Learning & Development

1. What is the difference between Training and Learning & Development?
  The fundamental difference between Training and Learning & Development (L&D) is that, the later takes a multi-dimensional approach to Human Resource Development (HRD). L&D involves analysing a situation and making recommendations on how to improve a work unit's functioning. Sometimes an L&D intervention may involve a training programme but may also include coaching, mentoring, process analysis, mediation and retreat planning and facilitation. Training, on the other hand, is one-dimensional and based essentially on what has been referred to as the 'production-centred' approach. The 'person-centred' and 'problem-solving' approaches are generally missing from traditional HRD programmes. The traditional employment relationship performance orientation is based almost exclusively on directly developing the technical skills of employees.
2. What is Learning & Development aims and benefit?
  L&D strategy aims to develop a workforce's capabilities, skills and competencies to create a sustainable, successful organisation, and is an important part of an organisation's overall business strategy. L&D is specifically focused on helping people learn new skills so they are motivated and productive at work. L&D professionals are concerned with getting the best out of their workforce and developing their skills and capabilities to drive business performance. L&D professionals will focus on supporting, developing and accelerating learning in order to build agile and responsive organisations with the capability they need to execute their chosen strategy. L&D, a subset of HR, aims to improve group and individual performance by increasing and refining skills and knowledge. L&D, often called training and development, forms part of an organisation's talent management strategy and is designed to align group and individual goals and performance with the organisation's overall vision and goals. On a practical level, individuals responsible for L&D must identify skills gaps among groups and teams (often through SMART objectives, one-to-one interviews and performance appraisals) and then finding suitable training to fill these gaps.
3. Who is responsible for employee training and development?
  Employee Training is the responsibility of the organisation; whilst Employee Development is a shared responsibility of management and the individual employee. The responsibility of management is to provide the right resources and an environment that supports the growth and development needs of the individual employee.
4. What should the Management do in making Employee Training and Development to be successful?
  For employee training and development to be successful, Management should:
  • Provide a well-crafted job description - it is the foundation upon which employee training and development activities are built.
  • Provide training required by employees to meet the basic competencies for the job. This is usually the supervisor's responsibility.
  • Develop a good understanding of the knowledge, skills and abilities that the organisation will need in the future. What are the long-term goals of the organisation and what are the implications of these goals for employee development.
  • Look for learning opportunities in every-day activity. Find if there is an incident with a client that everyone could learn from; or is there new government reports that give implications for the organisation.
  • Explain the employee development process and encourage staff to develop individual development plans.
  • Support staff when they identify learning activities that make them an asset to your organisation both now and in the future.
5. What should the employee do in making Employee Training and Development to be successful?
  For employee development to be a success, the individual employee should:
  • Look for learning opportunities in everyday activities; and
  • Identify goals and activities for development and prepare an individual development plan.
6. What are the components of a successful employee learning experience?
  The components of a successful employee learning experience are:
  • The goals of the employee training or development programme are clear.
  • The employees are involved in determining the knowledge, skills and abilities to be learned.
  • The employees are participating in activities during the learning process.
  • The work experiences and knowledge that employees bring to each learning situation are used as a resource.
  • A practical and problem-centred approach based on real examples is used.
  • New material is connected to the employee's past learning and work experience.
  • The employees are given an opportunity to reinforce what they learn by practicing.
  • The learning environment is informal, safe and supportive.
  • The individual employee is shown respect.
  • The learning opportunity promotes positive self-esteem.
7. What is the individual development planning process?
  An individual development plan is prepared by the employee in partnership with his supervisor. The plan is based upon the needs of the employee, the position and the organisation. A good individual development plan will be interesting, achievable, practical and realistic. It is implemented with the approval of the employee's supervisor.

Step 1 - Self Assessment

Step 2 - Assess your current position and your work environment

Step 3 - Identify development activities

Step 4 - Put your plan in action
8. What are the factors affecting Working & Learning?
  • Competition for skilled employees
  • Attracting and retaining employees becomes a challenge
  • Need for additional skills
  • Funding for employee training and development is a concern
  • Less job security
  • Limited opportunities for advancement
  • All these changes point to how vital it is to invest in the learning, training and development of your current employees.
9. How L&D impacts?
  L&D could give impact by enlarging the skill base and develops the levels of competence required in the workforce; encourage discretionary learning which happens when individuals actively seek to acquire the knowledge and skills that promote the organisation's objectives. Also develop a climate of learning – a growth medium in which self-managed learning as well as coaching, mentoring and training flourish.
10. What are L&D programmes?
  L&D programmes can ensure that people have the opportunity and are given the encouragement to learn and grow in their roles. This includes the use of policies which focus on role flexibility – giving people the chance to develop their roles by making better and extended use of their talents. This means going beyond talent management for the favoured few and developing the abilities of the core people on whom the organisation depends The philosophy should be that everyone has the ability to succeed, and the aim should be to ‘achieve extraordinary results with ordinary people'. It includes using performance management primarily as a developmental process with an emphasis on personal development planning. The strategy should also cover career development opportunities, and how individuals can be given the guidance, support and encouragement they need if they are to fulfil their potential and achieve a successful career with the organization, in tune with their talents and aspirations. The actions required providing men and women of promise with a sequence of learning activities and experiences that will equip them for whatever level of responsibility they have the ability to reach should be included in the strategy.
11. What are the elements of L&D strategy?
  L&D strategy outlines the approach an organisation adopts to ensure that now and in the future, learning and development activities support the achievement of its goals by enhancing the skills and capacities of individuals and teams. It is often called strategic human resource development. L&D strategy should be business-led in the sense that it is designed to support the achievement of business goals by promoting human capital advantage. But it should also be people-led, which means taking into account the needs and aspirations of people to grow and develop. Achieving the latter aim will support the attainment of the prior and the strategy will aim to develop a learning culture.
12. What is a learning culture and how can it be developed?
  A learning culture is one that promotes learning because it is recognised by top management, line managers and employees generally as an essential organisational process to which they are committed and in which they engage continuously. To create a learning culture, it is necessary to develop organisational practices that raise commitment amongst employees and give employees a sense of purpose in the workplace, grant employees opportunities to act upon their commitment, and offer practical support to learning. The concept of a learning culture is associated with that of the learning organisation.