01 December 2021
Dull, expensive, and frustrating. $300 billion a year is invested in corporate learning and development (L&D) - with little return on investment.
Globally, talent shortages are at their highest level for 15 years. Some 63% of UK companies struggle to find employees with specialist skills and relevant experience. In the US, shortages have tripled since 2010.
Without skilled labour, business growth suffers. Companies struggle to deliver better products and services to more customers and grow revenue.
Unfilled vacancies increase the workload on existing employees and managers, who are already struggling. Three-quarters of employees have experienced burnout at work, with 40% of survey respondents saying it started during the pandemic.
Data analysis, critical thinking, creativity, and automation are among the most in-demand skills desired by companies worldwide.
Successful L&D programmes reduce the burden by teaching existing employees the critical technical and soft skills organisations need to thrive.
It also energises staff. Some 80% of employees say professional development opportunities make them feel more engaged, while 93% of workers will stay at their employer for longer.
It is common for corporate learning and development programmes to take 12-18 months to launch. By then, the learning material, from these expensive and resource-intensive programmes, is either outdated or irrelevant.
There is also a lack of quality data collection and analysis. Are learners using their new skills in the office, or not? Beyond knowing the number of participants and how much they enjoyed their training, traditional learning and development strategies lack data on what behaviour change is happening in the workplace.
It is near impossible for many Human Resources leaders to prove that their L&D investment has directly led to better workforce skills, expertise and performance.
HR leaders can find better success by building an integrated ecosystem of live training, on-demand educational content and widely accessible learning resources that focus on employee behaviour change.
Each training tool, session and resource within this ecosystem should be:
Evidence-based: Leaders should ask ‘is this grounded in psychology and behavioural science?’ Ensure you are using learning practices that have endured rigorous scientific research and been tested in the real world.
Engaging: Design activities and tools that are fun, easy to understand and meaningful. If participants do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, research shows their engagement will slump.
Actionable: Employees should leave training sessions with actions they can take immediately. The more practice people have, the more adept they become at using the new skill.
Bitesize: Focus on short and specific training such as ‘How to give great feedback’ or ‘How to handle difficult conversations.’ People are more likely to understand and remember information through well-defined bitesize learning than generic, long-form training.
Reusable: Find ways of reusing content to train employees in multiple different areas of the business. Many skills - such as communication and time management - are applicable to performance management, and transferable to DE&I, ethics, leadership development and more.
Proven to work: Are you testing your L&D tactics thoroughly? Identify and analyse the performance data of L&D tools and resources to ensure they are producing tangible business outcomes for your organisation.
This science-backed approach was shared at the CHRO Summit 2021 by MindGym CEO Octavius Black and President Sebastian Bailey PhD.
Contact us for more advice on how to improve learning at your company.
Also, read more science-backed human resources insights from CHRO Summit 2021.