A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
It might seem excessive to stretch this popular proverb to an organizational setting, but in this article, I argue that a company will only ever be as successful as its weakest person. And several Learning and Development and Human Resources professionals agree.
The 17th annual Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) report, released earlier this week, provides a study of the opinions of 541 HR and L&D professionals on the future development within their field.
The findings reveal important trends in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) organizational environment. HR and L&D teams are currently facing the challenge to constantly adapt their skill-sets and engage with new technologies to ensure the most efficient development of talents within their workforce. They must be more ambitious than ever before to drive the organizational goals they seek, and as such, they must focus on optimizing training and development systems. Their role is quickly becoming one of the most critical components of an organization’s success.
The CIPD report provided statistics on the participants’ responses. Here are some of the most important trends from the 2015 report:
On Workplace Learning and Development:
65% of respondents believed coaching by line managers or peers was the method of learning most likely to grow in use
53% of respondents expected to see the use of in-house development programmes grow
48% anticipated an increase in on-the-job training.
46% said internal knowledge sharing events would become more common.
These percentages illustrate how companies are turning towards hands-on learning for staff development. There is a clear shift towards facilitating the transfer of information and knowledge within an organization, and thus a need for an increased capacity and ability to provide effective and innovative in-house training. External development methods (such as instructor-led training and conferences) are expected to decline, so L&D professionals will play a vital role within the organization by maximizing the workforce potential.
As Ruth Stewart, research advisor at the CIPD suggested, their roles will shift from exclusively facilitating training delivery to now tracking development and creating performance consulting models. This new role now requires L&D professionals to diagnose and solve problems while aligning their training development with greater business goals. Ideally, their increased responsibilities will allow them to identify potential opportunities to enhance overall organizational performance.
Further, the report found that organizations will begin to shift to the use of training technologies. The newer technologies for Learning and Development provide organizations with an upper hand in the most efficient ways of developing talent and ensuring efficiency. The following statistics portray some important trends on this topic:
On the Use of Technology to Support Learning and Development:
59% of participants were looking to incorporate E-learning into their training frameworks.
36% planned to increase the use of virtual classrooms and webinars.
25% stated that they would consider mobile device-based learning as it can help increase accessibility to learning.
24% of participants reported that they felt extremely or very confident in their own ability to use technology to make L&D interventions more effective
These statistics show that although there is now a clear trend towards the increase of in-house training and corporate learning cultures, the real question lies in whether L&D professionals are ready to harness the new technological advances that can help them reach their goals.
Stuart’s comments on the 2015 report help conclude the essence of what will be the future of training development: “Investment in learning technologies is completely wasted if L&D teams cannot use them, so more needs to be done to understand capability gaps in the profession, and ensure L&D initiatives are used effectively”.
With this increased use of technology, eLearning, and a focus on the capabilities of L&D teams, staff members have an equal opportunity to grow their knowledge and put their skills to the test, so even the weakest member of an organization is able to learn at his or her own pace and time. As a result of technological advances, no man will be left behind.
At KNOLSKAPE, we develop products and programs that use methods of immersive gamification and experiential learning to transform talent within the workplace. Our programs help organizations attract, grow and retain talent. Global Fortune 500 companies and Top-10 B-schools use KNOLSKAPE’s products and solutions for on-boarding, training, assessments and talent engagement.