We all know that learning is a lifelong process, having said that, the corporates and organizations always are on their toes to train their employees for even a little change or upgrade in the industry. The learning & Development Manager is responsible for the training and growth of all employees in an organization.
Further, An L&D manager takes the charge of developing the talents of the employees to their full potential also nurturing individual and organizational needs.
The role of the L& D manager is challenging and fast-changing but at the same time very rewarding and interesting. The L&D manager has to research, create implement design, develop, educate, train, and do performance analysis on a regular basis.
Providing effective Training solutions, driving training initiatives, and implementing the effectiveness is the major role of the Training and development manager.
The Learning and Development Manager is responsible for improving the productivity of the organization’s employees as he identifies the organizational developmental needs to drive training initiatives and arranges suitable training solutions for employees.
Following are the Important Skills required for a Learning and Development manager to possess.
1. Project Management Skills
As an L&D manager, you need to face and tackle rapid changes in your constantly growing organization. You need to manage multiple pieces of training, so facing new businesses, new processes & systems, new people, and new situations. So being an L&D manager is being in a dynamic environment. So having project management skills is an essential requirement for the L&D manager. To be precise, as an L&D manager you should have the knowledge of managing the projects with skills such as program management, the know-how of the project life cycle, creation of action plans, risk management, executing process group, time management of project cost and quality controls.
2. Effective Communication: Written & Verbal
Communication is a wide concept, but as an L&D manager, you need to be excellent in both Verbal and Written communication. Strong writing skills will you the leverage to make strong copies, learning materials developing courses. When it comes to training people in the organization the L&D manager has to understand the needs of the employees as well as peers to design and develop effective and results-oriented training sessions. Being an effective communicator is having an active listening skills, being empathetic, attentive, sensible, and unbiased while communicating with others. So being an L&D manager is always being the best communicator.
3. People Skills
The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.
Being Empathetic and communicating well with the employees is only one term when understanding people skills. Understanding people is crucial while working with people so when it comes to Training and Development in any organization, people skill is a must-have skill in the manager. As an L&D Professional, you need to understand and let the employees know that you understand them is what people skills are all about.
4. Critical Thinking Skill
Critical thinking is nothing but “Being Mindful about Thinking”
Critical Thinking is the careful and thoughtful examination of one’s thoughts and ideas with the aim of determining whether those thoughts and ideas really make sense. As a critical thinker, you must have the ability to connect critical thinking to feelings for greater emotional intelligence thus making unbiased and appropriate decision making. Moreover, the skill of effective critical thinking will make you able to make the best decisions even when placed under duress.
5. Collaborating Skills
“Talent wins’ games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”
- Michael Jordan
Being an L&D manager you need to be the best of the best team player & the most important skill is to know to collaborate. As an L&D manager, your collaboration skills will increase your productivity, add frugality, help you delegate better and correctly resulting to better outputs. Furthermore, the collaboration skills will build a sense of ownership and motivate the team to achieve the common goal. In the long run, being humble, a good listener, being open to ideas, positive thinking, and respecting your stakeholders will make you the master of collaborating skills.
6. Relationship Building Skills
As a Learning and Development Manager, you need to not only deal with the important stakeholders of the organization. Without a doubt, your communication skills and skills of building long-lasting relationships with them will help your business the most. Again interpersonal skills like communication, contribution to your team, empathy, listening actively, responding proactively, and getting involved are crucial. These will not only have a good reputation but make a strong and long-term relationship with your team members.
7. Facilitating + Presentation Skills
As the title of your designation clearly depicts, you are responsible for the learning and development of the organization. Facilitating is the way to help learners to acquire, retain and apply knowledge. However, the best way to be a good facilitator is to be in charge, be professional, be open to appreciation, acknowledge the wisdom and know-how to manage and monitor the performance of the learner or group of learners. Being a good facilitator along with good presentation skills is the prerequisite of an L&D manager.
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8. Technical Skills
Although many may say that there are no technical skills required for being a Learning and Development manager nut with this rapidly changing environment and advancement in technologies it is evident that upskilling and reskilling has a major role to play in every domain and department. Recently during the pandemic, we saw a rapid shift from classroom training or blended training to Virtual training. And with this came the revolution of E-learning and the demand for E-learning developers increased at par. As a result of these skills requirements, it has become a mandate for the Learning and Development managers to know the technicalities of the tools and soft wares used in the development. Along with the in-depth knowledge of the classic tools; Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, it is suggested to have the knowledge and know-how of some rapid E-Learning authoring tools such as Articulate 360, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Camtasia, PowToon, and many more tools.
9. Leadership Skills
Any manager is not a good manager unless he is an effective leader. Integrity, insight, and inclusiveness, are the three essentials of leadership.
- Sadguru (Indian Yoga and Proponent of Spirituality)
Being into the role of Learning and development manager you need to be assertive and kind and focus on developing others. A great leader always knows how to delegate and give ownership, earn the trust, know to hire and develop the best, think big, know how to be frugal, Know the art of saying “NO” and also commit when and where required, and finally know to deliver results.
10. Change Management Skills
Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.
John. C. Maxwell
Who Moved My Cheese? The very famous book on change management was written by Dr. Spencer Johnson and is a must-read for everyone who needs to understand change management. Yes, being the learning and Development manager you need to know about the dynamic role you play in the organization. Training is needed only when there is a change needed to fill the learning and skills gap.
Having followed these enables organizations to input a set of metrics that or Thus, change management skills are a must-have for L&D Professionals to do their jobs flawlessly.
However, change management can be tackled by simply answering the following questions. The article written by Brian Johnson and Peter Waterhouse, The 7 R’s of CHANGE MANAGEMENT helps you access the change-related risks and also gauge the effectiveness of your change management process.
- Who RAISED the change?
- What is the REASON for the change?
- What RESULT is required from the change?
- What are the RISKS involved in the change?
- What RESOURCES are required to deliver the change?
- Who is RESPONSIBLE for the “Build, Test, and Implement” portion of the change?
- What is the RELATIONSHIP between this change and other changes?
All things considered, we can conclude that these are the most essential skills that are required to be a successful Learning and Development Manager, but we cannot say that only these skills will help you in getting the job role. There are prestigious certifications and degrees which you need to possess for fitting best in this role. Here is a link for one such certification Certified Learning and Development Professional (CLDP)