Learning & Development in the Post-COVID World: Crafting a Successful L&D Strategy From the Ground Up
The post-COVID workplace is experiencing a shift in skills, pushing organizations to invest in solutions that help keep up with the ever-changing world. As businesses continue growing with time, so is also the time to embrace and foster a learning culture within the workplace.
The fact that 34% of employees quit citing the unavailability of Learning and Development opportunities also exacerbated things for organizations that were once considered a smooth sailing “return-to-workforce” phase. Nevertheless, the pandemic has ignited the need for a vibrant workforce that is crucial and can be built only by transitioning to a continuous learning-based ecosystem.
This article explores the effective strategies that can help businesses across verticals establish an L&D framework from the ground up.
The Importance of Learning & Development in the Post-COVID era
Enterprises are jumping on the learning and development revolution to counter the rising attiring rates accelerated by the pandemic.
As the latest ground-breaking technologies emerge, several market leaders are reimagining learning across various fronts. And to keep up with the ever-changing world, Learning & Development has a massive role to play.
Prior to exploring the strategies required in setting up an L&D from the ground up, the following are benefits that make it a must-have in the slow yet recovering post-COVID world.
- Embracing the attracting and retaining talent culture: There is ample evidence highlighting the link between the lack of L&D programs to soaring attrition rates in this pandemic recovering workplace. By pouring in investments in a comprehensive learning plan, employees are more likely to stay and improve retention rates company-wide.
- Empowering employees to become problem-solving: The primary goal of any learning program is to help employees improve their skills around demanding functions. However, with a strong L&D strategy in place, enterprises can not only reskill and upskill their employees with in-demand skills but also help them take up other vertical challenges as well.
- Boosting workplace engagement: With regular training and development programs within the workplace, talent management teams can bridge the communication gap and help establish consistency in connecting with employees and evaluating processes. Furthermore, this allows talent teams to assess growth opportunities and quickly upgrade strategies to counter the recurring problems addressed in the regular L&D programs.
Crafting a Successful Strategy From Ground Up
With the benefits discussed in brief, it is time we move to the crux of the article to help you create a well-thought-out L&D initiative from square one.
Aligning With Your Business Strategies
To begin with, you need to understand your overall business goals and align them with your L&D strategy to achieve those company-wide goals. By setting this, HR and talent management teams can move to create dedicated upskilling and reskilling programs required to find ROI with the L&D approach.
Understanding the pain points of each department within the business helps talent management teams sketch out feasible goals and achieve them in a reasonable time.
For example, if the marketing department is facing website development problems stymied by the recurring layout tweaks, L&D will help build UI/UX skills of the necessary people and fast-track the issue. A thought-out plan after learning the bottlenecks propels C-level executives to invest resources into learning initiatives and develop internal talent.
The initiative leaders must consider re-evaluating their alignment strategies on an annual basis to ensure they still meet the priorities and objectives of the business.
Getting the stakeholders onboard
While the journey of building L&D from the ground up is understandably a tumultuous one, it needs leaders from HR and department units that can streamline the entire process.
The post-pandemic workplace, having witnessed a rise in these learning initiatives, pushed several prominent players in the market to create dedicated L&D teams. At the same time, other enterprises cashed in on the opportunity by giving the HR personnel the task of heading the learning and development initiatives.
Handing ownership to teams is the bedrock of any business strategy, let alone a career-building activity like a learning program. For business leaders, it is crucial to define the owners of the program – be it to administer the activities to HR and talent management teams or create a separate department that reports to the top-level executives.
With a cross-functional team that is a fusion of individuals from various departments, it does get easier to receive feedback and review the reskilling across business functions.
The Skills Gap Analysis: Assessing & Designing Learning Pathways
Once the leadership group has been set up, assessing skills gaps is the next step. This is another vital cog in the entire L&D structure that gives a clear picture of the skills required to progress and what to do in order to bridge the gaps between the skills.
A recent global study found that 93% of companies strongly agree that personalized learning helps improve organizational and individual performance.
Post the out-and-out analysis of skills, L&D leaders and talent management teams must personalize pathways for each individual across departments. And with every organization jumping on the learning and development revolution, L&D teams must create out-of-the-box training modules.
Talent intelligence platforms like Draup support enterprises with their insights into various career paths and then offer support in customizing learning journeys.
The AI-backed platform’s deep informational insights on future roles assist HR leaders and L&D teams in mapping it with relevant courses and tailoring micro/macro learning modules, and streamlining the entire learning journey.
Bringing the L&D Strategies into Effect
The final step is to execute the plan passed through the aforementioned stages. And to successfully run the plan, enterprises need to seek 360-degree feedback from the leadership group, thus helping in the smooth running of the entire exercise.
Talent management teams should consider the idea of soft-launching the program on limited employees before taking it to the entire organization. This helps the L&D team to understand and work on the pain points and then make it a company-wide launch.
Companies like Amazon, IBM, and Verizon have successfully deployed such learning initiatives with the help of a robust L&D strategy and team in place. While it may not be easy for SMEs to maintain that level of consistency or achieve the same results, the mentioned strategies in this blog can make the entire L&D execution all plain sailing.
AI-backed talent intelligence platforms like Draup support all verticals of businesses in reskilling/upskilling, courtesy of the platform’s deep insights into the talent market. Stakeholders and talent management teams can leverage Draup’s proprietary tools to track reskilling and skill-based certification programs offered by global varsities, supporting their enterprises in gaining an edge over peers with learning and development programs.