The Changing of Job Roles

Our Shaping the Future of L&D series takes a look at the ever changing world of L&D, compiling insights and research from industry experts, to help you progress on your L&D journey. Hear from our experts below.

Shaping the Future of L&D

As part of the first series of 'Shaping the Future of L&D', we've gathered the latest insights and research into the changing of job roles within the L&D industry.

We interviewed the following thought leaders to gather their opinions in this area.

Joan Keevill, Director at Designs on Learning and Chairperson at the eLearning Network

Spencer Holmes, Director at Totem Learning

Nick Bate, Director at Blue Eskimo

Chris Blackburn, Head of Learning and Development at Carbon60

Edmund Monk, CEO at the Learning and Performance Institute

Robert Wagner, Commercial Director at DPG

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Research and Insights

1. Preparing for new roles that don't exist yet

Now that we are inundated with data, we need to think about the skills, knowledge and competencies to support people with the skills they need before we give them the job. 75% of long-term job success depends on mastering and developing soft skills.

2. The holistic role of learning professionals

The role of the learning professional has become far more holistic; spanning multiple disciplines and areas of expertise. This is more than changes in job titles, it’s a change in approach from the short-term delivery of classroom courses to the longer-term view of skills development and the cultivation of emerging leaders.

3. Upskilling into multiskilled, hybrid roles

Learning leaders need to adopt the role of a ‘performance engineer’ who look holistically at business objectives, relationships, systems, technology and culture and how they fit together, rather than just providing products.

4. Increase in a remote and distance workforce

Managing and upskilling employees who work in remote locations requires the application of specific strategies and tactics. A few things to consider are, Time Zones and Tech Tools such as communicating to people in different locations.

Joan Keevill

Key points - “building the right team with the right skills and people who want to learn”

  • It’s more important to utilise experts who specialise across numerous roles, rather than those who focus on one.
  • Organisations need to do two things: understand what roles there should be, and look at where their staff are now.
  • Learning skills is more valuable than learning knowledge as they are transferable to different topics and areas.
  • Team management is key to the changing of L&D roles. It is important they understand team strengths and utilise accordingly.

Spencer Holmes

Key points - “everyone can be better at curiosity – TED talks is a great example of how to make people more curious”

  • L&D needs to challenge two things – the opinions of key stakeholders, and traditional models of learning (that focus on learning objects over business objectives).
  • Gather as much feedback as you can early in the process - it will help strengthen the content you're developing.
  • The L&D process should be transparent and involve everyone, whether that is helping to curate content or having access to all information involved in the decision making.
  • In order to cultivate curiosity, you have to allow the time to be curious.

Nick Bate

Key points

  • Skillsets focusing on business acumen and stakeholder engagement is paramount. Understanding what senior leaders need is just as important as understanding learners’ needs.
  • L&D is experiencing a rise in Agile methodology, as the need to quickly react and adapt to challenges becomes more prominent.

Chris Blackburn

Key points - “Learning and Development teams will survive by proving their ROI”

  • Businesses need to support managers to be good leaders. They should be encouraged to gain the right experiences and skills required to be great at leading. 
  • L&D teams need to prove their ROI to survive. They need to demonstrate the business impact rather than just adhering to compliance.
  • L&D professionals should take the responsibility of exploring ways they can upskill themselves.
  • Businesses should utilise the Apprenticeship Levy to support their Learning and Development budgets.

Edmund Monk

Key points - “The best way to create a learning culture is by getting everyone involved and sharing content”

  • Learning and Development has seen the biggest transition period within the last 20 years.
  • There needs to be greater investment into the human side of technology implementations to create more effective outcomes.
  • L&D departments need to understand what the business wants. Data is the first thing to consider and is the key to unlocking evidence to prove the impact of learning and development on the business.
  • Lifelong learning is an economic imperative.

Robert Wagner

Key points - “Keep on developing yourself, your skills and your knowledge”

  • L&D professionals lack the skills to make a transition from classroom-based learning to digital learning.
  • Traditionally, knowledge was power but now knowledge is free and easily accessible. 
  • There is no 'one size fits all'. Organisations need to understand what their needs are and develop plans to suit their requirements.
  • L&D departments need to help trainers develop the skills needed to manage a virtual classroom. To survive, trainers need to become good virtual trainers rather than classroom trainers.

Shaping the future of L&D

What's coming next?

We all know that the pandemic has had a huge impact on the Future of L&D, so to find out more we surveyed over 2,000 learners to see how their expectations of learning have changed. We are currently working on analysing these findings and producing three reports, in partnership with a number of industry experts again. These will cover:

  • Creating training to suit the learner – How have learners’ expectations changed and what is their ideal learning experience? With so many new learning styles available, how do organisations create a compelling learner journey?
  • The importance of investing in your learners – Who should be responsible for learning, the employee, employer or both? In this report we look at the importance of investing in learners and the benefits of being invested in.
  • The future of digital learning – COVID changed how businesses are working, and with this change the L&D industry have had to adapt. What does the future hold and what do companies need to consider in order to make learning an effective part of their employee’s everyday work?

If you would like to register to receive these reports or any other resources to help fast track your L&D efforts register below.

Speak to our team

With over 25 years’ experience in designing and building digital training we know exactly what it takes to create high quality, high value learning experiences whilst ensuring our training is cost effective. We believe in keeping things simple. In designing training that saves time, drives real behaviour change, and still gets results. Through our Human-Centred design approach we create exceptional learning experiences that bolster the knowledge, skills and confidence of your business’s greatest asset, your people.

Why not speak to one of our Learning Consultants today to find out how we can help you craft learning and development paths that align to your businesses' goals?

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