In a CIPD Ireland HR practices survey published this year, over 67% of respondents stated that they would be upskilling their workforce in the coming year to address skills shortages. Over 30% of respondents reported that learning and development was a strategic priority for their organisations, with employers spending 3.8% of payroll on L&D in 2016. For organisations, the skills of the workforce are vital to meet current and future business demands.

Many organisations are encouraging and nurturing a learning culture in order to benefit from a highly-skilled and innovative workforce. However developing an L&D strategy is not without its challenges. When implementing an L&D strategy or introducing techniques to support learning to achieve business objectives, a range of strategic and practical issues need to be considered. It’s essential that L&D activity is aligned to organisation strategy and with clear learning objectives. Having a culture in place that fosters learning is vital, and this requires having support not only from senior leaders, but also line managers to facilitate and implement the learning. Managers are usually involved in determining the L&D needs of their teams and may therefore influence organisational culture in respect of supporting learning and performance management.

Ways of learning

Helping people to develop new skills requires an awareness of the learning methods that are most effective in a particular context. A recent global survey by the Centre for Modern Workplace Learning (UK) with over 5000 respondents, found that the four most valued ways of learning were daily work experiences, knowledge sharing with teams, web search, and web resources. The survey also found that methods of learning such as classroom training and e-learning were the least valued ways of learning in the workplace.

So how can L&D teams determine the best learning approach for their organisations? Many organisations frame the conversation around the 70:20:10 framework. This suggests that individuals gain 70% of their learning from job-related experiences, 20% from social interactions with others, and 10% from formal learning events. The model supports a blended approach to learning and can guide decisions on the most appropriate approach to take when addressing learning needs. The framework can also help to facilitate agile learning within fast paced work environments, as it suggests alternative options to the traditional classroom style approach.

Given the significance of L&D for Irish employers in a bid to attract, retain and develop talent within the organisation, it’s important to regularly assess L&D programmes and approaches to learning to determine how well they are achieving objectives that will support the organisation both now and in the future.

More information on developing an L&D strategy can be found here.

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