A company’s learning and development leaders (L&D) are key to its resilience. According to the LinkedIn Learning 2023 Workplace Learning Report, L&D can best serve organizations and employees alike by bringing business goals into alignment with employee learning objectives. Accomplishing this goal calls for L&D to partner with leaders across their companies. By helping employees build new skills, L&D will both nurture their potential and increase worker retention rates. Moreover, they will give their companies a greater ability to pivot in the face of change.
- L&D will play a vital role in helping employees develop the skills that will allow organizations to thrive in the face of change.
- When companies can promote from within, it enhances the business’s resilience.
- L&D leaders need to think holistically – and focus on six key priorities.
L&D will play a vital role in helping employees develop the skills that will allow organizations to thrive in the face of change.
In 2023, L&D or “learning leaders” are more important than ever before. L&D leaders’ primary aim should be to align companies’ business targets with their approaches to employee learning. L&D should also prioritize three other goals: improving employees’ skills; cultivating an environment that values learning; and increasing the company’s track record in retaining and developing employees.
“People-centric culture recognizes that organizational success depends on people’s success. And this simple truth guides the design of employee experiences, from onboard to exit, with human needs at the center.”
The pandemic disrupted companies and made different skills relevant. But needed skill sets were already evolving before COVID-19 struck. At least 25% of in-demand skills have changed since 2015 – a percentage that will likely double by 2027. Nearly 90% of L&D professionals believe that proactively developing employees’ skills will help their organizations adapt to work’s changing demands. The most crucial skills today include “management,” “communication,” “leadership” and “teamwork.” More than 80% of executives agree that a strong “people strategy” – a plan for hiring, training and reskilling employees – is crucial for a company’s success.
When companies can promote from within, it enhances the business’s resilience.
It’s important to have a workforce that is engaged with their work – and resilient in the face of change. Organizational agility is a must, but ensuring the success of change initiatives is never easy. Getting buy-in from your workforce can make a significant difference. One of the chief reasons employees embrace continual learning and work to acquire new skills is so they can get ahead in their careers. Meanwhile, companies that help people develop skills that push their careers forward and provide opportunities for employees to evolve within the company are better situated to respond swiftly to new opportunities – and weather crises.
“Career development is fundamental to our employee value proposition, and learning is a key business metric.” (Rajnish Borah, Global Head of Organization Effectiveness & Learning at WNS Global Services)
Learning and career development opportunities are also one of the best ways for a company to retain valued employees. Employees who aren’t learning and acquiring more skills are more likely to seek new jobs. It’s a good idea for people in HR to discuss career trajectories and opportunities with all employees.
L&D leaders need to think holistically – and focus on six key priorities.
An “agile learning culture” isn’t something that individuals can create in isolation. It has to be developed across the entire company simultaneously, and with lots of input from employees.
“Success starts with holistic thinking and clear focus.”
There are at least six priorities leaders and organizations should keep in focus:
- “Invest in cross-functional relationships” – L&D leaders need to cultivate partnerships across their companies, working closely with department leaders as well as those tasked with finding, managing, engaging and diversifying the workforce.
- “Hone your focus” – It’s easy for L&D leaders to get overwhelmed by large initiatives. Stay focused on programs designed to help employees maintain their well-being, develop new skills and move their careers forward.
- “Champion diversity, equity and inclusion” – Diverse workplaces are simply more innovative, and employees tend to stay in workplaces that are inclusive.
- “Improve your data literacy” – L&D’s chief goal is to align learning with business objectives; so avoid assessing a program’s success based on “vanity metrics,” like how satisfied employees are with the program.
- “Activate people managers” – Train managers to be directly involved in employee learning and career development.
- “Prioritize your own learning” – L&D professionals can’t neglect themselves. They need to cultivate their own skills in areas such as customer interaction and analysis.
Business priorities are constantly shifting. The nature of work has changed, along with employees’ expectations. With the future course of the economy impossible to predict, learning is what will drive a company’s growth.
About the Author
LinkedIn Learning is an American online learning provider. It provides video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills. It is a subsidiary of LinkedIn. For its 2023 Workplace Learning Report, LinkedIn Learning surveyed L&D and HR professionals around the world.