2020 was a watershed year for learning and development. Quality development programs have always been an integral part of HR management
, but beyond 2020 they were no longer supplementary. Instead, L&D became indispensable and digitally centered as organizations found themselves in an unknown business territory.
Earlier, HR professionals faced a myriad of challenges. From engaging learners and addressing the needs of a multi-generational workforce to pushing new tools and technology and making a business case for L&D initiatives, the gaps were many.
The pandemic-led transformation has made organizations more open to L&D training innovations. Employees are in dire need of an improved L&D approach that mitigates the impact of the new normal, and more and more organizations are discovering the opportunity to leverage this challenge. Due to this, the role of HR in L&D has turned a corner. It is all about managing interactivity and engagement. But it is also about expediting the learning process, entrenching L&D deeper in the HR framework, and preparing for a changed future.
In the backdrop of this, here is how you can supercharge L&D in your organization to nurture proficiency and workforce competency in 2022.
Revamping the 70/20/10 Learning Model
A popular learning approach, the 70/20/10 model, is widely used across many organizations to maximize new L&D programs. Its guidelines are based on the concept that work delivers 70% of learning while peer-to-peer training and formal programs make up 20% and 10% learning, respectively. Thus, for L&D programs to be effective, this is the composition that an organization must follow.
If you have been following this model, it is time to take a step back. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study in the 1980s, 55% of workers require specialized training to qualify for their role. In addition, 28% of that training comes from on-the-job learning.
A study by Clardy in 2018 found that for some jobs, years of formal training are necessary, while for others, learning occurs despite the lack of formal training.
The final verdict is that there is no one-size-fits-all. The function must be used to decide the ratio of formal, informal, and job-based learning. Taking a more proactive role in structuring all learning outside of formal L&D programs will ensure a more integrated L&D strategy that is as future-ready as it is effective right now.
Goodbye Classroom-only Learning, Hello Virtual Classrooms
An L&D transformation without a systemic change in delivery method is a requirement today. For too long, classroom training and workshops were the primary methods of L&D, and they may have run their due course. The priority for HR in 2022 is to embed a digital-first approach and sync upskilling opportunities with virtual tools.
While everything went suddenly remote, the significance of virtual learning only increased. With the need for flexible and cross-functional skillsets, organizations can no longer disseminate specialized training with only specific roles.
HR must focus on embedding digital learning opportunities that engage the workforce wherever they are. Refining current training methods to include virtual classrooms that can seamlessly fit into the overall L&D framework will prove to be practical in the long run.
Learning Communities - A Precursor to Faster Learning
Knowledge retention is one of the most common challenges of L&D. Learners are reported to forget over 70% of what they learn within 24 hours. A social dynamic to training and development could expedite the process and reduce the learning curve. While peer-to-peer learning is a substantial component of L&D, HR must make it a more intentional aspect by cultivating learning communities.
A fair mix of interactive live classes, on-demand content, and training interaction makes for engaging and fast learning. In addition, learning in groups is reported to increase content consumption rate. This means learning groups grasp more, retain faster, and continue to learn.
HR can use communities to bring together people with shared goals and deliver specialized learning opportunities. For instance, with mentoring, collective upskilling, and group training with professional coaches, HR can ensure real-time improvement of organizational skillsets.
Making the Most of Gamification of L&D
L&D plays a significant role in employee retention. According to a recent Linkedin study, 70% of workers find learning opportunities a significant factor in their decision to stay at their current job. Gamification of L&D can do much to enhance engagement and, in turn, retention. In a remote work landscape, this could prove to be game-changing for organizations that want to ramp up their L&D initiatives.
Here are just some of the components of gamification to adopt into your L&D strategy:
Point system: With a point system, learners can measure their progress and earn more points while learning. It can also indicate their level of skillfulness in their L&D environment
Badges: By ascertaining certain milestones in learning, badges do the job of positive reinforcement. With a tangible token, learners are encouraged to continue their learning.
Leaderboards: Leaderboards add an element of competitiveness. Learning thrives in an environment where healthy competition is encouraged, and there is a sense of recognition.
Levels: Like points, levels allow users to display the depth of their progress. It also helps maintain interest and allows organizations to tap into the learner’s motivations.
Rewards: Rewards activate the extrinsic motivations of learners. Physical rewards like vouchers, cash prizes, and even holidays can take L&D initiatives a notch higher.
User Experience - Setting the Stage
As the digital-first approach becomes the norm, one must also touch on the user-experience side of HR technology
. Without a sleek, friendly, and relevant user experience, the adoption of any L&D tool will lose steam. User experience is at the heart of learning. The design of an LMS can either hamper learning or enhance it.
Simple changes like the medium of instruction, the platform it is delivered on, and the method used to deliver it (audio, visual, written etc.) can increase engagement. The better the user experience, the better the pace and depth of learning. User experience also allows HR leaders to ensure lessons are more interactive.
With a shift to new mediums like podcasts and MOOCs, functionality is paramount. Delivering a UX feel that is designed keeping in mind the end-user may be a vital piece in the puzzle of new-age LMS.
It is time to accelerate innovation in L&D and to refine the current L&D approach at the same time. As multi-faceted learning becomes a focal point , revisiting old learning models and incorporating new digital tactics will supercharge your L&D strategy. With these tweaks, you can expect to yield returns that are directly measurable in your organization’s ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the primary role of HR in L&D?
HR is responsible for identifying each employee’s learning needs regarding their job role and designing a range of learning and development programs that address day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
What are some everyday L&D activities?
Some traditional L&D activities include seminars, workshops, job shadowing, coaching, and mentoring. L&D can also be promoted through virtual classrooms, Learning Management Systems (LMS), and open online courses.
Do you need an L&D team?
It differs from organization to organization. However, you can assess if you need an L&D team if you need to design an L&D strategy from the ground up. An L&D team does an administrative review, a function and competency analysis, and an employee analysis to determine your organization’s specific L&D requirement.