L&D professionals need to evolve too to stay on top of learning. Photo credit: Fotolia
The report, based on surveys and interviews with 7,096 business and HR leaders from 130 countries, highlights the fact that organisations are not developing skills fast enough.
Yet, as the report stresses, learning is essential for engaging employees, attracting top talent and developing long-term leadership for organisations.
Also learning is changing because business is changing at a rapid pace. Several things are precipitating these business changes – technology, new business models and new consumer behavior. L&D needs to be part of these business changes, in tune and aligned with what businesses want and need.
This is why learning needs the next generation of L&D professionals, in order to support more agile businesses through highly responsive, pro-active and innovative learning. And it needs to happen now.
Performance focus is vital for L&D survival
The new focus for L&D is performance – enabling and supporting individual and organisational performance.
In its report: L&D: Evolving roles, enhancing skills, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says: “To thrive as an L&D profession, we need to evolve roles and enhance skills to drive organisational performance. This requires action from every L&D practitioner, to build capability in your function and gain stakeholder commitment for learning transformation.”
How do L&D professionals stay ahead of the game?
So how do forward thinking L&D professionals develop their skills and capabilities to ensure they are up to speed and aligned with their key business objectives?
Developing People Globally (DPG) achieves this by providing a wide range of programmes for L&D professionals at all stages in their career. Programmes are certified by the CIPD, the leading and most widely recognised professional institute for L&D professionals, which means you are getting the best available qualifications for developing a career in L&D.
Qualifications range from the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in L&D Practice and CIPD Level 5 Diploma in L&D Management through to the CIPD Level 7 Diploma in Human Resource Management.
DPG also delivers bespoke programmes for internal L&D teams including all CIPD Qualifications, the ground breaking L&D Business Partner Programme as well as the internationally recognised Kirkpatrick Evaluation Certification (Bronze & Silver).
Aside from the high quality of the programme content, DPG has developed innovative ways to provide unique and contemporary learning experiences, to be role-modelled in the workplace.
At the heart of this is the DPG community, a hub where more than 5,000 community members and learning experts come together to ask questions, share insights and learn from each other. This is a peer-to-peer, collaborative learning environment that encourages curiosity, critical thinking and challenge. These are all core capabilities of a high-performing L&D professional.
The community is available 24/7 and gives you as L&D professionals access to all of the support networks needed to succeed. It is free to join and can be accessed at www.community.dpgplc.co.uk.
CIPD modules are delivered through an effective blend of live and online workshops that use a mix of technology and accelerated learning techniques. This maximises effectiveness.
Facilitators support all learners through the programme and, because the facilitators are also subject matter experts with real world experience, they bring current insights from the world of work to the programme.
The DPG approach is underpinned by research and current evidence into how adults learn best. In its latest research report ‘Transforming Formal Learning’, industry benchmarking organisation, Towards Maturity, provides insight into what makes an effective blended learning experience.
The key is to use technology effectively, enable social connections and provide tech-savvy facilitators who know how to get the best from technology and face-to-face interventions.
The research also shows that organisations that successfully blend learning experiences include dynamic and interactive elements, vary the medium, shorten the sections and adapt storytelling techniques. This is at the heart of the DPG approach
On top of all this, DPG helps their participants embed learning in a number of ways, which the Towards Maturity research also shows to be highly effective. These include:
Using authentic scenarios as part of the online learning process. While 88 per cent of learners find it helpful that the media for online programmes are drawn from actual situations.
Providing relevant assessments 95 per cent of learners find the use of tests and feedback help reinforce their learning.
Making time to think 45% of those who have sped up the application of their learning agree that managers provide active support in the application of learning in the workflow (compared to just 8% of those who have not sped up the application of their learning).
By blending face to face and online experiences DPG has created unique learner journeys and it is these journeys that are equipping the next generation of learning professional to drive organisational performance.
The impact of great learning
This contemporary approach to learning is really working. DPG participants report that the community-driven, peer-to-peer approach is having a real impact in the workplace.
Katie Adams, a Finance Training and Development Officer in the Civil Service, says the CIPD Level 3 in L&D helped her to create an immediate impact in her organisation by moving classroom training online.
“I have influenced my team to move some classroom elements to on-line workshops (Webinars) and the response from the organisation was fantastic with over 100 people from across the world attending each session. It just shows how much of a need there was for this knowledge and it’s great to know that my initiative reached so many staff members at minimum cost.”
The focus on peer-to-peer learning also helps participants build strong professional relationships that have a huge value back at work. As a result of doing her Level 5 qualification, Specsavers’ Head of Learning and Development for retail operations in the UK and Ireland, Paula Adamson, now has a stronger peer network.
“Aside from broadening my knowledge, it’s been great for networking and I’ve been really lucky with the people I met. Eight of us who embarked on the qualification together three years ago, who were working in similar roles, have built our own networking group.
"It’s a really strong group, and we try to meet up once a quarter to share ideas. And because I attended workshops in different locations, I’ve had the opportunity to dip in and out of other groups too.”
Learning, like all areas of the business, is evolving and that requires L&D professionals to evolve too.
Over the last 25 years, DPG has evolved to provide relevant, contemporary and innovative learning experiences for L&D professionals. The result? More than 6,500 forward-thinking, competent and innovative learning professionals helping to improve the performance of their organisations.
If you would like to find out more about how you can develop your skills or those of your L&D team then get in touch with the team at DPG to explore your options –