Whatever your industry, learning and development are part of the process, and every employee goes through a course training at some point which is intended to progress their career. For many, though, these training courses are a box to be ticked, and little thought goes into applying that knowledge beyond the day of the course. [...]
Are you a natural leader, one your team happily follow to success, or is your position maintained by constant reminders that you’re in charge? A bossy boss – one who demands they are treated with authority – is never in a position of strength. The sole focus of a bossy boss is ‘I’ – the [...]
Each year the number of people who go to university and obtain degrees grows – but studies show that those increasing numbers of graduates are struggling to find work. Is there a gap between education and necessary experience? A recent government report showed that – once again – graduates are struggling to find skilled employment [...]
How we learn is changing – and how we teach must change too Formal learning has always had – and will always have – a place in L&D, and we will always support the formal learning programmes our clients request. But we also know that people learn in different ways, and that our approach has to be adaptable to support more of them through their learning journey: this is an age of learning evolution. We also appreciate that employees place widely varying value on different learning experiences, and that the training they get is not always the training they might want. CIPD’s Employee Outlook Autumn 2016 report explored this topic, with interesting findings. While 86% found instructor-led off-the-job training useful/very useful, even higher percentages valued learning from peers, on-the-job training, job rotations and secondments. Looking more specifically at comparisons of value with the types of training actually received, it’s striking that 81% valued blended learning, but only 4% had received it in the last twelve months. Coaching was also valued by 81%, but received by only 8%. (CIPD’s Learning and Development 2015 Annual Survey Report also showed coaching as the only learning method that a higher percentage of respondees reported as effect than reported using regularly, which begs an unanswered question.) L&D is also, of course, a business function, and economic factors are an important influencing factor on a changing landscape. L&D budgets are under significant pressure in many industries, especially in the public sector: even in the private sector, as many respondents identified budget cuts as increases. A general picture of rising L&D workloads and decreases headcounts emerges, although increased expenditure on learning technologies is widespread. In looking at training that was both received and valued in the Autumn 2016 Employee Outlook report, it is striking to note that 35% received no training at all. When we consider how much support employees are receiving in being effective performers, it is sobering to remember another CIPD report from 2014 – previously commented on here – that showed that 36% of line managers receive no training in how to better perform their vital role. […]
Where feedback is concerned, there is a shared responsibility that underpins the efforts of both giver and receiver: the genuine intention to support the future creation of better work. Giving it is a responsibility to be wielded with intelligence, and receiving it opens up options and avenues that may previously have been closed to us.
75% of men “believe that teams with significant numbers of women perform more successfully”, which may surprise female readers who had anticipated that a larger percentage of men remained in denial. Their pleasure might falter, however, when they learn that only 19% of men thought that reaching the top level of organisations is harder for women.
Book Review – Turning Learning into Action: A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning by Emma Weber
Turning Learning into Action by Emma Webber is a welcome addition to a canon that is surprisingly small given that it deals with a problem that each year wastes over $500 billion worldwide. Subtitled “A proven methodology for effective transfer of learning”, it is a book for L&D practitioners rather than academics, but its purpose is the promotion of the author’s proprietary solutions rather than the creation of a community of practice.
Worrying constantly and without pause at a problem does not guarantee any greater likelihood of solving it, as human capacity for conscious thinking is both limited and relatively easily exhausted. Our unconscious thinking capacity, however, is far greater, and we tend to underestimate the power of our unconscious memory.
The ‘talent – born or made?’ debate is one of those L&D issues that resurfaces from time to time, although it’s not entirely clear in any empirical sense why this should be the case. Perhaps its longevity as an issue is something that we can chalk down to the power of belief: advocates of each side of the argument could be forgiven – or at least understood – for succumbing to the attractions of their case. One would hope, however, that those working as coaches, trainers, educators or developers might be more swayed by the ‘made’ argument. If not, there is more than a suggestion that they are denying the potential impact of their work – and potential is surely the critical word here – or tacitly abnegating responsibility.
In a society that doing otherwise is effectively daring to signal that we're dispensable, how should we respond. Certainly it was hard to avoid the feeling that Steve, a self-employed man looking to parlay a commitment to festival organisation into an events management business, had chosen to be busy as often as possible. It’s also telling that the most shocking sentence uttered was his statement that you shouldn’t “allow the outside world to demand 100% of you”. Giving 95% is our era’s equivalent of blasphemy.