6 Elements of a Successful L&D Function

6 Elements of a Successful L&D Function


I think the single biggest thing that organizations
can do to encourage their employees to continuously learn and develop is to change the mindset
of the L&D function. Historically, the L&D function has created
content and then disseminated that information either through electronic means or in the
classroom. But what’s happened is the world has shifted
around them and employees don’t necessarily have time to wait for the L&D department to
catch up in order to learn the skills that they need to learn. What we need to do is we need to deputize
the organization entirely—the managers and particularly the employees—to help them
find what they need to enable them to learn and grow and develop rather than waiting for
the L&D department to kick something out that may or may not be useful. A modern L&D function basically should focus
on six things. The first one is they should help their employees
plan. In the past, we just told them what to learn. Now we need to help them plan their careers
and where they’re going, what kind of development they need to get there. The second thing is discover. Lots of information exists inside of organizations,
and a lot of it is not accessible to individuals or employees. We need to make sure that it is accessible
and that it is discoverable. The third thing is they need to still be able
to consume stuff, so whether it’s classrooms or whether it is electronic or digital learning,
we still need to do that. The fourth one is we’re seeing more organizations
really focused on this idea of experimentation, so using some of that new knowledge and knowledge
of those new skills in the workplace. A phrase floating around is “learning in
the flow of work”, how are we actually enabling the work to be a teacher as well as the classroom
work? The fifth one is this idea of connection. How do we connect those individuals to the
people in the organization that can help them learn and grow and develop? Then the sixth one is perform. How do we use the work itself to teach people
how to do things? How do we help them perform better at the
very same time? As organizations, and especially L&D functions,
switch their mindset from one of just providing the types of things that we think they need
to actually enabling them to find the things that they know they need, they’re going to
be a lot more successful.