As corporate understanding of learning and development has grown more robust over the years, so too has the importance of having talent leaders in place who are committed to maximising the benefits of their organisation's training initiatives.
With the war for talent heating up, investment in staff training and development has become more vital than ever before. Taking the right approach to this key function will allow your company to benefit from a motivated, highly skilled workforce delivering their maximum potential; failure to do so will lead to an exodus of talent that will leave you one step behind your competitors.
However, getting learning and development right isn't just a matter of throwing money at a problem - it requires careful thought about how training can be delivered in a way that results in optimal performance gains and staff engagement. This can be a challenging process, but with the right tools in place, the results are well worth it.
Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends Report for 2016 showed that 84 per cent of executives rated learning as important or very important, with the amount spent on learning up ten per cent on the previous year. However, despite this, only 37 per cent of companies said they felt their learning programmes were effective.
This is the reason why strategy is such an important consideration when planning your approach to learning and development - not every training programme is created equal, and a badly-executed one risks leaving staff feeling micromanaged, disengaged, or that their individual skills and attributes are not being properly utilised.
As such, it's vital that you adopt a people-centric methodology in learning and development. This means creating personalised development plans that reflect the specific career goals of each worker, and providing them with the scope and flexibility to evolve their skill set in multiple directions, rather than prescribing them a one-size-fits-all approach to progression.
Once a roadmap has been established, it's then important that well-considered performance metrics and progress markers are laid out, allowing both managers and employees to get a better sense of how they are developing. By also offering constructive feedback at each stage of this journey, talent leaders will be able to bring the best out of staff, as well as fostering a sense of loyalty and positivity.
These objectives can be challenging to achieve, but with the help of e-learning solutions and a robust learning management system (LMS), the process can be made a lot easier.
E-learning courses allows companies to provide workers with tailored educational material that can be accessed whenever and wherever it might be needed, allowing them to learn at their own pace. Built-in metrics offer managers precise insights into how each learner is progressing, and which areas may need additional attention; companies can also choose between off-the-shelf options that conform to industry standards, or bespoke tools that have been customised for their specific needs and workflows.
Investing in an LMS, meanwhile, can deepen these benefits even further, providing a unified method of delivering materials to staff, administering tests, tracking progress across the entire workforce and getting a clear overview of where potential skills gaps still exist.
By embracing these cutting-edge tools, businesses can take a crucial step towards the kind of organisational benefits and individual enrichment that only a successful learning and development programme can provide.
Summary: A successful learning and development programme can result in better outcomes for both the individual and the organisation - but proper planning and management is needed to get the best results.