5 Key Elements of L&D Programs

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The lifespan of an employees’ tenure has drastically changed over the past ten years.  It used to be that the average person would have 1-3 jobs over the course of their career.  Now it’s not uncommon for someone to have a new job every 3-5 years.  This has big implications for an organization’s learning and development (L&D) strategy.

L&D has been seen historically as a function to better job performance of individuals in an organization and help drive careers in the workplace.  In a way, a sort of mechanism for advancing internal hires.  The changing tenure environment has changed the L&D landscape.

A recent Harvard Business Review article[1] articulated this point sharing some insights to match learning and development with the demanding “speed and flexibility” needs of today’s workplace:

  • Technology-supported peer learning is disrupting the old paradigm. Video-based learning from recognized technical experts in a wide variety of functional areas, provide just in time skills to individuals or teams on exactly the topic they need.
  • Team-based learning is providing more benefits.  This type of learning fosters collaboration, relationship building and creates sharing of knowledge and ideas across multiple functions, regions, etc.
  • Bringing customers and providers together is becoming more common.
  • Investment in the whole team is becoming more critical. Involving freelancers in the L&D process is important as they are often brought in to assist with the completion of critical projects for an organization.  When treated as a full member of the team, productivity and satisfaction grows, as does project performance.
  • Development, not deficiency, is motivating learning. Millennials and Gen Z view lifelong learning as a critical element in the workplace. 

As the workforce changes so too does the way we consume education. Bersin, a Deloitte division focused on employee development, recently reported that over 35 million workers have enrolled in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) in just the past year.  Provide your team  with tools and resources to support this development (Coursera and edX are two resources providing this type of service).

[1] How Learning and Development are Becoming More Agile, Jon Younger, Harvard Business Review, 10/11/16,https://hbr.org/2016/10/how-learning-and-development-are-becoming-more-agile.

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