Year 2022 was spectacularly the golden period for Learning and Development(L&D) as a function. Undoubtedly it stood out to be a strategic, influential and central function responsible for handling bigger and meatier problems to solve. Keep aside continuous learning and skill building, future-proofing the organization, talent retention, mobilizing the internal talent landscape, powering culture, driving state of art learner experience and many such gigantic responsibilities were on L&D. Overall, L&D was rattled with multitude of expectations.
It’s an observation that the onus of helping organizations navigate uncertainty and chaos seemingly resides with Learning function. The learning leaders and teams did not leave any stone unturned to knock down the traditional silos and exhibited agility by quickly adapting newer strategy and approach. They shifted gears and saw the reality through different lens. Learning as a function lived up to high expectations during the pandemic and post pandemic years and it’s time in the spotlight has just begun.
Organizations continue to re-examine business strategies, workforce models, customer value proposition and organization’s culture which is steered through multiple channels. L&D as a function continues to stand tall amidst the challenging times and an era of massive transformation.
It is interesting to see learning is powering the culture and that triggers employee engagement. This in turn is driving innovation which entails into increasing customer delight and enables staying ahead of competition. 64% of L&D professionals saw their organization’s culture of learning grow stronger in the past year.
While year 2022 heavily focussed on digital transformation there were multiple other facets that took the centre stage which looked like this….
L&D as a function will continue to be challenged in multiple ways as the business goes through a rollercoaster ride.
As we embark into year 2023, prospects of recession are clearly visible and most business will continue to go through profound transformation. The learning function will have to be super agile and support businesses in their testing times. The Learning Strategy will play a pivotal role to have a hand in glove partnership with business. The need for talent upskilling and reskilling will be ever increasing and a demand for relevant, diverse & immersive learning content will continue to be the need of the hour. The focus will be on internal mobility to optimize the talent landscape and mitigate the attrition risk.
Learning teams must be more vigilant and ready than ever. The next wave for Learning function will call for a laser focus on new models of learning, measuring impact and having strategic metrics to measure the outcome of learning offerings. Understanding the challenges business is facing and translating them into opportunities that will enable us to solve for a purpose will be key to our success.
It will be important to think holistically on converging the various HR disciplines to connect the dot and efficiently articulate the L&D story. We will have to harness the power of technology, focus on outcomes through data and metrics to draw meaningful insights. Learner experience will continue to take the centre stage and will need focused attention.
The learning function will revolve around some key tenets as we enter into 2023 and they would be:
For L&D function to continue to be in the limelight and have the golden spot they are at, they need to:
- Strengthen their business acumen and strategically align to the business priority.
- Wear their own oxygen mask and continuously keep upskilling themselves.
- Reimagine the roles required in building a solid L&D function.
- Exhibit consulting expertise and solutioning mindset with a clear vision.
- Leverage technology and be at the helm of it while building a robust learning ecosystem for the organization.
- Have a solid learning strategy with the learner experience at the centre.
- Define key metrics to measure impact of learning offerings- focus on outcomes over outputs.
- Build their muscle to handle and solve the bigger and strategic problems that organizations are challenged with.
Dr. Sonal Modi
Global Vice President – Learning & Development Mastercard