The exciting future of L&D

by John Hilton12 Feb 2016
L&D professionals have a lot to look forward to, according to Rob Phipps, Chief People Officer at KFC.

For one, L&D is shaping up to be far more dynamic, flexible and transparent, he said.

By dynamic, Phipps explained to L&D Professional that training will continue to change far more rapidly due to technology.

“These days, we can film something pretty easily and then upload it and have people looking at it within days,” he said.

“This contrasts to the old days when you needed almost a movie set to make something happen,” he said.

Moreover, the rise in training flexibility is handy for a busy work environment such as KFC, added Phipps.

For instance, employees are increasingly having to learn a wide range of skills.

Consequently, a wide variety of training methods must be incorporated to accommodate those skills.

“It’s got to be a combination of all those different areas and no one is better than the other. I think a combination is the best,” he said.

As for transparency, Phipps said this is about ensuring programs are available for more people, more often, and that they can easily see them and access them.

“I understand there is a cost element to that, but given the first two points around flexibility and dynamism that should allow us to make really cost-efficient programs which people can access,” he said.

Despite KFC having a large proportion of young employees, this does not impact much on their L&D program.

“I think young people like to learn in the same way that adults do,” said Phipps.

“When you think about social networks such as Facebook, there are more adults on those than there are young people."

Further, Phipps advised L&D practitioners who are new to the profession to ensure they leave time for engagement in what they are doing.

“The way people feel about a message is as important as the facts of the message,” said Phipps.  

“Times are changing fast so L&D professionals must be able to stay up to date with things and have a continual learning approach, a continual curiosity, and a continual open mind.

“I think if you look at L&D now and compare it to what it was a decade ago, it is a function in human resources which is far more flexible, engaging and dynamic.”

Phipps added that L&D is a “function that’s a buzz” which requires those new and different skill sets that good organisations are bringing to life in a very positive way.


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