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8 Considerations for Leveling Up Your L&D Program Right Now

Learning & development
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How to make your learning & development program part of your organization’s long-term remote work strategy, including training managers on how to help team members navigate the post-COVID reality.

Mandatory one-time workshops, expensive external consultants, and traditional classroom learning are dead. They don’t deliver sustained results. They don’t take your learners into consideration. And they’re counter to today’s need for personalized learning. 


The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010, and as teams now settle into hybrid work models, a much-needed transformation in traditional learning & development is underway that will carry on well beyond the crisis. This shift better supports people in how they learn today, with a focus on reskilling, upskilling, and cross training which continue to prove new and up until now, often untapped, sources of power for companies.


In recent research from Lighthouse Research & Advisory, 88 percent of employees said they would stay at a job if they had career and growth opportunities ahead, but more than 60% have left a job in the past because they didn’t see any way to advance. In addition, nearly 50 percent of talent professionals who responded to a LinkedIn survey said they expect their recruiting budget to continue to decrease, while 66 percent anticipate their L&D budget to increase or stay the same. 


This suggests employers will continue relying on building their workforce through internal mobility programs tied to reskilling initiatives and/or engage contingent talent instead of hiring externally. In this post, we’ll share suggestions — through the lens of pandemic-driven shifts — for leveraging technology to implement and scale development programswith customized learning opportunities that cut across silos as well retain and motivate employees to want to learn more.

Key Features in L&D’s Modern Corporate Learning Experience

Operating a successful business boils down to ensuring your workers are productive, happy, and actively engaged with activities that move the business forward. 


Chief Learning Officer at Allencomm — a global learning developer and provider of custom content — Anna Sargsyan recently told Human Resource Executive:

 

These new demands of hybrid and remote work are tasking us with being much more intentional about learning design. Employee expectations around more human-centered learning are creating a need for more personalization within L&D, while leaders also have to be proactive to help distributed employees learn from one another despite the distance, create innovative approaches to non-classroom learning and ensure learning is accessible everywhere—in different formats and to all employees.

 

In addition to supporting the employee experience, there’s enough evidence now to demonstrate that companies that promote a culture of learning perform better. 


Take this LinkedIn Learning course (quoting a McKinsey report) that shows companies offering comprehensive training programs have higher income per employee by as much as 200 percent. And for millennials, learning opportunities at a company are now the top metric in their likelihood to stay at a company. A PwC study found the same — that “the current workforce is more motivated by personal and professional growth than they are by earning more money.”

Critical to the success of any L&D program today, new digital tools have dramatically altered how, when and where we learn. Here’s a handful of the key features that are core to any successful L&D program, and especially important for leveling up to a modern corporate learning experience.


On-demand learning

The brick and mortar professional development course is done. Instead of the rigid classroom model, learning should be part of employees’ daily workflow – at their desks, on their mobile phones, or from wherever they work. They’re much more likely to develop and retain information when they decide on the timing of their training, not when it is dictated by a mass group class. 

 

Let’s look at some statistics. Employees who have more control over the learning process and the opportunity to revisit training demonstrate retention rates of up to 60% vs that of 8% for in-person training. In addition, research shows that bite-sized learning makes the transfer of learning from the classroom to the desk 17% more efficient — encouraging employees to further develop and retain the training, which maximizes effectiveness and value of the training you have delivered. 

 

Consumerization of learning

Just as apps have changed the way we call cabs or watch movies, new digital learning tools

also offer the same intuitive, engaging, and easy-to-use experience for people at work.

 

Agile, cost-effective learning

In an era of rapid technological change, learning has become critical for companies to stay up to speed. A modern learning platform accelerates learning program delivery to ensure the most up-to-date training reaches your employees quickly and efficiently.

 

Self-awareness & coaching

With culture analytics, L&D leaders are working to understand individuals and team cultures better — and ultimately create and deliver programming that leverages a psychometrics-based platform to improve managers’ coaching, increase understanding of their teams, pave a pathway to building a stronger, better-connected team for purposes of more meaningful collaboration — which leads to increased productivity and strong employee engagement. Consider this:

 

66% of all employees are disengaged (Source: Gallup)
87% of highly engaged employees are less likely to leave (Source: The Muse)
Only 25% of employers have an active engagement strategy (Source: The Muse)

 

Consider employee engagement suites that incorporate self-assessments designed to empower people with a better understanding of their work behaviors, motivators, and work energizers. When investing in engagement solutions, look for a centralized solution that consolidates this kind of data so it not only supports your team members but also serves a repository of data for you to build your learning programs.

 

Career & development feedback

Knowing that coaching and feedback are key to ongoing performance management and engagement, provide an easy way for employees to obtain and manage peer, 360-degree, subordinate and manager feedback more frequently.

 

Pulse survey feedback

Pulse your employees on important topics and get instant and consistent feedback to help you make informed operational, policy, programming, or strategy decisions. Be sure you can analyze data by different populations, as well as  product, territory, and functional groups.

 

Performance management tracking

Use a centralized learning or action management system to track performance and provide actionable content and assignments to help employees track performance, growth, and any new performance management processes. When you have psychometrics behind your AMS — that is, a clear understanding of what motivates each and every team member and how he or she learns best — you’re able to further individualize the content and activities, as you align employees around specific strategic goals, tasks, and actions. You can do this by company, by division, by territory, or by function – enabling you to deliver fast, measurable business results.

 

Scalable development programs with sustained results

Finally, let’s talk results. How often have your employees come back from training only to pin some certificate in their cube without ever implementing what they learned in a meaningful way? The answer is more than we’d like to admit!


In fact, within one hour of any training, most people retain less than half of what was presented. Then you spend your time figuring out ways to reinforce and re-engage those team members in what they already learned. It can feel like an exhausting never-ending cycle — making it difficult to scale your programming.

 

The truth is, if participants can’t flex their muscles and practice what they have learned after the training, they will most certainly forget it and revert to their old ways. But technology exists today that can bring your team’s development program learnings into the participants’ daily workflows, allowing them to practice what they have learned  in a real live work situation without breaking away from their work. This ability is a game changer for post-program adoption and retention. 

Ineffective L&D
Traditional L&D: Expensive, several independent, disparate moving parts without sustained results
Modern L&D
Modern L&D: Train more employees and leaders in less time and with better quality of results when programming is centralized and leverages technology

The needs of the global corporate training and learning market will continue to evolve. And in the increasingly complex world of the Future of Work, individualized, adaptive training journeys, including tailored and scalable micro courses with real-world practice opportunities built in, will help people thrive in new hybrid work environments. We can help you optimize your L&D programming and prepare your team to work together more effectively.


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