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Shifting the perspective of learning and development

Learning and development (L&D) is often seen as a box-ticking exercise within the business sector

While training can be useful, and in some cases essential, experts within the field are suggesting that businesses need to change their mindset towards L&D if they really want to get the most from their teams, viewing it less as training and working harder to encompass it within their daily working life.

Using marketing techniques to engage learners is just one tactic that L&D experts are predicting will shift the focus on the way in which these activities are viewed by learners and organisations alike. This will ideally lead to greater engagement and a change in outlook towards a service that had previously been intermittently – and sometimes half-heartedly – used purely for compliance reasons. L&D experts now advise that using the service as an ‘integrated function’ within the company will be beneficial and that investing in marketing this perspective can help people to change their outlooks and become more open to the prospect.

When it comes to the learning styles in L&D, experts believe that courses should be tailored and more relevant to the aims and objectives of the organisation rather than generic, blanket approaches that do not reflect the performance concerns of the business. This can be achieved by combining traditional techniques with the development of e-learning. Digital learning models are undoubtedly on the rise and L&D needs to move with the times if it wants to engage its learners; however, it is important to ensure that adequate levels of knowledge and confidence are in place before investing lots of money into the latest tech.

The key challenge that L&D professionals will face is changing the mindset of the employees. While L&D is viewed as training, staff can view it with scepticism, cynicism and a certain annoyance about being taken away from the necessities of their daily jobs to partake in enforced learning. Giving staff the opportunity to learn through their daily work is essential and will give them the skills they need in a more relaxed and unobtrusive manner.

Staff need to embrace learning – both in and out of the workplace – and view it as the useful and empowering tool it is. L&D professionals can help them to do this, but only when the attitude towards their work shifts are staff likely to fully appreciate it. Marketing, digital tools and workplace learning are just a few of the ways in which a change in perspective could be encouraged in the future.

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