New report flags big challenges for L&D

by Brett Henebery08 May 2017
A recent survey has highlighted some big challenges for L&D in international organisations.

The Challenges of Global L&D survey, conducted by Open University Business School, surveyed 200 senior L&D decision-makers about their learning programs.  
According to the results, two-fifths of international organisations don’t have a global strategy for learning. The survey also revealed that 42% of L&D decision-makers lack direction from the top-tier of their organisations.
However, this could all change in the near-future.
The survey found that 62% of respondents see global/international learning programs as the future while 94% said they would be increasing their investment in international learning programs over the next year.
In a statement, Penny Asher, director of executive education at The Open University Business School, said that as organisations and their workforces transform, the L&D profession needs to as well.
“The question is ‘how?’ Does it mean revisiting the centralisation/decentralisation argument again? Does centralisation mean less flexibility and does it ultimately mean a lack of commitment from local unit L&D and businesses?” she said.
While these questions may not have simple answers, some L&D professionals have managed to achieve buy-in at the executive level by demonstrating return on investment for their learning programs
One such person is Lorraine Salloum, director of organisational development and learning at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
Instrumental in achieving this buy-in was the use of “a chain of measurements to demonstrate impact”.

“This includes metrics relating to participant engagement, learning – testing new knowledge, application and implementation – demonstrating changes in behaviour, and business impact measures,” she told L&D Professional.

“ROI uses measurements from all these areas to determine the net benefit of programs over the monetary cost of running the program.”

Salloum pointed out that leaders expect L&D to demonstrate their contribution to the bottom-line and clearly show monetary connection between training investments and its impact on their employees’ improvement and development.

“Leaders care about the application of new skills on the job, improvement towards business outcomes and return on learning investment,” she said.

Salloum said that in order to get buy-in, it is important to provide business intelligence in a format that aligns to the decisions executives need to make.

“L&D needs to provide data and insights to help executives make strategic talent decisions and use data to optimise workforce learning investments against the most-critical skills and competencies,” she said.
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