L&D is 'mission-critical' but needs more innovation, report finds
- Leaders believe L&D programs are mission-critical for organizational transformation, according to Harvard Business Publishing, but 75% of surveyed L&D professionals believe these programs can be improved. In the 2018 State of Leadership Development report, 86% of organizations surveyed have recently had an experience with transformation.
- The report said successful organizational transformation begins with altering learning and development programing to better align with new business objectives. Organizations that focus on L&D see success, the report noted; 69% of organizations that said L&D was "important to critical to their business' success" saw increased revenues within the last two years.
- To improve quality, 80% of respondents said more innovation was needed for learning techniques still used in development programs. But while senior managers report high support for L&D from the C-suite, those closer to the front line were skeptical about the amount of support L&D teams receive from upper management. Generally, most agree that more work needs to be done to improve quality and to make L&D a strategic priority.
A recent study suggests HR overall may be losing influence within their organizations as managerial priorities shift. To keep up, HR departments must shift their focus from “process heavy” tasks to people strategies that include developing leaders and retaining talent through data-driven means. The skills gap and its potential impact across industries is clearly being felt from the C-suite down.
Such efforts include upskilling existing talent and creating a steady pipeline of future workers. A recent study by Randstad illustrates the concern, as 40% of US workers reported nothing was offered to them in the last year to improve their skill set, despite 67% believing they need more training to stay current. Employers will have to be proactive to employee need, rather than reactive, to stay ahead.
Soft skills remain a key development interest, including training in leadership, communication, adaptability, critical thinking and innovation. While much more difficult to identify and train, soft skills can last through an employee’s career, as opposed to technical competencies that may change as technology evolves.
To meet the needs of a changing workforce and to grab a seat at the executive table, L&D professionals will need to demonstrate the ROI of training. From determining need to curating and delivering content, L&D must be a strategic partner in planning and growth.
- Harvard Business Publishing L&D Programs Critical to Organizational Transformation, Yet 75 Percent of L&D and LOB Managers say Programs Need Improvement According to Harvard Business Publishing’s 2018 State of Leadership Development Report
- HR Dive Randstad: One-third of U.S. workers did nothing to upskill in the past year