How to get the desired impact through L&D initiatives?

Learning Impact

L&D Initiatives at most businesses are poorly thought through. Except in cases where the L&D initiative leads to technical or functional skills augmentation critical to day to day functioning of an employee, the L&D initiatives mostly serve as a “mere” activity without any relevant purpose of impacting the business.

When you do a product training or a strategic selling workshop for sales team members, they may be able to realise some value from the workshops by way of being able to leverage the learning’s when they are back from the training. If the training program was even somewhat relevant, they can put to use some of their learning’s from next day itself.

However most training programs – primarily behavioural and even most functional ones end up being just another activity.

When you do an innovation & creativity training for a first line manager, the value addition is at best by way of making the participant feel good that he got to participate in some engaging program i.e if the program was well designed and well facilitated. If we look at the “actual value” delivered by the program – it may be nothing. Of course, my saying so may not be relevant in all such cases, considering that we have not really discussed the program design, course contents, learning objectives, business case for the training etc.

However getting back to the fact that the creativity and innovation program may not mean anything for the concerned first line manager. For relevant learning and impact from the workshop – his role, his job, the work environment, his reporting manager etc. also need to have some alignment with the learning objectives of the program.

To ensure that the learning intervention brings some value to the participant and to the organisation, it is important that the role, job allows for relevant opportunity to the participant to leverage his learning’s. The work environment should allow for adequate time, and the reporting manager or other designated authority should also support through creation of appropriate opportunities.

This is where things go wrong. For many – an L&D intervention starts and ends with a training or workshop.

If you need relevant impact from a learning intervention, the pre & post aspects have to be well thought out and planned. I am sure we all will agree that learning and related behavioural change or individual’s performance is not a one day affair, there needs to be appropriate environment for learning to take place, and to sustain so as to enable better individual performance and business impact through an employee’s contribution.

©Praveen Mishra, KnowHowEdge