For Shanyn Payne, general manager of HR at Swinburne Online, a key interest is leadership training and watching leaders discover what leadership is actually about.
“It’s really about how others perceive them and becoming more self-aware by learning about their blind spots and actively seeking feedback from others,” she told L&D Professional.
“It’s that aspect of L&D when it is about the whole person which is amazing. I never get sick of watching it happen.”
“Often people come back and say that (leadership training) has improved their lives outside of work as well when they have done a lot of the self-reflection.”
She is also a big fan of immediate and constant feedback, in particular investing a lot of time and energy in teaching employees to not only give feedback but also receive it.
“Some people find it quite difficult, but it’s a critical part of our L&D,” she said.
Meanwhile, Cathy Doyle, chief people officer at McDonald’s, loves the excitement around innovation and change. For example, Create Your Taste (CYT) involves building your own burger and is a totally new way of working for the crew, she said.
“In fact, McDonald’s has branded it as ‘unMcDonald’s’. That’s the level of the change, and the most interesting aspect for me is that the more change and innovation that we put into our restaurants, and the more we engage our people, the better the outcome for our customer service, and the better engagement scores we get from our people.”
“That’s a wonderful lesson for organisations in L&D.”
Finally, Alla Keogh, head of people and performance at MYOB, said that the most interesting aspect for her is the way in which learning drives competitive advantage and innovation.
She also explained to L&D Professional that she is very interested in cultivating an innovative culture and being open to mistakes.
“Particularly for us, we are asking people to invent, innovate and bring great solutions to our clients. It’s not just about technical skills that they need, but the freedom to learn and share, and that’s why social learning is also very important.”
There are a plethora of reasons why people decide to pursue a career in L&D. Then once they enter the profession many practitioners discover further aspects of the industry that piques their interest.