Employee Learning and Development trends

To Train or Not to Train? – Learning and Development Solution

Employee Learning and Development – A unique combination of economic, social and public administration policies is changing the future of work in high revenue organisations. Less than one-third of business executives are able to identify a human capital risk before time. Mercer Global Talent Trends 2019 report identifies that only 29% (less than one-third) of the HR Managers consider their organisational policies robust enough to control the human capital risks.

“The first step towards solving a problem is, ‘knowing there is one’.”

High-growth organisations across the globe identify ‘Training and Development’ as their best bet towards averting human capital risks. In the year 2019, organisations turned more towards education & learning incentives as compared to conventional compensation models. Moderate growth companies still continued to restrict their compensation strategies guided by common skill development myths. Let’s take a look at how these myths fare in comparison with the latest Learning and Development (L&D) trends.

Common Learning and Development Myths of Human Capital Management

#Myth 1 – Never motivate your employees. If they get motivated, THEY LEAVE!

23% of the top organisations as surveyed by Payscale; invested in Learning and Development (L&D) programmes compared to any other option (benefits-10%, compensation changes-15%) for ‘employee retention’. It shows that the common idea of trained employees leaving the organisations is misplaced.

Top employee retention choices
Learning and Development ranks top in employee retention options

However, the opposite is quite evident. Employees who do not get skilling support, form a less engaged workforce and are likely to pursue ‘job-hopping’ frequently. Voluntary turnover not including retirements in the year 2019 was mostly because employees didn’t find new learning or growth opportunities in their organisation. “When employees can see a future for themselves in an organisation, they tend to stay.”

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#Myth 2 – Skill Development costs more than incentives and bonuses

Top organisations which find themselves at a loss of budget to offer professional advancement, have claimed opting for career development/skill training/conferences (36%) more than increasing annual employee bonus (16%) or increasing pay-grade (7%), extra perks-vacation days, family health insurance (12%). So, when L&D programmes are helping save the HR investments of organisations, why can’t they be the first choice indeed?

Gradient training expenditures calculated over a consistent span of time show saturation of ROIs. Training expenditure per capita becomes a negative component of cost per employee and results in an overall increase in returns on human resource investment. Simply said, skilled employee cost less to the organisation and offer more diversity in terms of services.

Employee skilling imperative – Learning and Development as a solution to HR threats

In addition to such myths inherent challenges of recruitment also find effective solutions in skilling and talent development. Tough-to-fill jobs rank as the highest concern for organisations in personnel management. 52% of global organisations say human resource investment in tough-to-fill jobs outranks any other employee development operation. Reports say that close to 69% of these organisations have continued to employee precision skill development programmes to reduce the transition losses incurred while their tough-to-fill jobs are managed (Payscale 2019).

There is a reskilling imperative that’s going to sweep the human capital industry by 2022. More than 54% of employees globally are going to require at least some form of re-skilling or upskilling. Critical advanced training of at least 3 months is going to be necessary for 29% of the employees (World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs 2018).

Need for Skilling or Re-skilling across organisations by 2022

Reskilling requirement Share of total employees
Reskilling for less than a month 13% of total
Between 1 to 3 months 12% of total
Between 3 to 6 months 10% of total
Between 6 to 12 months 9% of total
More than 12 months 10% of total

Source: Figure 7, Page 13, The Future of Jobs Report 2018, World Economic Forum

Employee Learning and Development Implementation – Beginner’s Guide

After 2018, organisations have noticed that soft-skills no longer take up the majority of any training and development curriculum. Top priorities of talent developers include a blend of skill assessment, engagement targets for employee training, developing career frameworks, etc. Owing to a strengthened job market, employee turnover has increased for close to 47% global organisations (Summary, The HAYS Global Skills Index 2019-20). In times when the rationale of an employee as well as indicators of job profiles are evolving at revolutionary rates, one needs to develop a training plan most meticulously. Here’s a beginner’s guide to help any human resource manager formulate a learning and development plan for their employees.

Learning and Development Plan: Step #1

Assessing Skill Gaps

Average shelf-life of skills in these times have reduced further from what they were back in the 1990s or 2000s. Engagement between employees and managers, clients and talent developers is the largest reason for inconclusive learning and development outcomes. Assessing skills gaps comes from a positive employee-employer interaction. Employees who do not have positive feedback for their organisation (16%), who do not have clear responsibilities (23%), who do not have frequent review sessions with their managers (15%) are more likely to leave the organisation or perform to subpar standards.

By employing methods like assessments, KPI measurement, meetings, surveys, organisations have enhanced their skill gap measurement by 32%.

Assessment techniques No. of organisations (%)
Internal Skill Gap Assessments 74%
Monitoring KPIs/KRAs 66%
Periodic meetings with senior executives/managers 61%

Source: Linkedin 2019 Workplace Learning Report

Outcomes of Skill Gap Mapping

  • Increase in employee engagement and interest in learning and development programmes
  • Cost optimisation for L&D planning
  • Identifying gaps in core competencies of high-skill employees
  • Ease in developing career frameworks

Learning and Development Plan: Step #2

Choosing a Learning Medium and Scheduling of Skill Development Programmes

Training and Development Managers might be amazed to know that a total of 11 learning mediums are available for all kinds of L&D requirements. Companies widely choose the most scalable and most cost-effective model for their workforce. Here’s a list of all the L&D Technologies in usage across the globe.

Top Learning and Development Technology Solutions

  1. Podcasting
  2. Online Performance Support or Knowledge Management System
  3. Rapid E-Learning Tool (PowerPoint conversion tool)
  4. Application Simulation Tool
  5. Virtual Classroom/Webcasting/Video Broadcasting
  6. Learning Content Management System (LCMS)
  7. Learning Management System (LMS)
  8. Mobile Applications
  9. Augmented Reality
  10. Virtual Reality
  11. Artificial Intelligence

Not all forms of training delivery systems match well with the needs of an organisation. There’s also the choice of externally curated content for L&D solutions and self-paced vs. instructor-led learning. Learning Management Systems (LMS) have found more applications across all organisational structures, while online learning tools have shown swift improvement from previous years; Mobile Applications (57% large companies) and Rapid E-Learning Tools (64% small companies) Page 28, 2019 Industry Training Report, Training Magazine.

Learning and Development Plan: Step #3

Scheduling L&D Delivery and attribution of pay-grade to employee training

The next question that has bothered talent managers for the better part of the last decade is the periodicity of learning and development initiatives. As mentioned in the assessment of skill gaps section, low average shelf-life of critical skills and impending job burst owing to automation (58 million new jobs as a direct outcome by 2022, Mercer Global Talent Trends 2019); amount to the increased periodicity of re-skilling for high-skill jobs.

57% of managers have deemed soft skills more important than hard skills, and these same managers have preferred one-time certification as compared to half-yearly/yearly/bi-annual up-gradation for other hard skills (Linkedin Learning 2019).

In the scenario of shifting markets, merging pay-grades and incentives with learning and development programmes offer flexibility to human capital managers. A mix of pay-grades and L&D incentives offers the organisation to stay agile. Balancing the pay-grade, incentives, promotions with learning and development offerings also cites as cost-effective solutions towards employee retention.

‘Do not compensate harder, compensate smarter’

Learning and Development Plan: Step #4

Engaging Employees for Learning Management

Change Management 101 says, ‘the first ones to disagree from a positive initiative by the organisation are the disengaged employees. Currently, only 15% of the talent managers spent their resources on internally marketing the benefits of learning and development opportunities. The relative ineffectiveness of training and development solutions comes from the diverse workforce of any organisation. Same learning methodologies and curriculum for different age groups result in disengagement.

74% of talent managers are currently struggling to make their learning and development plans age-neutral. Factors like learning during work-time, learning with their peer-group, independent learning, self-paced lessons influence employee engagement towards learning. Employing team managers to promote talent development programmes is the top strategy that most talent managers (69% of total) are using.

Top ways of marketing learning and development among employees

Employee engagement vs. learning and development
Relation of learning and development programmes and employee engagement

Micro-steps in implementing a successful Learning and Development Programme

Developing indigenous training and development infrastructure is another advanced strategy which most high-profit and large organisations have started to explore. Custom-fit training sessions meant for moderate-skill jobs is leading to sporadic yet pivotal changes in productivity metrics. Outsourcing Learning and Development account for a considerable portion of employee retention programmes worldwide. There remains no doubt in the fact that training and development innovation leads the human capital investment success in most large companies.

Global Average Skills Stability has been mapped at 58% for the period of 2018-2022. This means that an average set of skills required to perform any job role will change by 42% in process, compliance & outcome by 2022 (The Future of Jobs Report 2018, World Economic Forum). Every industry is facing challenges of changing socio-economic factors including regionalisation, labour laws, strengthened job market and more. There seems to be a lot more than what just meets the eye in terms of employee development and talent management. Emerging businesses in every economy across the world are exploring new ways of imparting learning and development solutions correctly to their organisations. It’s no longer a time when just knowing about the latest trends in human resource development will suffice, one might have to try and improvise to succeed.


Wit Write Creative Solutions is starting a series of ‘Job Support Blogs’ for job seekers and job providers across the Indian and Global business ecosystem. Through facts and opinions gathered from secondary research of reports published in the industry, we’ll bring you key insights into the Recruitment and Jobs Scenario. Mention in the comment section what you’d like to hear about in the next segment. Follow us on Linkedin at #wwcopinions.


 

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