• Edify Team

Six Learning And Development Trends To Embrace For Maximum ROI

(From Forbes.com)

This is an exciting time. Technology is creating more dynamic learning opportunities than ever before, employees are looking for work experiences that align with their personal values and organizations are having to look at change as the norm rather than some temporary thing that needs to be managed. During this time of change, we need to embrace new trends in learning and development to ensure that our strategy will create win-wins for the organization and the people in it.

According to the Association of Talent Development, organizations invested 34.1 hours of training and $1,273 per person in 2016 on training and development. Given the landscape of today’s organizations and the people in them, there are important things to consider to maximize the return on your training investment and secure the biggest impact on the end user.

Here are six recommendations to support your learning and development strategy:

Develop The Required Technical Skills For Today

Newer, better and more efficient ways of doing things are always around the corner in today’s world. Be it new software, a new process or newly discovered data, just because your employees were “experts” when they came on board doesn’t mean they will continue to remain on the cutting edge.

Don’t waste your time trying to stay on top of the latest trends in all the functional areas of your business. Leverage technical skills content experts to support you in providing specific skills training for your people. As they say, “Aces in their places.”

Develop Leadership Capacity At All Levels Of The Organization

These are skills that will support in long-term (3-5 year) career development. These leadership skills are not role dependent. Instead, they elevate the leadership capacity of every person in the organization, setting employees up to be successful as leaders, not just as employees.

One of the most effective skills in developing leadership capacity at all levels of the organization is the coach approach. By equipping leaders with the skill set to coach as well as manage, a culture of people development takes hold. People are empowered to find their own answers and leaders are no longer the bottleneck in getting things done.

Measure And Reward Growth And Improvement

Today’s employee craves growth and development, but according to one study, only 42% of workers say that they are always or frequently learning on the job, while another 39% say that they are never or rarely learning.

Create personalized learning plans for each employee, and reward individuals who are taking their growth and development into their own hands.

These personalized learning plans can support the integration of the organizational training that is occurring, but they don’t have to. There are opportunities for growth and development everywhere, rewarding those who seek out learning is a surefire way to create a culture of learning and development.

Leverage On-Demand And Micro Learning Resources

It’s our experience that fewer organizations are opting for the full immersion, multiday, offsite-style training. The reality is, this form of training requires a huge time and resource investment with little actual data around the long-term impact on performance and integration.

By approaching L&D from a blended learning approach, training and development can be spread out over the entire year/life cycle of an employee. Formal training events can be supported by ongoing micro learning resources, like short videos and articles, as well as on-demand learning resources, where employees are set up to source out training when and where they need it. This approach creates the most optimal conditions for application and integration of learning to occur. And, it distributes the responsibility of ongoing learning and development onto the employees themselves.

Facilitate Whole-Person Development

Employees today want to work with purpose-driven, values-aligned organizations. In fact, 50% of millennials say that they would take a pay cut to work for an organization that aligned with their values.

Supporting leaders in understanding who they are and what matters to them most (their values) is foundational to becoming a powerful leader who can lead and inspire others.

When you invest in developing the whole person, you are investing in making sure that everyone in the organization is clear on their personal mission and the personal legacy they want to leave. This work creates organizations that are filled with purpose-driven, highly engaged individuals. This is what we are after right?

An additional and very useful benefit is that this work also creates a culture where people can self-assess whether their personal mission and values align with the organizational mission and values. This supports the goal of having the right people, in the right seats, on the right bus.

Get On Board With Online Learning

It’s no surprise that online learning is gaining ground. With more and more remote workers, advances in tech and a workforce that is comfortable/skilled at learning online, the barriers that used to be there just aren’t as problematic as they once were.

E-learning on its own does have its drawbacks. Low engagement and completion rates are a real concern. However, if we look at e-learning as just part of a blended learning approach, it can be a wonderful tool to create rich learning experiences that don’t require getting everyone in the same room. Online collaboration tools, easy to use course platforms, and even Facebook groups, allow you to create online social learning environments where company-wide and cross-functional collaboration can take place in an effective way.

So, there you have it: six ways to maximize the ROI of your learning and development investment based on current trends and the landscape of today’s organizations.

Whether you take on one or all six of these recommendations, remember investing in your number one resource — your people — is always a good investment.

Kristen Constable


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