What’s keeping L&D practitioners up at night?

by John Hilton23 Nov 2015
From being held accountable for business objectives, to adapting to new legislation, L&D professionals are facing new and exciting challenges in 2015.

For Leila Wearing, Director Academie Accor & Talent Development at Accor Hotels, one of the biggest challenges is internet accessibility in Australia.  

“Infrastructure in Australia is still a little bit behind the times, so some of the technology we want to use, we can’t use because the NBN hasn’t been rolled out and things like that,” she said.

As for internal challenges, Wearing said that primarily involves being held accountable for driving real performance and behaviour change in the workplace.

“I actually think that L&D is in a very exciting space where we are moving away from more of these traditional methods … and I think that’s a really brilliant place to be in,” she said.

“I mean it creates challenges because we need to be able to demonstrate that our learning does make a difference to the business performance and organisational performance, but I actually think that’s a really good place and it should be something that we should be doing.”

Meanwhile, Crown College is facing challenges around compliance training and balancing that with other strands of business, said Alicia Gleeson, General Manager HR at Crown College.

“One of the key pieces of training we need to deliver is around all of our compliance training and the fact that legislation can change, demands can change and different specific points need to be addressed,” she said.

“It’s often balancing the number of hours that we might need to have people participating in that  mandated training versus the pieces that really develop in a range of areas and are not necessarily mandated through external compliance requirements.”

“Blending those two is really one of our key challenges because a learning organisation does still have to have its employees actually out on the floor delivering the service that we’re actually employed to do, so that probably one of the key challenges.”

As for Cathy Doyle, chief people officer at McDonald’s, their biggest challenge involves getting to everyone the right training and development they need, particularly given they have more than 103,000 staff.

If you look at the turnover and flexibility a lot of people take a job at McDonalds around their life, or around their studies or friends and family. Additionally, McDonald’s are constantly hiring new people which creates further challenges in terms of learning the diverse range of skills required.

“They need to understand safety, they need to understand customer service, they need to understand pricing, ordering and rostering, and if they are going to make coffee what that looks like,” she said.

“So the biggest challenge is making sure we get the right people skilled up at the right pace in our restaurants and businesses at the right time. And that’s a logistics challenge so that’s the biggest one.”

In a recent interview, MYOB’s head of people and performance Alla Keogh told L&D Professional that their business was challenged by having to continually evolve their L&D offerings to ensure they are relevant and valuable to their people in an industry which is itself evolving.