Article: L&D Program - A must to stay ahead of the curve

Learning & Development

L&D Program - A must to stay ahead of the curve

The ever changing business environment has made L&D program a necessity rather than desire.
L&D Program - A must to stay ahead of the curve
 

According to Grant Thorton India, 89% of the Indian organizations in the coming years plan to increase the time and effort they invest on learning and development of their employees, who are instrumental in the growth of the company

 

Learning is a never ending process. While we learn innumerable things in our alma mater, this process does not come to an end after completing our studies. Even after joining the corporate world, there is a constant need to upgrade our skills in order to be up-to-date in a dynamic business environment.

While change is constant in business, the nature of change has become more intense today. The ever changing business environment has made L&D program a necessity rather than desire.  Thus, making it indispensable for employers to plan L&D programs that will help the employees to address new challenges at work. In a disruptive business environment, it is extremely important to have L&D programs that will empower the employees to survive the emulous competition.

The working style and the requirements of the workforce today is completely different from our predecessors. They look forward to constant growth in their career. They actively seek out opportunities to increase their areas of expertise and hone their skills to stay conversant with all the new challenges and demands at work and implement the new skills to address them successfully. Given the speed at which the business environment is evolving, this is not just an aspiration, but a key requirement for survival. Employees today prefer to be associated with organizations that invest in their growth.

Understanding the need of the employees, employers have introduced various policies and programs for their employees. Learning and development programs are among the most important programs, as it helps in employee retention as well as improves the skills of their employees that has direct impact on the performance and organization growth. They also increase the employer’s ability to attract top talent and boost employee engagement. Today, companies’ value is increasingly tied to intangible assets, such as its intellectual property and its people, investing in L&D translates to superior financial performance and a long-term competitive advantage.

Besides the inherent desire to learn more, there are other factors that make L&D programs indispensable. Unfortunately, the education system in India does not offer adequate practical exposure to the students. Hence, despite the availability of a large workforce, there is dearth of skilled and qualified employees. Industries across sectors are facing drastic changes due to the rapid advancement made on the technology front, as well as the constantly changing demands of the clients/ customers. To stay ahead in the ever changing business environment, L&D program is crucial.  

L&D programs in India have completely transformed over the last two decades. It evolved from being an annual program to a well-planned ongoing program. It has covered a long journey from traditional computer based learning to collaborative social and talent driven learning. L&D programs have now become an integral part of boardroom discussions due to the value they bring. Most companies today have a well-structured division that designs L&D programs to address various needs of the company as well as its employees. The programs may vary from technical programs to soft skill development programs. In order to upgrade the skills of their employees and give them hands on experience to be in par with the global talent, organizations included world class L&D programs for their employees. Most multinational organizations customize their global L&D programs to suite the business requirements as well as the needs of their employees’ in India.

According to Grant Thorton India, 89% of the Indian organizations in the coming years plan to increase the time and effort they invest on learning and development of their employees, who are instrumental in the growth of the company. One of the primary reasons for increased attention to L&D program is to empower the available talent and also improve employee retention. Employees are loyal to responsible organizations that invest on the overall growth of the employees than those who only focus on revenue generation. The reasons why L&D programs have a direct impact on employee’s decision are – 

Learning from leaders: Investment of time on the employees by the senior leaders gives an assurance to the employees that the company sincerely cares for them. This boosts their morale and also helps in developing a bond with the leaders. The learnings imparted by the senior leaders are invaluable as the employees get to learn from their experience. 

Reward & Recognition: Employees do understand the value of being a part of world class L&D programs. At the completion of most L&D programs, the employees are given certificates for participation. These recognitions not just help them in their current organization but also in other organizations. 

On-going process: When employees get enrolled in an on-going program they are able to evaluate the impact of the program on them. There is a desire to stay through the program that will empower them with new skillsets. 

Learn while you earn: Employees feel empowered and optimistic about their future when they get to learn while working. L&D programs are mostly customized to improve the skills of certain jobs/ designations. L&D programs are additional benefits for employees as they get an opportunity to improve their existing skills and learn new things that will give them an edge over the others.

The success of the company largely depends on the skills, capabilities and knowledge of their employees. Hence, it is important to outline L&D programs that are aligned to the business strategy and aims at holistic development of employees. It should impart and upgrade technical knowledge as well as enhance soft skills such as, diplomacy, communication and relationship building — something most organizations do not offer. Companies that sincerely invest time and resource on the growth and wellbeing of their employees are among the best companies that employees’ like to be associated with. 

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Topics: Learning & Development, #LAndDWeek

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