What TO DO When Company’s Learning & Development Investments Go WRONG

December 3, 20201:02 pm2113 views
What TO DO When Company’s Learning & Development Investments Go WRONG
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Organisations spend $370.3 billion globally on learning and development training in 2019, but was it worth it? 

Let’s consider these data first, according to several researches: 

  • 75 percent of 1,500 managers surveyed across 50 organisations were dissatisfied with their company’s learning and development function.
  • 70 percent of employees reported that they do not have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs.
  • Only 12 percent of employees applied new skills learned in the learning and development programs to their jobs.
  • Only 25 percent of respondents to a McKinsey survey believed that training measurably improved performance. 

These statistics suggest that not only are the majority of training programs in today’s companies ineffective, but also the purpose, timing and content of training might be flawed. 

See also: HR Learning: 2 Types of Employee Engagement State 

Learning and development programmes are meant to upskill employees so that they can make a case for a promotion. By having the programmes also, employers expect their employees to perform better, thus driving better results and return on investment. Yet, flawed programmes will only result in flawed productivity. So, why do employees still perform less after training? 

First: It can be that HR teams build a programmes that do not suit an employee’s role. For example, mandate a busy employee attend a training session on “business writing skills” or “conflict resolution” or some other such course with little alignment to their needs. 

Second: The method does not go well with the employee’s interest, thus learning fails. German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus pioneered experimental studies of memory, culminating with his discovery of “The Forgetting Curve”. He found that if new information is not applied, we will forget about 75 percent of it after just six days. 

What should the L&D team change? 

In the fast moving business landscape, it is important to adapt to changing circumstances rapidly and to always be learning. As author and Podcaster Steve Glaveski puts it, get your L&D programmes a ‘lean learning’. Lean learning is about: 

  • Leaning the core of what you need to learn 
  • Applying it to real-world situations immediately 
  • Receiving feedback and refining your understanding 
  • Repeating the cycle 

Lean learning supports the adaptability that gives organisations a competitive advantage in today’s market. To apply lean learning, the team should focus on: 

  • 80/20 rules – focus on the 20 percent of words and phrases that show up 80 percent of the time. 
  • Apply to real-world situations – shorten the feedback loop, deliver business outcomes,and encourage “aha” moments. 
  • Guide the learner – rather than provide training at specific intervals, guided learning embeds continuous learning into a live application. 
  • Personalise content – use technology to personalise training so that it adapts lessons based on employee performance. 
  • Provide support – do this after a learning session via a combination of instant messaging, voice messaging, and chatbots. 
  • Activate peer learning – to ensure that employees continue to invest time into the program. 
  • Offer micro courses – to avoid burnout of hour-long courses. 

Read also: Virtual Work & Workforce Development to Improve Team’s Performance

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