Key Focus areas for Learning & Development in 2014

imageLearning & Development initiatives for some organisations is a business need, for others it is a “nice to do” stuff, for yet others its could be both of these.   The “need” aspect connects with the capability building need of the organisation, and “nice to do” may relate to the employee engagement and employee motivation part. Here you make use of training programs, participation in seminars and conferences as a reward or appreciation tool for achievers.  

Since most of the established business seems to have crossed the “need” and “nice to do” phase, it is time that the L&D guys look forward to evolving their L&D practices. Capability building has to be the basic – the essentials, however going forward L&D guys need to plan their interventions keeping in consideration the value they bring to the business in form of enhanced employer branding, employee engagement, talent pipeline as well as attracting quality talent.

We have identified some essential themes that would need to be looked at by L&D professionals in 2014.

New Employee On boarding & Orientation.

This has been and in future as well, will stay as a core impact area  for most businesses. It needs a re-look at most organisations – as there is ample scope of improvement. Your renewed support to this purpose may be by leveraging technology, as well as by ensuring effective execution for better “new joinee” experience. You never know – “the first impression” may actually be the last impression. This is the starting point and the impact may go a long way.

Self Paced Learning & Employee Ownership on Self Development.

All this while businesses have been pushing their employees to participate in the L&D programs prepared or organised by HR , the L&D team etc. Some participants enjoy the experience, others show contempt. It’s is time when you need to say aloud –  “you need to take ownership of your own learning”. It is the right time that employees also get serious. L&D guys need to bring in the culture of ownership of the employees to work on their own self development.

Social Learning, Collaborative Learning.

These are the buzz words today. Every one is talking about leveraging social media and networks. A simple start on ones own ownership could be participation in activities and knowledge sharing on social platforms. Within the organisation  – similar knowledge management, social sharing, platforms may be made available so as to enhance communication and interaction with a focus on learning.

Talent Management & Leadership Development

These have been in presence for a long time now. Most businesses are still evolving their framework for these processes. Going forward – the focus has to be on execution. Since the framework in itself is not rocket science – they key to ensuring business value creation through talent management and leadership development initiative’s is a good understanding of your business, business strategy, growth plans, and subsequently a seamless execution of the end to end talent management and leadership development process.

© Praveen Mishra