Learning and Development: Rethink, Reskill, Resurgence

As workplaces around the world get back to their “new normal,” HR departments are assessing the massive shifts their companies have gone through over the past two years.  There’s the pandemic, increasing issues around diversity and race, cross-generational employee reskilling, digital transformation, mental health and wellbeing, and effective leadership – these are just a few of the issues on CHROs desks.  It’s no surprise why learning and development (L&D) has now become the epicenter and driving force for organizational performance and growth. 

Even prior to the pandemic, 94% of workers stated they would stay at their jobs longer if their companies invested more in their learning and development (Workplace Learning Report, LinkedIn 2019).  This is equally true now, but a strong L&D program has, in fact, become a necessity and a key differentiator to attract new talent.   According to this year’s LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, L&D “has become more central, strategic, cross-functional – and overworked.”  Nearly three-quarters of learning leaders have seen L&D rise in influence within their organizations and across departments, and a 94% demand increase in L&D specialists in Q3 2021.   Additionally, investment in key training programs – from DEI to digital fluency – will increase in 2022, and 54% of learning leaders say that internal mobility has become a higher priority as a result of the pandemic.  

This Forbes article goes further to state a company’s L&D ecosystem helps to differentiate it from competitors.  HR departments report these key findings as employees demand more training options:

  • 67% of HR managers have an increased L&D budget in 2022
  • 46% already have specific training in place for new graduates just entering the workforce
  • 42% offer training to support the re-entry of formerly retired employees
  • 72% of HR managers would invest in mental health and well-being training if they had a higher L&D budget
  • 77% of HR managers are likely to focus on life skills within the next 12 months

With companies now employing four generations of workers (baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z), the L&D ecosystem becomes even more critical to an organization’s overall wellbeing and success.  Diversifying learning to mirror the workforce is likely to produce better learning outcomes.  The majority of employees surveyed in a recent SHRM/Talent LMS/Epignosis report, said they are happy with their current L&D program but would like more control over their training options, and the majority of HR managers have increased L&D budgets.  This points to L&D becoming both more centralized at the corporate level but de-centralized at the employee level, where workers can pick and choose the skills they would like to develop for their current and future positions.  

With such immense and complex growth, there is increased pressure and expectation on learning leaders to design and deliver quality programs.  The biggest challenges include making sure learning programs and outcomes are aligned with business goals, and that impact goes beyond classroom performance and into how companies adapt and operate.  As the LinkedIn report suggests, it is time for L&D to take the limelight and become its best self.  It is time for companies to invest in creating a vibrant – and automated – learning space to attract new employees, to help current employees reskill, and ultimately, contribute to a resurgence of growth.  

A few years ago, a Fortune 500 firm engaged Metrix Global, LLC, to identify the business benefits and ROI of an executive coaching program. They found that coaching produced a 529% ROI and significant intangible benefits to the business, including the financial benefits from employee retention, boosting the overall ROI to 788%.  Overall, coaching most significantly impacted the ability to prioritize more effectively (72%), employee productivity (60%), customer satisfaction (53%) and employee satisfaction (53%).  

If your company is experiencing L&D growing pains, automation can help accelerate your company’s learning and performance management.  Download our brochure to learn more about Viveka’s L&D management ecosystem, and then contact us to see how we can support your HR department.  

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