While business unit managers have a direct impact on their employees, Learning and Development (L&D) and Human Resources (HR) teams often have a broad reach to help people develop the right skills and follow new processes. The scale and reach of HR/L&D functions often pose a challenge to quantifying the impact of the function. For example, HR/L&D practitioners are struggling to create modern learning experiences that equip employees with the right knowledge and skills and enable measurable behaviors that create value for the business, especially in new or emergent business models.
Our team recently worked with the Human Capital Institute and we explored the current state of organizational learning and development. Through our work we provide actionable recommendations to move L&D from a siloed function to a more adaptive and measurable operating model designed to provide consistency of outputs, elasticity to meet demand, and scalability to reach and help more employees with more modern learning services.
I’m really pleased with what we produced, and I encourage you to check it out. We derived our findings and provided recommendations by examining perspectives from both L&D providers’ and their internal customers. We also looked at the individual and organizational capabilities that hinder the effectiveness of the learning function and limit the potential of L&D as a strategic partner to the business.
In a study of over 200 organizations, here are some of the things we found:
- Sixty-one percent of L&D providers report they have changed L&D structure and operations in the past two years.
- Providers and customers of L&D both see room for improvement in the L&D function. Although aligned in many areas, providers rate classroom training as more effective than did L&D customers.
- Most often L&D is a specialist team reporting to the HR function. Low-performing organizations are more likely to have their L&D team reporting to business unit leaders compared to high-performing organizations.
- Instructor-led classroom training is the most common delivery method, but on-the-job training is rated the most effective. High-performing organizations are maintaining the status quo for the number of classroom training while low-performing organizations are increasing the number of them.
- Three-fourths of L&D providers say realistic training environments are very important, but only half say they are currently available in their organizations.
- High-performing organizations are up-skilling L&D team members and investing in technologies while low-performing organizations are increasing their staff and budget.
- Better measurement skills and deeper understanding of business strategies are the top two skills reported as essential for L&D teams. The most common metrics assessed by L&D teams relate to affective/attitudinal and employee engagement, but frequently, these are not tied to business outcomes.
I hope you will watch the webcast and/or download the report. Both provide ways to explore the current state of organizational learning and development, and action some of the recommendations we make for a new approach that evolves L&D into a business-driving function. In a research survey, we examined perspectives from both L&D providers’ and their internal customers’ perspectives the individual and organizational capabilities that hinder organizational learning and limit the potential of L&D as a strategic partner to the business.