The future of L&D: It’s ‘one size-fits-one’

by John Hilton01 Feb 2016
L&D professionals must be mindful of changing work models and people practices, and anticipate what’s going to change, according to Bridget Beattie, Executive Vice President Asia Pacific Middle East at Right Management.
How can they do that?
“Previously we always looked at just where is the talent going to come from, but now increasingly employers are starting to say: 'What’s our strategy for the next five years'?” she said.
“For instance, what sort of skills, competencies and capabilities are we going to need? And then in our current workforce, who can we reposition that way?”
Beattie added that there are lots of things which L&D professionals must be mindful of in the future.
“But I would say one thing overall is that it’s all about ‘one size fits one’,” Beattie said.
“Twenty or 30 years ago, it was one size fits all - so your L&D policies and practices would apply to the whole organisation and if you don’t sit within it then you would go and find yourself another job.
“These days it’s about saying let’s have a framework so that we have got some fairness and consistency."
Beattie told L&D Professional that it’s more about flexibility of start and finish time or it might be that employees will do their full-time job over four days. It might also be that they work from home two days a week.
It’s about acknowledging that those flexibility arrangements are alright because that person is productive, said Beattie.
Overall, the future looks bright for L&D, Beattie added.
“It’s not about providing training programs – although that might already be part of it,” she said.
Of course, these days training and learning occurs predominately at your desk, added Beattie.
“But adapting that and understanding what that return on investment is going to be and how that’s going to add huge value is critical.”
Beattie added that L&D also increasingly has a role around some of the societal values. This is especially the case because people want to work for organisations that do good work in the community.
“I think L&D can have a really great role in making sure that some of those programs that they are working on give back to the community as well,” she said.
Beattie said that L&D has a very important role to play if it’s done in a way that’s going to support the business strategy today, tomorrow and in five years.
Moreover, another big challenge for L&D professionals is to make sure that what they are offering is relevant to all people no matter what stage of their career they are at.
This includes everyone from career starters and career switchers to those in their “encore careers”, who are the ageing population that can no longer have their swan song at 60, she added.
2 significant words for L&D in 2016