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Proving L&D’s relevance and worth is industry's top concern

Written by: Nyasha Hernandez
Published on: 28 Sep 2015

Finding ways to showcase and prove the effectiveness and worth of learning and development in organisations is the industry’s top priority

Respondents to the People Management L&D survey named demonstrating the profession’s relevance and worth to organisations as their top priority.



Going mobile

Other key areas identified by the 71 survey respondents included: a focus on going mobile, skill-specific learning, measurement of effectiveness and a greater effort towards aligning L&D and business objectives.

Budget cuts

Respondents also voiced their frustrations at increased budget cuts that are making it difficult for L&D departments to prove their worth, while at the same time making it more important than ever to demonstrate ROI. This is congruently making it more important to focus on reporting ROI to help solidify departmental worth.

“L&D has often focused on reporting the volume rather than the value of learning,” said Andy Lancaster, head of L&D at CIPD. “There is an increasing challenge for L&D professionals to be aligned to business objectives and sadly that’s not the norm.

"L&D departments must demonstrate the quality, not just the quantity, of learning. This means performance improvement must be at the heart of learning design,” said Lancaster. “And let’s not forget that some of the best innovation comes when resources are challenging!”

Employee engagement

Although L&D had been gaining better support from larger organisations, survey respondents reported difficulties engaging learners in classrooms. Participants also said that keeping learners engaged in their own personal development was becoming more of a challenge, especially as e-learning and social learning gain popularity.

Finding new ways to teach and engage a multigenerational workforce was considered by respondents to be one of the industry’s growing challenges. Concerns surrounding the education of an ageing workforce, as well as a millennial workforce, were recurring themes – which respondents said could be countered with the increased use of blended learning formats.

"With four generations in the workplace and more flexible working, learners now wish to access content when and where they want, using technology that’s commonplace,” said Lancaster. “In this information age, we must shift from just creating courses to curating content, presented using face-to-face and mobile methods.

"It’s an exciting time in learning with opportunities for innovation but L&D practitioners must develop new design and delivery skills!”