Companies today invest a significant amount of money in their L&D strategies. Yet, even then, many employees remain dissatisfied with the kind of training their organization provides them with. A survey conducted on over 1,500 managers from across 50 different companies revealed that almost 75% of them were not satisfied with the kind of learning and development their company was providing.
Another research project conducted on 4,300 workers by Middlesex University for Work-Based Learning discovered that 74% of them were unable to achieve their full potential and give out maximum results due to a lack of effective training and development opportunities. One more issue that came to light was that a mere 12% of the learners who received training from their companies were actually applying the newly-learned skills to their jobs in real life.
These statistics make one thing very clear: even though companies are spending money on providing learning opportunities to their employees, either they are not sufficient or lack the necessary effectiveness.
So, where are companies going wrong in their L&D efforts? And as a business owner or leader, how can you design an L&D program that can maximize the learning investment and make it more effective and exciting? Keep reading this article to find out everything about it and more!
THE MAJOR ISSUES IN A COMPANY’S LEARNING& DEVELOPMENT TODAY
Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Learning, indeed, plays a vital role in the overall development of an individual, both professionally and personally. Great training and up-to-date knowledge can enable the person to reach their full potential and even achieve extraordinary feats. And modern-day organizations are smart enough to understand this. Learning & Development form a vital part of every organization’s talent and human resource management strategy. This is why companies have spent a whopping $357.7billion on providing the necessary training and development opportunities to their employees globally in 2020. However, the problem arises when companies still fall short in their effort seven after investing the money and resources. Today, most of the training that companies provide is either ineffective, outdated, or has flawed content. Many times, the timing and purpose of providing the training opportunities are not right as well. Here are the top reasons why organizations are failing at their Learning& Development efforts. 1. Learning at the wrong time One of the top reasons employees are usually unable to get the most out of their training and development sessions is that the timing is not right. Most companies have a fixed long-duration L&D schedule and uniform training topics, and the employees have to learn according to it. So naturally, this builds pressure on them to complete the program within the stipulated time. And more often than not, the topics included in the program are not relevant to every employee’s job requirements.
2. Outdated content
The corporate world is evolving at lightning speed today. But unfortunately, the training content and courses are still stuck in time and are unable to keep up with the rapid changes of today’s work environment. For example, companies are still providing courses on “conflict management,” “speaking skills”, or “business writing,”etc.
Such courses are neither relevant nor do they align with the advanced job needs of the present times. Moreover, this lack of effective change management plays a huge role in spoiling the employees’ learning experience.
3. The Forgetting Curve
Human beings tend to quickly forget the things they’ve learned if it is not applied frequently. A German psychologist named Hermann Ebbinghaus commenced several experimental studies on memory in the late 19th Century, which led him to discover “The Forgetting Curve.” The curve explains that if the new information a person learned recently is not applied, they’ll forget close to 75% of it after just six days.
So, if the training courses aren’t relevant or if the employees don't get a chance to apply their learning in their actual work, they will end up forgetting it soon.
HOW TO DESIGN AN EFFECTIVE LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AND MAKE LEARNING STICKY?
Designing an effective L&D program that gives you the best return on investment and proves to be valuable to your employees is vital in today’s constantly evolving business environment. New technologies, methodologies, and tools are coming up every day. Therefore, to survive and stay relevant in this world of cut-throat competition, it's necessary to adapt quickly, enhance your change management strategies and fully equip your workforce with high-quality and up-to-date training lessons and courses. Here's how you can design a highly effective L&D program and help your employees reach their full potential. 1. Offer Short-term or Micro Courses A great way to make learning effective, powerful, and engaging is to offer your employees short-term, bite-sized, or micro training lessons. Smaller learning modules are more digestible and help avoid learning fatigue and keep the interest of the learners alive. 2. Encourage Peer Learning According to a study, almost 55% of employees first turn to their peers whenever they want to learn something new. They don't go on searching it on Google or immediately ask their bosses about it. Instead, they ask their colleagues for advice.
Therefore, stimulating peer-to-peer learning in your L&D not only allows you to make the most of the expertise that already exists in your organization but also promotes mutual understanding and harmony amongst employees.
You can activate peer learning in your organization by conducting occasional peer learning workshops, webinars, or organizing an online marketplace of employees who want to share their skills with their colleagues and those who want to learn them. 3. Provide Personalized Content To make learning more sticky and fruitful, try to provide personalized training and tailor content according to your employees’ needs, interests, and learning styles. While designing the training programs, always ensure to include topics that are highly relevant to the employee's job requirements and help them overcome challenges. 4. The Use It or Lose It Principle According to the Use It or Lose It principle, due to our innate desire for survival, our brain tries its best to conserve energy, and thus it quickly forgets all the information that we don’t use. This is a biological reality that you mustn’t overlook while designing your L&D program.
So, as much as possible, try to introduce real-world projects in workshops so that the learners can apply what they’ve learned in real-time. You should also encourage your employees to frequently incorporate new skills in their work to enhance their retention and get the most out of their training. 5. Provide Continued Support and Ask for Feedback Finally, never overlook the importance of employee feedback. To enhance your L&D function and give the best training experience to your workforce, it is crucial that you extend continuous support to them.
After every learning session, try to reach out to them via messaging, feedback forms, or chatbots and ask about their experience and welcome their suggestions, if they have any. This would not only make your employees feel valued but would also help you design better and more effective L&D programs and have a vibrant, skilled, and happier workforce in the future.
SUMMING IT UP
So there you have it- the top reasons why companies are falling short at their L&D efforts and how you can overcome these challenges by creating an effective training program. While designing a good L&D program indeed requires a lot of time, effort, and resources, it can prove to be your best investment - if done correctly.
So, start by analyzing the learning requirements of your employees and then follow our tips to create a great L&D program for your workforce.