One of the more important challenges faced by companies in 2015 is a shortage of up-to-date technical and professional skills training. With the pace of technology accelerating every year, a great demand is being created for highly trained people who can step up and match the requirements these new skills call for. It may not be easy, but companies can successfully meet this demand head on with well organized and streamlined corporate learning and development.
Organizations require stronger technical capabilities and as a result, are beginning to invest heavily in deep specialization programs such as technical training, apprenticeships and partnerships with universities. In other words, organizations are not universally relying on just short term corporate learning and development. They are looking to develop long term solutions that facilitate far sighted planning.
Technical, managerial and professional skill gaps can take years to fill. In 2015, organizations must focus on building a “global supply chain” for skills and capabilities. They must be able to spot training gaps before they appear, and develop people over time to deepen their training and skills pool. This concept was demonstrated in the Bersin Predictions study, where it was disclosed that it takes five to seven years for a senior geophysicist to enter its organization and become fully productive.
Most companies cannot possibly address such issues as professional skill gaps by remaining focused on short term training alone. One positive solution is to create a global supply chain of required skill sets. Basically, this translates to long term planning. In order for corporate learning and development to accrue efficacy in the long term, professionals must observe capability gaps that exist now and project them into the future. This will allow for the creation of a funnel of known future gaps to be able to forge a skills supply chain for today.
Corporate training is a continual agenda that spans many years – bringing company content, corporate learning and development programs and management methods together. This in turn, should persuade leaders to become proficient in long term planning and skills estimation as well as tactical training. Corporate learning and development departments must also come to recognize the overwrought and cumbersome beast that their overall program has become. This coupled with a close examination of any needless spending, should force a streamlining within all companies who wish to stay competitive. Through the use of custom e-learning development an organization can help to reach the specific learning goals of knowledge retention and performance improvement.
Fueled by gaps in capabilities at all levels, corporate learning and development spending grew by more than 11% in 2014 and to more than 130 billion worldwide. However, further research shows a surprising lack of discipline and structure within the training function. Only 49 percent of organizations have a senior leader running the training function.
- 66 percent of “high-impact” companies do employ a senior leader.
- Fewer than 45 percent of companies have a written business plan for training.
Many companies do not really know where all of their learning and development money is going – they need to strategize and improve the effectiveness of this critical investment.
Without organized, quality corporate learning and development leadership, L&D programs can fail to hit their intended target. They can also in some cases, become difficult to access and troublesome to navigate. This year, as skilled employees become sparse from a recruitment perspective, competition for that talent will intensify. It has become vital for companies to prioritize and organize corporate learning and development for current employees and future less experienced hires.
This can be achieved by adhering to and implementing these suggested steps:
- Assign a leader who owns and runs corporate learning and development across the enterprise.
- Rationalize vendors, tools and off the shelf programs (make sure that they are not being doubled-up).
- Consolidate learning and development budget so that all funds, services and people are accounted for.
- Implement an integrated learning platform and single learning management system (LMS).
- Develop and implement a “learning architecture” which can be defined as; a group of integrated technologies that bring together content, collaboration and L&D programs into an easy to understand set of offerings to help people learn, share information and locate and share expertise.
Corporate learning and development functions optimally when employing the dual prong approach: Short term investment in L&D for keeping pace with new industry and technological developments, and long term planning and vision to enable an organization to stay competitive for the foreseeable future and beyond. Your company can join other competitive organizations in operating their training function for less money and less time investment merely by recognizing where the problems exist and implementing the clear steps designed for L&D streamlining and training optimization.
If you are interested in further reading on this subject, visit our website at Vantagepath.com.