2014 was an interesting year. While many stayed with the routine need-based development, few made a shift towards building a meaningful journey for their leaders.
After a turbulent year, India’s economy continues to present interesting challenges across all industries. We believe this is an important time to examine how organizations are building their workforce in today’s business context.
Looking at the recent survey on learning and development by The Association for Talent Development (ATD), in collaboration with Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), few things that came up very clearly was average spent per employee on training & development has reduced from Rs 19,471 in 2012 report to Rs 13,767 in 2014. The survey also highlights that the average number of learning hours used per employee for responding organizations in 2013 was 31. This is down from the 2012 report in which the number of learning hours used per employee was 50.
Another very important aspect was the top three skills leaders need to develop in order to achieve their business objectives were Strategic Agility, Innovation and Customer Focus. While the reasons for the dipping numbers may be differ for different organizations in India but it’s interesting to understand the changing or upcoming trends from our clients and also to see what the future demands are for.
Linking this back to few important developments which we have seen in 2014 is that the audience today is looking at quick techniques to solve their problem. They think they have a unique problem and they need a quick tactic to manage their issues.
Organizational priorities have been taking a toll of how leaders are looking at people development; we saw that the key topics which people have been interested are
- Managing Focus
- Emotional Intelligence
- Strategic Thinking and Execution
- Managing Change
Participants are evolving, their needs have advances while they are more open for learning there is a challenge in application, most of them request for ideas that can help them apply the learning as they often struggle in applying the learning. Due to work pressure and no reinforcement they lose the learning and become task focused. Lack of manager support continues to be a challenge for the learner
As a development partner, DDI recommends that we take a step back and rethink if our learning and development initiatives are impactful and sustainable. If not then few things to plan would be,
- Development as a culture – Recently in one of the learning and development session attended by all senior HR leaders we learnt that one of the organisations has made it a point to drill Development as a culture and not just an optional agenda on the list.
- Top down approach to development planning – When Top leaders are setting the roadmap for development it creates a huge impact for HR to take the next steps.
- Putting development as a strategic agenda for the organisations and not just another HR initiative.
- Blended learning – 70:20:10 is that still valid, a fact or just a myth? We couldn't find any recent supporting research, and we wanted to learn more about these magic numbers. What we found might just surprise you: in reality, leaders spend their time on—and prefer—a different ratio read more on The Right Ratio
- Manager support is crucial and so is the detailed need gap analysis on what to train on, imagine a situation where a first time Plant manager needs help with how to interact with plant subordinates and we chalk out a development plan which missed this important aspect, are we really giving him what will help him develop and take the next steps in the right direction?
Linking it back to what are the future trends two key trends that organizations feel will impact the future L&D industry are using technology to meet the learning needs of Generation Y and measuring the business impact of learning initiatives according to the LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT TRENDS IN INDIA, 2014 report.
Learning initiatives should significantly impact the business strategy. Hence, measuring the return-on-investment of learning initiatives is a key factor. Organizations have emphasized that learning programs should include specific and measurable goals to justify the investment and need to have a significant impact on the strategic and financial goals of these organizations.