After many months of research and presentations from the finance department, the learning and development and heads of departments, John the CEO of a leading energy producing company, together with the executive management team decided it's time to not only cut the learning and development budget but to do away with the section in the HR department called Learning and development. Ten years of existence and the department could not show its raison d'etre.
Over the last there years the performance of the organisation hasn't been what the board needs, the budget of the Learning and Development for the same period was nearly 100 million. Training was happening, employees were going for trainings in Dubai, Cape town, London, they also were taking trainings from leading global universities leadership development programs . However the results of the activities of the learning and development department were not reflecting on the balance sheet.
For a week, this issue was on John's mind. John a CEO of a leading electricity generating company in the country. John kept wondering how the learning and development team couldn't show results for all the learning initiatives, the conferences and international learning.
John knew he had gotten to the position he was in today as a result of investments in his learning and development done by his former employers, so how could it be learning wasn't working in this three thousand employee company he was leading. John decided to fold his sleeves and find out what wasn't happening as should be so he could get this ship moving and propelled by learning and other performance interventions.
John decided to first look into what were the skills and competencies required for a Learning and Development team. The department had a team of 20 employees serving the needs of the organization.
John decided to see what are the global recommended competencies for Learning &Development and for this he referenced with Association of Talent Development competency framework. John went through the competencies of the learning and development team and hear he found his first answer. While the company was sending everyone for trainings, they didn't skill the Learning and development team.
The second thing John found was that the department was more of administrative of learning rather than actually running learning. He was shocked to find that the company depended on external training companies for learning programs, the company ran no training of it's own except for the induction and on boarding training.
When John looked deeper into the skills and competencies of the 20 in the learning section he saw exactly where to start, to skill this team in areas of Talent development. He found the team needed skills in designing and developing learning for physical and eLearning.
The second place John looked at was the trainings employees were being sent to, their roles in their organisation, their competencies, their performance prior to going to the trainings and after. Looking at the data, John realized employees were being sent to trainings based on seniority and their request for specific trainings. Some of the trainings and conferences employees attended, there was no possibility of them applying the skills learnt on their job.
Looking at the data John knew exactly what to do, and how to build the business case for the reinstatement of the Learning and development team .
Two years later, the performance of the organisation was taking an upward trajectory. on the first year, John had a small budget with which he got the L&D team skilled, John built a learning lab for the company. He got the team skilled in a number of areas, Instruction design,Training delivery, Facilitation skills , performance consulting,course authoring skills to develop eLearning ,using Learning technologies and strategy execution.
John restructured the skills and competencies of the learning and development. John ensured there was a clear link between learning and the organisation strategy execution gaps , that there was a clear link between employee role and the training undertaken ,with reference to performance improvement of the individual and what contribution in the revenue the learning programs are expected to contribute to the Balance sheet.
John moved the learning and development from thinking about training to thinking about how they can improve performance of the organisation by improving the knowledge and skills of employees as well as improving the performance system and environment.
This year the Learning department is designing, developing and facilitating nearly all their trainings, the secret as John discovered was having a highly skilled team ,with global skills .
The learning and development department today runs like a commercial department for every shilling spent ,they can clearly tell the return, the departments measures are not just the number of trainings available, number of employees trained, the department has moved to outcome measures .