The environment for Learning and Development has shifted; the tables have turned in just the last two years and L&D has reached a thriving stage. The investment in leadership development, and L&D as a whole has grown in the past two to three years. People today are looking for different kinds of intervention for learning and development in a big way. So the L&D space, while it hasn’t peaked, is on a rising curve today.
Currently, the major challenge to L&D service providers comes in the form of business metrics. Companies are constantly asking to show impact of L&D programs and how it changes the business outcomes. So the question that is getting reiterated in the industry is what can L&D service providers do differently or step their game up so as to show concrete significance of the programs.
There have been few trends which have emerged in the last couple of years which are now picking pace and getting reinforced; some of which are changing the nature and scope of L&D programs. For instance, organizations in the past were investing in short fixed-term workshop or training courses, but now the focus has shifted towards journey-based approaches. Even service providers are working towards providing sustainable learning experience. Given the required time and energy investment, such trainings are done mostly for high potentials or key audiences instead of the large audience base. Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Quora are becoming extremely popular for exchange of learning materials in the form of articles, videos, etc. Further, with the cost of travel and time involved, virtual coaching has increased rapidly in the past one to two years. On the Mobile front, there are some experiments that service providers are doing, but this has not yet become very prominent. Short video clips, articles, interaction through applications like Whatsapp are now gaining importance in L&D. These are however not sustainable as of now, but going forward can emerge as an integral part of the L&D space.
In the Learning and Development vertical, unlike other domains within HR, senior managers or mid-level managers also play a key role. They can also make the decision while buying learning services. This happens when training and/or coaching services are brought for those in the lower level of hierarchy in the organization. However, when there is a high-potential involved, it is usually the CHRO or the L&D head who is the key stakeholder. The business heads, procurement heads and the key teams usually act as key influencers in the entire process. While the determinant for lower level is majorly the cost, the higher level depends on factors such as impact that the program is likely to have on a strategic level. As a result, the pricing models in the market have also changed depending on the target audience of training and coaching programs.
As told by Anupam Sirbhaiya, Country Manager at Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)