Survey identifies top challenges for learning and development teams


Learning specialist Hemsley Fraser has identified what it calls “the top business challenges” that the L&D profession needs to address, after questioning 200 L&D practitioners, across the public and private sectors.

The company claims that today’s training and talent practitioners must help their organisations to:

1. Deal with change. The number of organisational changes occurring – for example mergers & acquisitions and new hardware/software installations – is increasing and so is the speed of change. Individual employees will also need support if they are to develop the resilience to withstand changes in their own roles.

2. Serve global, virtual or geographically-dispersed diverse populations. For organisations, this presents direct challenges such as developing the ability to deliver learning virtually or in multiple languages, as well as indirect challenges such as developing a communal sense of unity, whether that’s across different countries or even across different locations in the same city.

3. Do more with less. This challenge can stem from internal constraints – such as lower staff numbers or reduced budgets – or from external constraints, such as the demand from customers for increasingly low-cost options.

4. Get the buy-in for learning from leaders. When leaders have to make tough decisions on mission-related activities, training and talent professionals need to ensure that learning remains a top priority and that the organisation continues to invest in its learning infrastructure.

5. Deliver ‘bite-sized’ learning. Learners don’t want lengthy training sessions and managers are increasingly reluctant to sanction time away from the workplace for their teams. Fundamental changes therefore need to be made to the way that learning is designed and delivered.

6. Engage employees. Training and talent professionals not only have to ensure that learners have the appetite to attend training, amidst competing priorities, they also need to keep learners thoroughly engaged through all aspects of the learning experience.

7. Develop leaders. The challenges here are to help leaders understand the need for their own development and also to instil effective leadership behaviour.

8. Support business development. Provide the breadth and depth of skills needed to help the organisation survive and grow.

Todd Turner, Chief Executive Officer of Hemsley Fraser, said: “Training and talent professionals will be able to make a strategic impact if they can effectively respond to these eight business challenges. These are the areas where organisations need support, so best practice is to allocate the necessary time and resources to tackle these priorities.”

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