Learning and Development – Talent Management Pillars Part II

Learning and Development_Talent Management Pillars Part II_book macbook pro working studying

Of all the strategies and/or approaches in the human resources space, none are more impactful than that of talent management.  As such, it continues to transcend all industries all over the world.  Why?  First and foremost, people are a company’s greatest asset.  In the same vein, a company’s value is perpetually linked to the success of its people.

Additionally, study after study shows companies offering growth and development opportunities translates to high success in recruitment and retention.  Talent management itself is a commitment from an organization to recruit, hire, retain, and develop employees.

Over the next few weeks, the HR Exchange Network will put a focus on talent management by explaining each tenement and the inherent challenges that accompany them in a series of articles.  These tenements are often referred to as the pillars of talent management.

Pillars of Talent Management Explained

To better understand each pillar, a description of each is below.

  • Recruitment – In order for a talent management strategy to exist, there must first be talent. Recruitment is Step 1 in creating the strategy.  Here, companies and organizations work to attract talented people who can be converted in to employees.
  • Learning and Development – This pillar includes everything from ongoing training to learning during the employee lifecycle. It allows for workers to fine-tune and further develop the critical skills needed to meet their performance goals and to help the company complete its strategic goals.
  • Performance Management – Once hired, talent is expected to perform at a high standard. This process includes the way in which HR measures and improves performance.  Common procedures include performance reviews, one-on-one meetings, and reward and recognition programs.
  • Retention – As defined, retention is about keeping high performing talent with the company or organization as long as possible. This leads to increased productivity and successful completion of strategic goals.

Learning and Development

In Part I, it was said recruitment is currently getting a huge amount of attention and that other pillars mustn’t be forgot.  For those not focused completely on finding new talent, learning and development takes a front row seat.

Want to know more about learning and development?  Check out our Corporate Learning guide.

But Learning and development is changing.

According to LinkedIn, 91% of learning and development leaders say the skills needed to be a successful employee in today’s ever-changing environment are not what they once were. Millennials and Generation Z agree. 76% say the skills needed today are different than the skills past generations have needed.

Armed with that knowledge, many HR professionals and learning leaders are actively trying to bring their learning strategies and technologies into the modern era.  The following are some steps to follow as part of the process.

Research, Assess and Plan

First, human resources professionals need to research what similar entities in the industry are doing to train and develop their employees.  This information can be received in a variety of ways:

  • Case studies
  • Reports
  • News articles
  • Social media outlets

Secondly, lay out the vision, goals and metrics

This is critical.  Why?  All three attributes need to be in alignment with the organizations’ strategies and business priorities.  Without alignment, the learning strategy may provide some minor successes, but that’s all.  A strategy with the right solutions and complete alignment will reap generous rewards.

Why the Learning Culture Drives Business Success

Our Annual Report addresses how to manage a multigenerational workforce and how to increase experiential and reflective learning opportunities, and introduce a variety of training modalities to enhance the current learning program.

Next, inventory what the company has and doesn’t have and uses and doesn’t use in terms of content and technologies respectively.  This information is valuable when looking at potential changes that need to be made to either content or the delivery method.  Additionally, you also need to know the success rate of the inventory.  If it’s working, keep it and find a way to include it in the new strategy.  If not, find a way to augment it for use or “trash it”.

Additionally, gaps in employees’ skills need to be identified.  Performance reviews and one-on-one interviews are valuable here.  Knowing the areas in which workers need to grow will help HR professionals and leaders determine the best course of action when it comes to learning the necessary

The Employee’s Role

It goes without saying, but employee feedback has not always been a chief concern in terms of determining the next course of action to solve or better a current situation.  One thing is for certain, we know this form of knowledge is priceless.  With the change in the workforce, especially as we see more and more Millennials take over key positions and Generation Z continue to increase in size, we know they want to be a part of a solution rather than a part of the problem.  Allow feedback from employees to guide decisions for a new strategy or solution.

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There are many ways you can get this information.  Interviews, surveys and internal discussion board or round table discussions are great examples.

At the end of the day, employees know what they need and don’t need when it comes to skills.  Hearing and using feedback from them will help, not only to guide the decision making process, but it will increase the amount of investment from employees.  This can lead to higher learning statistics and an increased ROI for both the workforce and the business.

The Future is a Learning Culture

Classroom learning, while still an important function for learning and development, it’s certainly not the only way of disseminating knowledge.  Many workers, of all age groups/generations, are looking for experiential learning opportunities.  The reason for this, and other changes, is the reality that every business now requires a learning culture.  It’s a huge part of the overall culture of the company.  A learning culture is agile and timeless.  This means employees can learn the same information in various ways and can access it on their own schedule. eLearning, mobile learning or video learning are great examples.

It’s also important to embed learning as part of the workday.  Provided content that is easily accessible and learning quickly, often referred to as microlearning, is becoming extremely popular as workers balance their days between productivity and learning.  This level of investment will not only create a culture of learning, but will create a culture of personal investment on the part of the employee.

NEXT:  Performance Management:  Talent Management Pillars Part III


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