The UK finally appears to be in recovery from the recession which hit the global economy in 2008, and business confidence is on the rise. But there is still a long way to go before we get back to the growth rate of the economic boom of the mid-noughties. Along with all the government’s fiscal measures, it is vital that British businesses play their part in the nation’s economy recovery, and in particular, it is time for L&D departments to support the workforce as the UK’s economic performance picks up. We are now going to briefly explore some of the ways in which L&D can support the UK as it leaves the latest period of recession.
Getting back to work
Businesses have to make difficult economic decisions in times of recession, including letting staff go in response to slashed budgets and falling profits. Now the economy is recovering, many companies are now partaking in employment drives to attract quality workers. Now is the time for L&D to look at their existing onboarding and induction processes to determine whether they are fit for purpose, and whether they are equipping new starters with the skills they will need in their day-to-day roles, working closely with HR to ensure new employees are supported throughout their induction period.
Stretching tighter L&D budgets further
Many L&D functions are struggling with reduced budgets, which may make quality workplace learning a stretch. Moving from face-to-face workshops to e-learning is one way to cut the long-term cost of training, and reduces the time learners spend away from their roles. However, transforming a learning programme needn’t mean reinventing the wheel. Making more efficient use of existing resources, such as putting them all on a user-friendly learning platform, or facilitating knowledge sharing between internal experts, can make a real difference to the way people learn without blowing an already overstretched budget.
Training to the top
A majority of people holding the UK’s top positions come from privileged backgrounds, creating an elitist top level in areas such as law, government and the military. In order to address this, L&D must be able to target the talented individuals within their organisations with quality learning programmes which will help them realise their full potential. Personalised learning programmes help managers set individual paths for learners, giving them the precise skills and knowledge they need to progress to the next level of their careers.
Integrating learning into the workplace
Corporate learning initiatives should now be embedded into working life. This makes them a more intrinsic, valuable part of learners’ roles, and takes less time than formal training sessions. L&D departments should be making use of performance support to deliver on-the-job learning at the time of need, helping learners ‘top up’ their skills as and when they need them for a more productive workforce.
Seeing the bigger picture
L&D’s expertise is invaluable when it comes to transforming learning throughout the organisation. Every single function should have access to quality learning, whether this is frontline sales staff or back office operations such as accounts or HR. The right organisational approach to learning will boost productivity and efficiency, improving business performance and instilling yet more confidence into business owners. As business confidence grows further, companies will be able to open more new roles, increasing employment rates and accelerating the UK’s journey to recovery.
To find out more about LEO Learning’s vision for the future of learning transformation, Chief Executive Jonathan Satchell and Chief Strategy Officer Piers Lea will be presenting a keynote session at WOLCE 2014 called ‘How has the learning landscape changed – what is the vision for the future?’ from 10.45-11.20am on 30th September. In the mean time, you can download our free ebook to find out more about how you can transform learning in your organisation.