Many industry professionals would agree that the L&D i.e., the Learning and Development department makes up the backbone of the organization. A learning and development professional is responsible for the training and professional development of employees of the company.
Anyone with a passion for helping people to learn new skills can do well in such a role. Also, a career in Learning and Development offers greater opportunities to an individual to attain the desired work-life balance. The purpose of this role is to make the most out of people’s talents and help them develop these talents to their full potential.
Skills That Every Learning and Development Professional Should Have
Some of the highest demand skills to become a Learning and Development Professional are as follows:
Efficient Management of Projects
It is important for L&D professionals to be adept at planning, organizing, and controlling one’s training space as well as managing multiple projects simultaneously. One can enroll for project management courses or seek a course certification on the same to boost their chances of landing a job in the Learning and Development department of an organization. Having a background in and around project delivery is always beneficial for such roles. The ability to speak the same language as project management colleagues increase the visibility of any L&D professional.
Needless to say, that one cannot succeed at L&D without the possession of leadership skills. The good news is that these skills can be learned and developed with practice. One of the best ways of developing leadership skills is to volunteer for leadership roles outside of work even if they do not appear to be lucrative at first. There are several other ways to learn how to be a role model in a workplace setting and almost everyone can master these skills when exercised mindfully.
Coaching people to be good managers is not an easy feat. One of the best ways for an L&D professional to develop others as functional managers is to accumulate more knowledge about management programs and how to develop them. Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills also come in handy when learning how to coach managers.
Decision making based on data analysis
Handling enormous amounts of data is the everyday task of anyone working in Human Resources. Unfortunately, a lot of this data only acts as fillers. Extracting the important bits and making sense out of them requires some serious analytical skills. Individuals interested in taking up the role of L&D professionals can boost their chances by learning the basics of data science and data management.
Effective communication is the sine qua non of HR roles. Any L & D professional must be able to carry out all kinds of communication requirements like email writing to report generation, social media posts, speaking with co-workers or subordinates, or public speaking. Certifications in business writing and presentation skills come in handy for such roles.
Planning new course structures and keeping a tab on the progress of individual employees on all fronts is one of the most important tasks of an L&D professional. The ability to make and implement this strategy is well expected from all candidates applying for this role.
Critical thinking helps in making unbiased decisions and looking at the big picture while dealing with issues at work. Critical thinking can be inculcated in a person by voluntarily putting themselves in situations where they must make important decisions very frequently without being affected by external factors.
The importance of networking cannot be overlooked in the business world. Therefore, making meaningful and mutually beneficial connections goes a long way in one’s career including that of an L&D professional.
Teamwork and skills aiding collaboration
There are no lone rangers when it comes to working in Human Resources. One needs to work effectively in collaboration with other colleagues to fulfill the agendas meant to benefit the company’s goals.
The workspace landscape is changing at a very rapid pace every day. A learning and development professional should be able to keep up with this pace and adapt quickly to all the latest trends in Human Resources. A major requirement for landing up such roles at workplaces is certifications in Organizational Change Management. This helps an individual to provide value in terms of networking conversations and also interviews that lead to securing the job.
The main purpose of an L&D professional is to push their organization forward by ensuring that all the employees are well trained to carry out their designated duties. An individual doesn’t need to possess all the skills mentioned above to be a great L&D professional. The list of skills is more of a guideline for anyone embarking on a new career journey as a learning and development professional.