Top five areas to focus on in L&D for 2016

top 5 learning ideas for 2016

1. Innovation

The world is changing rapidly and the only way to keep up is to constantly refresh critical aspects of your business. But in order to do this it requires innovation and creative problem solving. In the L&D field this may require innovative new ways of delivering training, new, more effective processes, or more impactful ways of getting employees engaged in L&D. But no matter what area may be lacking, the only solution to fix it is to try something new and see if it works.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration is important in every aspects of business, but as budgets become constrained and constant pressure is placed on L&D teams to deliver more with less, collaboration between different teams and departments will be essential. It will require participation from all parties to decide what is needed, how it can be achieved and whether it worked. Many businesses currently work with very clear boarders in the L&D process but without input and discussions from all relevant parties, L&D interventions will be incomplete and ineffective, wasting the time, money and effort of all involved.

3. E-learning

Technology is a huge part of our lives, and yet it still remains one of the least utilised tools when delivering training, partly because many believe it cannot achieve what it needs to. There continues to be a strong preference for face to face delivery and while this is certainly important, e-learning is a cost effective and valuable tool when used in the right way. Steps therefore need to be taken to not only find ways to increase the use of e-learning, but more importantly, identify ways to maximise its impact, thereby making it a more attractive resource that can meet the demands of the task.

4. Employee well-being

It may not sound like an L&D issue, but with levels of stress, anxiety and depression continuing to skyrocket in the UK’s workforce, employee well-being is quickly becoming everyone’s problem, and L&D has a pivotal role to play if used effectively. There are a huge range of resources and training that can easily be implemented into L&D strategies to address well-being, and while some may view such training as less valuable than traditional skills development, the payoff has the potential to be immense when you find yourself with a more resilient workforce that is able to manage their stress and mental health more effectively, helping them to contribute more productively.

5. L&D strategy

It’s not a new thing, but while some companies have got this particular issue nailed, unfortunately it’s far from the majority, thus making it once again an important theme in 2016. Creating a well-defined, clear and actionable L&D strategy that is in perfect alignment with your business vision and goals is one of the most important things an organisation can do to improve its outcomes and utilise its most important resource (its people) more effectively. Working to ensure that each one of your employees has a rigorous L&D plan in place and that you have the means to implement it will benefit everyone in the long run. It will contribute to a highly skilled, engaged and productive workforce; this will then lead to superior outcomes for the wider business including greater innovation and increased profitability.