As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the remote workplace, and the challenging labour economy, the role of learning and development managers has changed in recent years. L&D managers are now fulfilling a broader and more strategic role than ever before by guiding company executives on how to best engage and train employees in a way that best prepares the business for future success.
A recent workplace report carried out by LinkedIn, “The Transformation of L&D: Learning Leads the Way Through the Great Reshuffle” found that 87% of today’s L&D leaders are involved in the organisation-wide transformation. The role of L&D managers has become more cross-functional, with leaders taking on collaborative roles with department managers and executives to address solutions for skills shortages, remote working, diversity, and equality.
As capability needs continue to shift rapidly, so does the role of L&D managers. In the new financial year, L&D managers will face several challenges, as well as a need to upskill and reskill employees as quickly and effectively as possible. The following tips can help L&D managers succeed throughout the 22-23 financial year.
Tips for L&D Leaders in FY22-23
1. Look at Employee Attitudes as Well as Capabilities
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences. Many employees have re-evaluated what is important to them, while businesses have adapted to a different way of operating. It is important to ensure that changing employee values continue to align with the evolving vision of the company.
While new skills are always required, belief in the business and its values cannot be achieved through developing skills alone. Instead, employees must believe in the direction of the company. L&D leaders are key to ensuring employees are working towards a shared business goal.
2. Embrace Your Own Learning
L&D managers are accountable for the learning of others. However, they must also work on developing their professional capabilities and behaviour. The most effective L&D managers have a genuine interest in helping employees reach their potential. They must also possess several skills such as persuasion, empowerment, listening, delegation, and the ability to create a sense of shared purpose.
3. Build & Scale Organisation-wide Capabilities
The workplace has experienced significant change due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts. Many of these changes are likely to continue throughout FY22-23 and beyond. L&D managers must identify which capabilities and skills will be required in the future by assessing the business’ circumstances and pinpointing the gap.
The following foundational capabilities can be an asset to any business if they are developed at scale organisation-wide:
- Leadership and Strategy
- Adaptability and Resilience
- Communication and Interpersonal Relationships Building
- Wellbeing and Inclusion
- Creativity and Innovation
4. Consider Learning in a Broader Sense
The imperative to learn has never been greater, however, the way that learning is delivered should be reconsidered by L&D managers. Employees have moved away from traditional face-to-face interactions and L&D managers should look for a range of learning solutions that are digitally supported.
Effective learning comes from action, feedback, and reinforcing learning in a workplace setting. The workplace should become a setting for learning to facilitate the practical application of skills. Going forward, delivering knowledge outcomes will be the shared responsibility of L&D managers and operational leaders.
5. Talk the Language of the Business
L&D managers must think strategically, focusing on ensuring that all employee learning aligns with the overall business objectives and goals. They will have to identify and deliver solutions that meet the evolving needs of the business and deliver measurable results. Going forward, the performance of L&D managers will be measured in terms of overall organisational performance, business growth, customer loyalty, market share, costs and other metrics as identified by high-level executives.
6. Consider Evolving L&D Infrastructure
Traditionally, businesses have invested in learning management systems and processes to ensure the efficient management of employee learning. While efficiencies in this area can always be improved, and cost reductions made, investments should be focused on supporting learning through tools that ensure alignment between employees and leaders across the business. Feedback loops and sharing between teams and business units should be facilitated and encouraged.
Employee development will be key to business success throughout FY22-23 and beyond.
Cahoot Learning develops engaging learning communities for organisations looking to upskill their employees. We have designed a cohort-based learning model that consists of blended learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative learning programs. Get in touch with us today to find out more.