Learning and Development: The Ultimate Guide
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Learning and Development: The Ultimate Guide

Commonly known as ‘training and development’ in the Human Resource, Learning and Development has become an essential element of any company. Its primary purpose is to ensure that the employees are up-to-date with critical skills and knowledge. Hence, employee performance is per the company goals.

Not only is L&D of significance to corporations. Studies show that young professionals nowadays look for professional development opportunities in their work environment.

So let’s look at what L&D is all about and why is it important to companies and professionals alike.

What is Learning and Development?

With the rapidly increasing competition in the business landscape, upskilling is the key to survival. Especially in the current digital and knowledge-based industry, staying informed is a necessity. L&D is essentially any learning investment that a company makes towards ensuring that its workforce can keep up with the changing requirements. I.e. any learning effort that contributes towards the development of the employee and hence the overall corporation.

Learning and development, often called training and development, forms part of an organisation’s talent management strategy and is designed to align group and individual goals and performance with the organisation’s overall vision and goals.

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However, it is not all too simple. In fact, it is a fairly nuanced mechanism that requires specific strategies solutions. Therefore, L&D can look different in different industries and their scales. For instance, below is a more clear description of what L&D looks like in large-scale and small businesses.

L&D in large-scale companies

In bigger corporations, training and development are a lot structured. This is because more prominent companies have greater resources and have a highly structured workforce. There is a proper HR department with various HR and training managers. Duties are accordingly distributed and roles are clearly defined.

Such companies can hire specialty learning officers responsible for assessing and monitoring learning needs necessary for company growth. With multiple tiers of senior management, large-scale companies can easily scale and manage L&D programs and goals.

L&D in small businesses

Albeit, in the case of small-scale companies, L&D looks quite different. With tighter resources, one has to be innovative to ensure maximum advantage. Here, companies tend to have a small HR team rather than an entire department. Even so, the roles keep overlapping between several individuals.

Since workers are already multitasking and working outside their comfort zones, they are naturally familiar with skill-diversification. This gives them an extra edge when it comes to upskilling.

Such companies can apply learning and development through ‘Social Learning’ – a concept where colleagues learn directly from engaging with each other. For this, HR managers can create individualized personal development plans that will provide workers with specific learning guidelines. Moreover, by pairing or shadowing (making learners work in pairs), workers will be able to perform better.

Another smart tip for applying L&D to small-scale companies is allocating budgets to these learning teams which will enable them to learn independently. Not only will it develop a sense of autonomy in the workers but also cut down extra costs of having line managers, etc.

Why is Learning and Development important?

Increases turnover

For any business, profit maximization is the ultimate goal. Numerous studies reaffirm the notion that L&D in fact multiplies profits. To be specific, a report says that every $1500 spent on employee training, yields a 24% annual profit growth.

Retains top talent

It is a tragedy to lose motivated and experienced professionals to market competition. Besides working on sales, ensuring that the most dedicated employees stay part of the company is also crucial. L&D provides employees with professional growth opportunities and hence makes them feel prioritized. Moreover, they feel more motivated to perform better and stick around.

As per a Forbes report, 93% of the employees say that they will stay longer at a company that invests in their learning and development.

Improves employee performance

The primary purpose of L&D is to educate and help employees perform better. It is found that employees that are routinely provided professional training report higher engagement rates. Education thus acts as an incentive for the workers to perform better in their tasks.

Improves customer satisfaction

When companies employ experts to do the task, customers report higher satisfaction. This is because employees are well briefed regarding their tasks and perform them with confidence. Consequently, the end result is up to the mark and customers are satisfied with the services. For companies using learning technologies, there has been a 16% customer satisfaction rate growth.

Helps scaling growth

Pretty obvious by now, that L&D fosters business growth. In essence, these training programs when applied properly can help scale and expand any business as per the goals.

How to do Learning and Development right?

Content is king

Having the rightly tailored content is essential to any learning program and especially important with regards to L&D. This is why program designers or Corporate trainers must pay due attention to isolating the needs of the companies and then rank them according to the business priorities. Moreover, they also have the responsibility of ensuring that the content is engaging and effective enough to dispel the information.

Here are some ways in which corporate trainers can effectively achieve their purpose: Team-based learning and Peer-review learning.

Delivery: 70:20:10 model

This 70:20:10 model is commonly used in L&D. Here is its breakdown. 70% of the learning happens on the job, 20% happens by interacting and collaborating with fellow workers, and 10% happens through formal learning programs. Here you can see that a lot of the education that takes place actually happens outside of the formal learning environment. Hence, is it important that HR managers and corporate trainers pay attention to making work environments conducive to healthy interaction and learning.

Use collaborative learning strategies

To make the most of your resources, you must apply collaborative learning strategies to your L&D programs. As you can see from the 70:20:10 model, collaboration in learning plays a pivotal role.

For instance, by applying a pairing strategy, small-scale companies effectively implement L&D within tight resources. For more guidance on the topic, follow this link on collaborative learning strategies.

Effective feedback

Having a highly top-down instructional method is seldom ever effective in training business professionals. Healthy communication between learners and instructors is necessary to map out the needs of the learners. Therefore, having instant and responsive feedback helps with ensuring a two-way exchange of ideas. It keeps learners engaged and valued.

Moreover, by having regular feedbacks, companies will be able to assess the performance and impact of L&D better.

Adopt the right tools to offer an effective learning experience.

Businesses today have to update their learning methodologies to empower their employees. Upskilling employees and an effective learning & development strategy are crucial parts for winning competition in the knowledge economy.

Business needs to make the learning experience active, collaborative, and interactive. To make this shift they need to pass from Self-Paced to Cohort-Based Learning.

Usually, companies end up spending a lot on course designers and experts for guidance. A place that they don’t as much attention to is investing in the right LMS that will support their training programs and consequently, end up suffering more.

Teachfloor can be a precious tool to achieve three crucial goals.

  • Building an active learning culture to compete in a knowledge economy
  • Implementing collaborative learning and allowing employees to learn together
  • Increasing company’s knowledge retention and market advantage

Teachfloor is one such LMS and HR tool that ticks all of these boxes. It comes equipped with several collaborative learning features such as Peer Review, a discussion wall, and a chat feature. All of this ensures smooth communication. Companies can create a properly structured training academy online with Teachfloor where they can keep all their courses in one place, making it easier for the learners to follow. They can invite special guests with their multiple-instructor feature and host webinars easily.

See also: 15 Best HR Training Tools in 2021

To keep up with the rapid competition in the market and the building demands of this digitalized economy, Learning and Development play a vital role. By helping your employees grow professionally, you will help grow your business as well. A healthy corporate ecosystem is one where all individual growth is directly linked to group growth and is never independent of each other. L&D ensures that that link is maintained and strengthened.

Written by
Mar Bovi
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