The corporate learning and development (L&D) landscape is changing fast. It requires deep introspection, especially in context to mounting challenges that businesses are facing, there is an imminent need for change. A paradigm shift is the need of the hour to step away from the traditional approach, moving away from training regimes to holistic learning and development. Having been engaged in varied L&D engagements, I see a strong business case for transformation. L&D proponents have to lead the mettle for an innovative and digital revolution in this arena.
I believe that there is a significant disconnect between the actual needs of executive learning and the way conventional L&D organizations are working. We have got to overcome the traditional fixation with training and its assessment methodologies. The new-age Human Resources Development Systems are still not capitulating the actual needs. The L&D needs of the organization are done more out of the checklist of things to do than as an automated assessment criterion coming out of performance management. Companies emphasis is often driven from a brand-building perspective, a checklist or as a marketing pitch to clients. Most trainings are awarded as trophies, as a reward and recognition method or as an employee motivation tool than their professional development based on embedded assessment criteria.
Why is there a lacuna? Is this due to the lack of corporate strategy or the leadership engagement itself? For the success of L&D, the organization needs to embed professional development as a critical pillar in its mainstream organization where all leadership levels are engaged. It then has to build systems and tools to identify and assess employees through state-of-the-art performance management systems that outline L&D outcomes. These outcomes must capitulate employee’s performance across personal, professional and functional capabilities. The performance management system through smart KPIs must differentiate between skill gap and progression capabilities so that a fair assessment is done between correctional and developmental areas.
Robust technology platforms are required to help aid the HR and Operation Managers to manage the assessments and then work with the Learning & Development organization to identify the needs. Based on these assessments, the company’s L&D departments have to develop course curriculums based on blended learning. The traditional instruction-based class learning is no more delivery result-oriented as these need to reinvent itself. The significant portion of executive learning must come from on-the-job. However, to achieve the maximum impact of on-the-job learning, the role of field mentors becomes a must. They have got to provide dynamic and apt guidance for on-the-job training schedules. Also, the online learning process will need to be an integral part of the course curriculums without which full impact shall be unrealized. L&D can serve a better purpose with a new blended approach of 20:50:30, where 20% is based on instructional, 50% on-the-job and 30% self or online learning.
To deliver such a dynamic approach and shift in the organization policy, this has to be a shared goal and not only a CEO’s wishlist. Besides, building HR development systems on performance management for assessment has to also invest in a dedicated L&D organization with in-house faculty that are competent to develop and run relevant curriculums. Such setups will also need education management systems that can successfully administer these programs. At EFS, we realized this need well in advance. We have tried addressing all the three aspects from assessment, course development and to their execution through state-of-the-art course management. It is hosted on an innovative IT platform that is linked to each element of L&D.
Source: Gulf News