Interestingly these are the times when ‘Performance Reviews’ have become optional in view of the nature of business where at the end of the day, the deliverables itself speak about the performance. Also the definition of ‘promotion’ is changing such that it no more remains to be about moving up the hierarchy or adding-on responsibilities alone. Today it has more to do with the kind of clients or tasks the employee is given to handle and the exposure or scalability one has access to while adding value to their experience and its relative impact at the bottom-line.
The subject under discussion is already in practice at various organizations. However, it might be on a smaller scale or confined to certain functions/positions. To execute this on a larger scale, one needs to understand the concerns/implications associated with greater emphasis on learning programs and the challenges of linking it to PMS and promotions.
- Unpredictability in business environment makes the learning needs dynamic. In such cases, it is important to analyse if the linking system in place is dynamic enough to accommodate the change and monitor its impact.
- Measuring the impact of tacit knowledge that is acquired through mentoring, reverse mentoring, talent conversations & job experiences is also a challenge which needs to be looked at with a different lens altogether. Psychometric assessments and other similar activities/simulations could come handy in measuring the same.
- Not just with physical and technical resources learning programs have to be supported psychologically as well. Managers and peers should come forward to encourage learning & helping employees find new ways of learning. Also, identify if there’s a mechanism to measure such influences and its outcomes.
- Identifying the role specific areas of learning that will have a direct impact on improving employee performance & the business goals of the organization. It helps save time and money.
- While organizations have their business goals, department goals, individual KRAs & KPIs, the real question is about having a "Personal Development Plan" of the individual and customised "Structured Self Development (SSD)" programs that align employees’ personal goals to the organization.
- Focus of L & D is more inclined towards cognitive knowledge and advanced skills that focus on - know what and know how. Emphasis should also be on - ‘Know why‘ and ‘Care why‘. Programs which reflect upon identifying and understanding successful interrelationships between departments & divisions are sure to increase learning. This increases the possibilities of better quality products and services.
- Move beyond the ideas of ‘proven history‘ and accept the ‘not so usual’ proposals of learning where the employees feel confident of improving their skills that are relevant to their function/ profile. L&D programs should be able to accommodate the development of alternative skills that prepare them to take-up opportunities that are not just confined to their current domain.
The above described solutions to the challenges, if executed genuinely could make the L&D programs robust enough to nurture and help achieve the aspirations of employees as well as business leading to mutual growth and success. It would make way for the future of learning and development which could completely do away with the current restrictive performance measures.