Top 5 Challenges for L&D in 2022
As the latest poll results are shared by the Learning & Performance Institute, one thing is clear. L&D leaders in large organizations are all facing similar challenges:
- Helping people learn in the flow of work?
- Creating a learning culture?
- Extending the remit and influence of L&D?
- Demonstrating learning impact and return on investment?
- Adapting our learning for our hybrid workforce?
But despite these issues appearing to be different, they’re all intrinsically linked; they have the same root cause.
“The focus is on learning rather than helping people perform better in their roles.”
This fuels an even bigger issue; the need for L&D to reimagine itself, to better serve the business. But more on that later.
Let’s look at those issues again:
Helping people learn in the flow of work?
We shouldn’t be concerned with how much people learn. I may learn ten new things, all in the flow of work. But if they don’t help me improve my performance, how does my learning help the business? Should learning be the end goal?
Creating a learning culture?
Is learning what’s important to the business, or is it innovation, problem-solving and continuous improvement? Let’s say a company has 1,000 employees, they all learned enough to pass the end of course quiz. The training cost £150k to create and deliver, but performance has remained the same. Was that money well invested?
“Is a learning culture what you really need? Or is it something else?”
Extending the remit and influence of L&D?
To be more influential as a function, you need to be adding significant value. Adding value means:
- You need to know what issues to tackle.
- You need to know how much the issues are costing the business if you don’t solve them.
- The cost of solving the issue must be significantly less than doing nothing, which will often entail solutions that aren’t training.
“The way to become more influential is to reset, rethink and rebrand.”
To be seen as more than an L&D department, start by redefining your purpose and remit.
Demonstrating learning impact and return on investment?
If you’re measuring how much people have learned, then calculating any return on investment will always be impossible (or inaccurate). Determining value starts and ends with data. Which performance metric are you trying to affect? What is the cost to the business of doing nothing? How much will the issue cost to solve? How has the metric improved after implementation?
“Evaluation shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be your starting point.”
Adapting our learning for our hybrid workforce?
Many organizations converted in-person training into either e-learning or a PowerPoint deck delivered via Teams or Zoom. But when circumstances change dramatically, what people need to succeed in the new situation will usually change. It’s best to work with your audience and determine the real problems they now face in their role. Then identify what resources and experiences would help them the most.
“Don’t just reformat, rescope.”
By rescoping first, you can often save yourself time and budget by getting it right the first time (or at least closer to it).
Solving the challenges
If you’re experiencing any of the challenges mentioned above, try considering the below instead:
- What can we do so people don’t have to stop work to get better at it?
- How can we create a culture of innovation and continuous improvement?
- How can we rebrand ourselves to add more value to the business?
- Which performance metrics do you want to affect, and what will it take to do it?
- How can we help our hybrid workforce improve performance by overcoming the new challenges they face?
“To solve the right challenges, we have to ask the right questions.”
Look beyond finding new ways, to do the same thing. If you’re serious about changing the perception of L&D, you have to start at its core; and redefine the purpose, reach and remit of the function.
What do you think? Get the conversation started by sharing your thoughts below.
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