Learning and development have a fundamental role to play in the future of your business, with studies highlighting the rise of the L&D function aligned to the business expectations. As investments in employees' learning journeys steadily rise, what becomes urgent is to ensure that learning outcomes are efficiently measured and business impact is delivered.
To guide L&D professionals and business leaders on their path to re-imagine the learning process and results, People Matters’ recent webcast in partnership with Wilson Learning offered a series of actionable insights. From their years of experience in the field of organisational learning and development, Joyeeta Mukherjee, Senior Manager - Learning and Development, Moglix and Anand Subramaniam, Senior Director - Consulting & Capability Development (APAC), Wilson Learning ensured an informative session for the HR community at large.
The challenges that continue to impact corporate learning:
Our learning leaders shared with us that in today’s learning landscape, adoption challenges backed by digital transformation continue to remain. The usage of LMS has increased across companies for a more efficient virtual learning experience but there is a difference in enabling access to e-learning and ensuring that these solutions are actively engaged with. Change management is an additional area of concern because leadership transitions and changes in a company’s priorities inevitably impact the ownership of the L&D agenda.
Additionally, learning teams have increased pressure to lead organisational skill development. While the investment in online learning increases because it’s more effective in terms of logistics, scale and cost, the focus should also be on how these solutions can be strategically implemented to meet the pressing business needs and challenges.
Designing efficient performance measurement assessments:
Enhancing learner engagement and outcomes firstly requires designing the programs in line with the ongoing skill gaps and ensuring that the sessions are planned flexibly and allow opportunities to learn and reflect and apply. To cite an example, when Moglix partnered with Wilson Learning to implement a 5-week long negotiation skills program for their supply team titled ‘Getting to Yes’, it was tailored according to the inputs of their team and was followed by a round of understanding of the application of the learnings and an Impact Assessment Report by the Wilson Learning Team.
But what’s important for us as a key takeaway is a difference between measuring the impact of a learning intervention and measuring improvements in employee performance. The latter can be improved by a series of initiatives from coaching to bonus incentives. To isolate what an organisation can truly attribute to the workshop, Wilson Learning provides a survey-based feedback form that gives learners the chance to record this themselves. This separation is vital for the business because knowing the primary factors for skill improvement will re-direct resources accordingly for even better outcomes.
Increased learning transfer through managerial coaching:
A study by Wilson learning identified that when an organisation implements 11 specific actions, it could improve learner effectiveness by 180%. Surprisingly, out of them all, the one initiative that plays the most impactful role, a solid 30-68% in ensuring learner transfer is manager coaching.
Although L&D professionals are often hesitant to push business leaders to become a participant in the post-learning process, one cannot deny that the learner applications are higher when the manager regularly coaches his employees in the skills obtained. At the end of the day, this happens because the manager will evaluate the employee performance and lead their growth journeys rather than the L&D leader. A robust ecosystem of managers as coaches combined with everyday conversations about success and failure stories is essential.
Another important piece of advice shared had to do with enabling low-pressure environments for the learners to practice their skills post-training. Providing opportunities that are the business equivalent of practice matches will give the freedom to your learners to be creative with the application of their learning and steadily incorporate them into their day-to-day activities.
Learning to deliver business impact and excellence:
There is a need to change the conversations internally around corporate learning. Earlier, the first concern had been the agenda of the learning program followed by the cost of investing in it. If organisations turn it around and ensure that the final checkbox is instead about how the learning intervention benefits the business be it in terms of revenue or product innovation, the results are more likely to drive business impact.
Additionally, L&D provides must build partnerships with businesses for the long turn to truly understand their complexities, challenges, skill gaps, vision and goals for the year. When this happens, learning programs will be designed and implemented in line with the primary business drivers. When it comes to digital learning, correlating existing work practices and digital footprints with gamification and other solutions will enable improvements on the adoption front.
Curating learning journeys is a task that must primarily rest on the business needs but to achieve tangible results in the application of learnings along with desirable learner outcomes, managers and business leaders should equally participate and lead the process. When this happens, organisations will witness positive changes from bridging the skill gap to empowering a culture of innovation in the workplace.
Wilson Learning helps organisations improve the effectiveness of salespeople and sales leaders. Their solutions result in significant returns for clients, including more deals won, higher-margin sales, more referrals, more upsells and cross-sells to existing customers and faster growth in sales revenue. For more information, please visit their website here.