The new avatar of L&D is looking for an integrated capability development and blended learning approach to be able to deliver and live up to the expectations the business has of this function
2014 is going to be an exciting and challenging year for HR, learning and talent professionals – a year where it is going to be increasingly difficult to attract, retain and develop talent. The success keys for developing talent are passion, innovation and engagement. Leadership will continue to be in short supply and L&D professionals will need to adapt and innovate.
According to Deloitte’s global research – Human Capital Trends 2014 – leadership and retention are the top two challenges in the priority list of all L&D professionals. In a growing global economy, business is getting more competitive and hence leaders are looking to optimize resources by expecting “more for less”.
It is now time for L&D to justify their existence and carve a space for themselves as a key contributor to the successful execution of a business strategy. The need is not only to equip people with desired skills, but also to help them retain these new skills and apply them suitably to get the desired results. Businesses are seeking clear returns on the money spent or invested in every area, and why should it be any different for this function? L&D is expected to be the backbone in the effective execution of the business strategy.
This journey has already begun, with some leading organizations developing a clear L&D strategy that is aligned to the overall business strategy, and the businesses are counting on them to get things ready for execution.
The increasing adoption of the KirkPatricks model to evaluate learning effectiveness at various levels is a key indicator to the seriousness with which the L&D function is considering measuring its contribution to the business.
We are seeing L&D today demanding high clarity in not only who is going to be trained, but also on the how. Training providers are given retention of learning strategies to comply with as an integral part of training delivery. The effective and creative use of action learning groups and also using technology platforms like mobile apps, chat groups, blogs and other such innovative media are some such strategies.
The erstwhile performance review is fading. Companies will redesign their performance management systems to adopt goal alignment, continuous development, executive coaching and mentoring with a clear focus on engaging people and helping them perform at extraordinary levels.
The L&D function is going to see adoption of new and creative styles of imparting learning. The demand on facilitative learning is going to rise exponentially. The Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) qualification from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) is soon going to be not just a desirable qualification, but a clear competency expected to be with all those trying to support the L&D function. We are already seeing some early adopters taking on these initiatives successfully.
It looks like the days of the “briefcase trainers” are numbered. Serious training providers will need to step up to these trends or run the risk of extinction. The L&D function is clearly seeking “partners” as they find this to be the most suitable way to be able to effectively deliver to expectations and measure their effectiveness.
The need to stretch beyond the classroom approach, to blended learning is clearly seen. Innovative methods that emphasize group and individual reinforcements, comic-book based training, mobile apps based refresher nuggets, eLearning modules, and various types of simulations, are going to be in vogue. These initiatives and strategies are also seen as being able to attracting the desired talent.
The new avatar of L&D is looking for an integrated capability development, and blended learning approach to be able to deliver and live up to the expectations the business has of this function.