Article: Solutions to pressing L&D problems

Learning & Development

Solutions to pressing L&D problems

Kicking off the L&D Annual League conference, senior learning professionals came together to brainstorm on some of the most pressing problems that L&D leaders face today.
Solutions to pressing L&D problems

Over the years L&D programs have undergone significant evolution. From contextualizing learning needs to using technology and tools like cloud and gamification, L&D professionals have tried to create meaningful learning experiences of its employees.  But the growing business complexity has meant that the today the business needs are more dynamic in nature today and in order  to ensure that the learning needs of the business are met, L&D professionals need to jump through several loops. All this to ensure that the learning programs help provide employees with the necessary skills and knowledge so that can still meaningfully contribute to businesses. 

The problems

Tackling such issues, the People Matters L&D conference helped deliberate among senior HR professionals across the country to create solutions to some of the pressing L&D problems. The problems were identified and clubbed into five broad categories. With each topic covering a vital aspect within the L&D paradigm, the audience was allowed to split and the attendees went on to choose the problems they felt they could contribute to.  

The methodology  

Using the six hat methods to break down the problem and strategize, each member was allowed wear a particular ‘hat’— choose a particular role that they would play to make more nuanced arguments and depth to the discussion. These different roles were: 

  • Information

The person choosing this attribute had to objectively consider the information available to the group and suggest opinions and solutions which were data driven. 

  • Creativity

Attendees choosing this attribute would provide creative solutions to the given problem.  By providing different alternatives, the person would help add extra dimensions to the brain storming group 

  • Overview

The Overview attribute meant attendees choosing this option would look at the solutions provided by the group and help build the portions of the soultions which might seem weak.

  • Positives

The attribute was related to the identifying and providing an  optimistic and constructive solutions to the problem.  With an eye to look at the bright side of the problem, the attendees who chose this attribute were to build the the quality of the soultions by providing positive, workable options. 

  • Emotion

The person choosing this attribute was to take care of the empathy factor of the collective solution of the group. Oriented towards considering employee emotions, reactions and judgements that might arise because of certain solutions being implemented 

  • Negatives

Attendees who wore  this hat were meant to play one of the most crucial roles—to raise objections to the proposed solution of the group and point out potential flaws, risks and fears in order to reach a solution with relatively less pitfalls

The solutions 

The five different groups came together and shared their views and solutions to their respective problems. Following is a snapshot of the same

Problem 1: How can L&D function emerge as a curator while learners own the process of learning 

The focus here was to create an intuitive pull factor that helped organizations receive more self-nominations. As curators of a learning program L&D professionals need to ensure that content and presentation are attractive while fulfilling the learning demands of both the organization and the individual. The ensure that more learners take ownership of their own learning, the need to recognize and reward employees who have successfully taken ownership of their learning journey. It helps create an incentive within the company. 

Problem 2:  How would you build a culture of learning that motivates learners to seek and apply learning

The group tackling this issue discussed the importance of building the training and learning programs has to be structured according to the actual need of the company. In order to build a learning culture, it is important to create the same urgency across the different layers of the leadership structure of the company. Building a unanimous understanding helps create senior stakeholder buy-in, leading to the creation of culture.  Also using SMEs and people who have gone through the training to come and share experiences needs to be used to create an incentive to learn.

Problem 3: How can the L&D function bridge the diversity to build an inclusive learning organization

Creating a big learning basket ensures the diverse needs within the organizations are met. This helps create multiple solutions. Also the option of customization should be available. Providing an open communication channel helps employees explore varied learning options. Bringing the leadership and workforce together on diverse learning needs also helps create a robust platform. But it should be not a tick in the box activity. 

Problem 4: How do we articulate the business impact to gain that buy-in for L&D initiatives – present a story?

The group focused on creating result oriented learning objectives. It's necessary  that the business keeps investing in such learning programs. For it to continue doing so, learning outcomes need to feed into business productivity. Breaking down long-term learning objectives into smaller success stories would also ensure that the business impact is taken into account.

Problem 5: How should L&D track its success in an agile organization?

The group suggested that learning professionals need to evolve the metrics to keep pace with evolving business needs. Contextualizing it to match both employee needs and business demands would be necessary in today’s agile world. Learning heads also need to institutionalized the measurement of different learning practices

The event also witnessed the launch of the People Matters and BITS Pilani study “Learning and Development Trends Study 2016: Setting the Blocks Right.”  Stay tuned for further coverage of the L&D League Annual Conference. 

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Topics: Learning & Development

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