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5 Challenges Facing L&D Teams and the Learning Solutions That Solve Them

As a consultant at LEO Learning, I specialize in helping organizations solve a wide range of challenges that are blocking their path to long-term strategic change and success.

Over the last year or so, some common themes and trends have emerged in terms of the key challenges organizations and their learning teams want to solve. In the rest of this article, I’ll look at five of these and outline some of the learning solutions our consultants are using to address them.

1) Making the Best Use of Learning Technologies

Many organizations are on the lookout for a platform or tool that will solve all of their problems. Unfortunately, a single solution will rarely solve everything—and it’s easy to make costly mistakes in the pursuit of that goal.

What can help, instead, is focusing on building a learning ecosystem that makes the best use of existing learning technologies and allows for new tools to be added as and when new requirements arise.

We help organizations review the technologies they already have in place. Based on their goals, our consultants then plot out a learning technology strategy that leverages these existing systems—and where absolutely necessary, allows the seamless implementation of new tools in a sustainable, cost-effective way.

2) Delivering Learning in the Flow of Work

Organizations often tell us that ‘they don’t have a learning culture’ and seek help from us to build one from scratch. The reality is that every organization has a learning culture. A learning culture isn’t a ‘formal system’—it’s informal and most likely, unorganized. It could be watching how-to videos online, looking things up on the company’s SharePoint, or simply asking a colleague for advice. A learning culture is all of the ways your staff naturally learn at work.

The real challenge is understanding how to harness this more informal learning culture to drive the effectiveness of your learning programs.

We’ve found that the key to this is to essentially meet learners ‘where they are’. That means understanding how your people currently learn at work and the tools and platforms they use to build skills and knowledge. It’s then a case of targeting those learner behaviors and leveraging existing technical infrastructure to deliver learning in the most effective way.

Our recent work with Fidelity International is a great example of this type of approach.

3) Building Capabilities Within L&D Teams

Organizations are changing rapidly, and it’s up to L&D departments to keep up and react to this rapid pace of change. This means being able to respond to changing needs in the business in an agile way.

We solve this challenge by raising the capabilities of internal L&D teams. This enables them to be more responsive and iterative in the way they deliver and design learning. This might involve technical skills, such as content authoring, or enhancing strategic thinking. Part of the process is working with teams to understand the key competencies required to more effectively support the business.

We’re also increasingly seeing that the role of L&D teams is changing. The challenge now is to take on the role of performance consultants, supporting the business to achieve key goals with targeted training and development.

To help this transition, our consultants work with organizations on developing their learning strategy, mapping the technologies, processes, and skills they need to drive high performance across their organization. This is different for every organization, and it’s understanding where they are now and then defining where they want to be in the future.

4) Gaining Buy-in at Board Level to Drive Strategic Change

The ability to deliver large-scale strategic change across an organization is the goal for many, but it requires buy-in from the board to make it a reality.

The best way to gain solid investment from the business is to gather evidence that demonstrates the validity of the proposed approach. We help L&D leaders build business cases for change by drawing together robust data and evidence from the latest research, as well as presenting results from our work with other organizations.

5) Learning Measurement Strategies That Shape the Future of Learning

Many organizations still face a challenge just getting started with learning measurement.

Our consulting team are continuing to work on ways to make implementing a measurement strategy both more accessible, and practical. Our new three-step learning measurement program and accompanying workshops are part of this effort.

For many teams, alongside the drive to measure business impact is a wider goal to start leveraging data insights to refine and shape the future delivery of their learning. Building a culture of continuous improvement is now a goal for many L&D teams, so we’re helping them implement tools and strategies which enable them to gather detailed insights on how their programs are performing, and where opportunities to improve exist.

To find out more about Ella’s work at LEO Learning, watch her interview with Learning News:

For more insight on how our experts help organizations deliver effective learning programs, download our ebook, "How to Create Digital Learning That Works".

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