The Evolving Role of L&D Leaders in the Future of Workplace Learning

The future of workplace learning is already here, and it’s not just about new content or cutting-edge digital platforms. Employees have transformed how they learn on the job, with many seeking solutions on their own rather than relying on learning and development departments. That isn’t to say that the L&D department is no longer relevant. It does, however, imply that it will most likely need to change.

But how do you do it? L&D is becoming increasingly digital for every learning leader. As a result, practically anyone can now learn almost whatever they need, whenever they choose, on their own. What isn’t evident is how learning and development teams should adjust to this new reality. To address such a question, we must first comprehend how today’s workers develop their talents. These individuals operate at all levels of organizations, in large and small businesses, in various industries and job types.

So, today, let’s address this critical question: What is the Evolving Role of L&D Leaders in the Future of Workplace Learning?

Evolving Role of L&D Leaders in the Future of Workplace Learning

People’s investment in an on-demand economy

Most CEOs do not invest in people out of altruism or social conscience. Management invests in workplace training to increase productivity and performance. Chief executives get compensated primarily for delivering value to shareholders, which one derives mainly from increased earnings.

So what if employees are dissatisfied with their training? Because learning and development are among the most potent tools businesses have to boost productivity, research shows that employee engagement predicts future financial success.

People are a high cost, accounting for a considerable part of the operating costs in many firms. As a result, we talk about human capital management more than we talk about investing in people. In recent years, employers have contributed a significant section of the payroll and into the contingent workforce as a continuous efficiency drive.

Freelancers, contractors, and temp workers are also on the rise. A growing number of firms are using contract and temporary (“gig”) employees. Employees value the flexibility and independence of contract jobs above the typical structure of a steady 9-to-5 job in the gig economy, which signals a shift in how they view work. Organizations are grappling with how to train these new types of workers, who may not have access to typical employee systems like learning portals, as the gig economy grows.

When it comes to achieving optimal performance for the organization, the L&D function must think outside the enterprise. As the nature of work changes, L&D is adapting by providing learning opportunities for employees that go beyond standard corporate training.

Again, when it comes to individuals in the on-demand economy, efficiency takes precedence over engagement.

This push for efficiency has altered L&D as well. Corporate training is increasingly given through technology to increase reach, reduce expenses, and improve consistency rather than satisfy the unique demands of Generation X, Millennials, or the Homeland Generation (those born after the mid-1990s).

Investing in efficiency alone, on the other hand, isn’t enough for today’s workers. The desire for efficiency, on the other hand, isn’t going away. As a result, traditional trade tools such as instructional design, facilitation, open source learning management systems (LMS), e-learning courses, virtual classes, and fast authoring tools are still helpful. They’re simply unfinished. In addition to efficiency, tools must handle engagement.


Rebuilding Learning and Development (L&D) for the digital age and democracy

Getting and keeping employees involved in their work is more important than ever, and L&D is critical to accomplishing this. However, the methods by which we train and develop workers must change.

Leaders in learning and development recognize the need to change. They’re rethinking their corporate learning practices to engage today’s workforce better. Many are investing in new technology or more modern content. Fewer, on the other hand, are reorganizing, reskilling, and recruiting for new talents within their own teams.

The truth is that entertaining, bite-sized content and gamified social learning systems won’t suffice to prepare you for the near future of learning and development. To better balance corporate and individual imperatives, you must also embrace new methods of thinking and doing.