If They Are Not Learning, They Are Leaving

Who would you hire? A person who can do the job well from Day 1 or A person who has the potential and needs training? Learning and development is a tricky game, each individual has their own journey. 

In a world where employees want to see a clear route towards upskilling and growth, it's unlikely that organizations can afford to pass the chance to use L&D for better retention.

In Today’s edition, We'll talk about:

  • What companies are doing wrong with L&D
  • What is an Ideal L&D budget
  • Step-by-step Process to set up L&D Strategy
  • Moving from Performance Management to Potential Management

Learning and development directly address the two most frequent causes of turnover. When your employees are aware they can improve their careers and make more money within your company, they might not feel the need to hunt for growth elsewhere.

When an employee reaches the top of their learning curve, they will either leave or get complacent and stay. Both these scenarios are scary. Managers need to understand that the people they manage are on their individual learning curve — the low end, the sweet spot, or the high end — employees are engaged, productive, and innovative.

Talent acquisition teams today face the challenge of filling a number of unexpected jobs through the never-ending cycle of hiring and reskilling. The Great Rehire and high turnover make the situation worse. As a result, it's crucial to keep a robust retention plan in place to prevent overwhelming these already lean teams with indispensable employees.

Of course, a good pay scale and opportunities for promotions aren't the only factors contributing to employee churn, even L&D won't be the sole answer. It's critical to approach staff retention methods holistically, considering factors like work-life balance, employee burnout prevention, business culture, and employee appreciation.

Some turnover is normal—and healthy—but you can keep more of your best employees by implementing a comprehensive and creative employee retention plan.

Fun Fact - Udemy, the online learning company, has this cool ritual that every Wednesday, at 3:00 pm, Udemy employees participate in DEAL (Drop Everything and Learn), where everyone drops whatever they’re doing and takes an online class — in anything they want.

What companies are doing wrong with L&D today?

Investing in resources is often necessary to launch an efficient learning and development programme. But the outcome achieved through an effective L&D program is greater than the investment you make. In particular, a successful learning and development programme not only aids people in advancing their careers but also enhances an organization's performance as a whole.

Organizations need to switch from gauging CPEs earned to gauging business results produced to start putting lean learning into practice. Lean learning ensures that workers not only learn the proper material at the appropriate time and for the appropriate purposes but also remember what they have learned.

Nilesh Godle, AVP HR at Thence: Digital Product Design & Development further mentions- “Alignment is not there within organizations. They know what they want from an employee, but they do not understand what an employee is capable of doing. We have to understand what is the right fitment for this particular employee, and what kind of resources are required. Some people are self-paced, and they’ll enjoy a self-paced training program more.

In most companies, the training budget is underutilized because they do not know how to spend that money. But if you take any L&D experts, you will find that they are the facilitator. They are not the ones who are actually driving the L&D functions. They will be working along with other external or internal trainers to prepare the training plan and coordinate with everyone.

Most companies force training without realizing whether the person wants to get the training or not. And when you want people to learn something which they don't want to learn, they’ll find excuses to not attend. So it's extremely important that clear compartmentalization happens. An effective training process needs analysis and understanding of the employee growth objectives to put them in different buckets. Plenty of times, leaders feel that they know it all and don’t need training sessions. They attend it only for HR’s sake, or sometimes even avoid it completely. This is a classic example of priorities not being set straight. So that's where the lack of participation”

What should be the ideal L&D budget? 

Budgets for training are solely based on the needs and requirements of the company.

Bensely Zachariah, Global Head of Human Resources at Fulcrum digital mentions - “A good company or a decent company for L&D strategies spend almost 1% of the total revenue on L&D. And some exceptional companies may go up from 1.5%-2%. And I've heard that some companies spend around 2%-2.5% on consulting, which is a lot of money. But most of the companies would work at the range of maybe around 0.5%.”

Based on a company's priorities, an L&D strategy can be built in a budget-friendly manner by conducting group sessions, in-house training, mentor-mentee relationship with seniors, e-learning and much more.

Moving from performance management to potential management 

Bensely explains how, in an ideal scenario, we should run at around 70% of L&D on the capability-building part of it. Now capability-building is not just cross-selling and upskilling but also soft skills and personal development.

He mentions that "I stopped mentioning how we are equipped to deal with them in the present day. We concentrate on ‘what exactly we can do for you tomorrow?’ 

So the first thing that we did was to figure out how to change the concept of moving from performance to potential. If you have the potential or you build it, you cannot underperform in the long run because performance becomes a natural output for the same. Employees need to ask: 'have I really worked or increased my potential this year?' And if they have, we need to reward them for that. So the whole L&D strategy has to be based on that potential. And it may translate into different things like soft skills, technology, formulating a strategy or even executing a strategy. But how do I raise the potential of a person, that’s where L&D is concerned."

Doing L&D the right way

Evaluating the needs of the company and the workforce is essential before developing a learning programme.

HR and L&D departments should first assess the limitations and strengths of their staff, as well as the skills that would help them advance professionally.

Employers should interview managers to find out what skills their teams lack and how the company can better support its managers, in addition to asking workers about their interest in training. Finding out who needs a certain kind of training and who doesn't may also be done by asking the proper questions.

Step by Step process to set up an L&D Programme-

Determine your goals

Establishing the program's goals is the first stage in developing a learning and development programme. This stage is important since you'll use these objectives as a guide to making decisions.

  • What are the overarching business objectives that your firm is attempting to achieve, in particular?
  • How will the learning and development programme fit with the overarching objectives of our organisation?
  • What actions must be taken to accomplish these objectives?

Recognize competencies

Competencies are a specific collection of aptitudes, know-how, and talents that influence an organization's performance and differentiate it from rivals. Business talents include

  • Business savvy
  • Situational flexibility
  • Market expertise
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Change management
  • Driving outcomes
  • Coordination and power

You'll be better equipped to create learning tracks to aid in instilling these abilities in your staff once you've identified the main competencies your firm wishes to cultivate in harmony with your goals.

Sudhir Suguru, Talent and Culture Partner @ Tech Vedika mentions that -Should L&D cater to personal goals? There should be two kinds of goals: one would be your job role specific. Another one is about their personal interests. Now let's talk about what they are trying to achieve more.

Say, for example, I'll go with your classic example of cooking, right? I wanted to be a chef nonetheless. But on the flip side, I'm also doing a marketing stunt at my current organization. Now, how do I align my chef course with my marketing? That is the question. It's not a part of the program, right? Why would a company invest in my chef course? But, when an organization is  giving personal satisfaction to the particular employees through helping them achieve their personal goals, the satisfaction and motivation are almost doubled and it shows in the work they put in.”

Decide on a strategy 

The ability to select the type of training that is appropriate for their work and professional growth is one of the perks that we provide to our employees. It may be a workshop, an online course, or a certificate. By doing this, we can guarantee that we are providing them with the training they require to advance in their careers and in a manner that works for them.

Choose the learning and development programme that makes the most sense for your company from the several available options. Your decision will be based on whether you want to teach the same skills to many individuals at once, assist employees in enhancing their performance on the job, or offer training to anybody at any time.

Common and emerging types of training-

  • Cohort based
  • Online courses
  • In-classroom courses
  • Bite-sized courses
  • On-the-job training

Integrate mentoring

Your learning and development programme may also benefit from an official mentoring and coaching component. Particularly, encouraging teams to form connections and share knowledge by partnering compatible individuals with one another. To ensure that the connection is mutually beneficial, it is crucial to pair mentees with mentors whose expertise matches the latter's targeted area of advancement. As a consequence, less experienced workers may be given challenges and opportunities to develop, while more experienced workers can gain leadership and mentoring skills.

Sudhir Suguru, Talent and Culture Partner @ Tech Vedika mentions that - We do a lot of HR connect sessions with associates ensuring that their reporting manager or immediate seniors are not there in that session. We talk to them more in order to understand their perspective rather than from the management's perspective. Every fortnight, we do one session with one set of questions. 

Measure results

Establishing a method to assess the learning and development program's effectiveness after it has achieved some traction is crucial. Check to see if those initial objectives are being pursued and achieved first. If not, determine any areas where your strategy may need to be modified by taking into account the following questions: 

  • Is there a rise in staff productivity? 
  • Do managers now have more engaged and satisfied workers? 
  • Is there a change in employee turnover?
  • What is the employee retention rate?
  • Do workers feel more successful now? 
  • Has the external presence of your employer brand improved? 

Also, based on your overarching objectives, are you able to quantify results?

Get feedback

It’s important to get feedback in two stages-

When you start -  Obtain employee buy-in by spreading the word and gaining their support for your training programme. One of the major measures of L&D success is learner engagement.

When people leave - Run exit interviews with each employee to keep note of and categorize the reasons why employees leave their jobs so you can monitor changes over time. Ideally, you’ll want to see fewer instances of employee turnover and a lack of career development.

And as Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, says, “The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” This has never been truer than it is today.

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