Learning & Development

Talent and Development Key to Business Success in the Years to Come

Training teams have long been dismissed by many organizations and employees. Corporate training has, in some cases, earned a hard-to-shake reputation as being boring and not particularly applicable to day-to-day job duties. While that reputation is largely unfair, it is true that L&D teams have improved considerably in terms of engagement, content and delivery in recent years, and many observers believe the current environment is ripe for a L&D golden age.

Time for L&D Pros to Step Up

“Learning & development professionals, your day has come,” writes Marc C. Perna in an article for Forbes. “As the market continues to change, organizations must pivot their talent strategies to recruit and retain employees who have become a little more choosy about things like culture, flexibility and—oh yes—the opportunity to grow their skills and careers. That’s why a rising player in this pivot are the professionals who drive learning & development (&D) programs within an organization.”

There are multiple reasons for the growing visibility and importance of L&D departments. The most obvious is that better-trained employees are more productive and greater productivity tends to mean greater profitability. In addition to productivity – producing more with the same inputs – better training can help reduce costs by cutting down on waste, accidents, returns and rework.

Training Increasingly Valued by Today’s Workers

But training also offers important ancillary benefits aside from the skills and knowledge it imparts to trainees. Today’s employees want training. They want to develop their skills and grow professionally. “LinkedIn’s most recent Workplace Learning Report found that younger workers, ages 18–34, now want vibrant learning and growth opportunities at work above all else—even higher than they rank work-life balance,” writes Perna.

In particular, he notes that employees are particularly interested in soft skills—the kinds of aptitudes AI can’t easily replicate, like management, leadership and teamwork. Certain technical or “hard” skills are also in high demand by employees, including the skills needed to build products and computer coding and integration skills. Corporate training efforts have a history of not being taken seriously. But L&D teams have come a long way in recent years, and many experts believe the time is right for these groups to finally get the visibility and influence they’ve long deserved.

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