in 2010. This post shares our experiences, insights and recommendations on how to fill it, and in doing so also resolve two other capability gaps before the next decade begins …

So, here we are, halfway through the decade and more mindful than ever of the speed at which the world is changing. Indeed, according to a recent report from Deloitte, the new world of work is changing at a rate never before seen. A video presenting the 2015 Global Human Capital Trends overviews can be viewed here. The report identifies four themes around which capability gaps (the difference between how important global businesses think a management need is and how well they think they are prepared for it) cluster.

  • Leading
  • Engaging the workforce
  • Reinventing  HR  
  • Reimagining HR.

The report goes on to explore 10 related major trends and their associated capability gaps, offering practical insights to help address these challenges.

So, what did Deloitte’s annual survey reveal about the current state of L&D?

  • Companies see an urgent need to build skills and capabilities and are now focused on transforming their learning organisations and strategies.
  • L&D issues exploded from the eighth most important challenge in 2014 to the third most important talent challenge in 2015. Even so, L&D capabilities dropped significantly with the gap between importance and readiness tripling.
  • Companies that transform their learning and development accelerate skills development.  They also dramatically improve employee engagement and retention – the second biggest challenge cited by this year’s respondent – with only the hardy perennial ‘leadership skills’ challenge scoring higher.

Implicit in these findings is this: deal with problem three, L&D, and you will organically chip away at problem two, engagement and retention (which, digging deeper, both relate to organisational culture). In this article, we make a case that dealing with the L&D gap can inherently address the leadership skills gap too.

How can addressing the L&D gap help to fill the engagement and the leadership gaps identified in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report 2015?

Well, respondents informed Deloitte that they are competing heavily for new technical and professional skills and that corporate learning capabilities are waning, meaning this year is critical for targeted investment in learning. In fact, the gap between the importance with which respondents rated this issue and their corresponding reported capability to respond to it, grew by a massive 2011 percent in the previous 12 months. 

The authors point out that, this being so, as the economy improves and the market for high-skill talent tightens even further, companies are realising that they cannot simply recruit all the talent they need. They must develop it from within. This means developing future leaders before they are needed to lead and keeping them until their time to lead arrives. Retaining such talent requires creating a culture that encourages engagement.

Engaging with Millennials in the workplace

With tomorrow’s leaders being digitally savvy millennials (who currently make up 50% of the workforce), Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) and Chief Learning Officers (CLOs) are being asked to improve e-learning platforms and products. As such, the industry is going through a massive digital transformation with new expectations regarding online and on-demand learning driving the agenda.

‘Develop a personalised learning experience that feels like YouTube’ is the mantra.  For 25% of respondents such demands feel uncomfortable and unachievable. They need not. Providing mobile learning, incorporating massive open online courses (MOOCs) and using video, audio and simulations need not be complicated or, indeed, the sole domain of the global giants surveyed in this report either.

Why? Because there is a tried and tested learning management system in place, developed over the last decade in association with Europe’s key professional bodies, including the ISMM (Institute of Sales & Marketing Management), CMI (Chartered Management Institute), CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) and CAM (Communication, Advertising & Marketing Foundation). This system, which we call The Refinery, enables organisations of all shapes and sizes to:

  • achieve their precise learning objectives
  • future-proof employees’ careers by rewarding learning with globally recognised professional qualifications
  • prepare tomorrow’s leaders
  • deliver engagement and retention objectives.

Professional Academy has the experience, digital learning management system and flexibility so urgently needed to transform your learning organisation and strategy. We can work with your L&D team to build strategies that fill your capability gaps by building the exact skills your organisation needs for the next decade, and beyond …

We have a growing list of success stories illustrating how working with us can transform your learning strategy. In each case we worked alongside inhouse L&D professionals to:

  • reimagine the corporate learning experience
  • assess their current learning programmes, centralise their spend and strategy
  • build a learning technology and a ‘design thinking team ‘ (as recommended by Deloitte, to ensure each department and function has been consulted about the content and design of any learning technology)
  • consider appropriate measurements to track effectiveness and success (watch out for a future article around this topic).

Further inspirational case studies of how organisations around the globe are doing the same are included in the Learning and development: Into the spotlight part of the Deloitte report, as are recommendations regarding where to start. We encourage you to read them, and we leave you with a reminder of the bottom line, as defined by Deloitte:

Learning today has become a business critical priority for increasing skills, improving the leadership pipeline and enhancing employee engagement. As the corporate learning market undergoes a digital transformation, this is the year to assess your current learning environment and implement a new vision to build a corporate learning experience that touches every employee in a significant way.

Ready to start? Download our In-Company Training brochure or book a face to face chat about learning and development today. We’re here to help …