Where will all the flip-charts go? (Part 1)
Part 1 – Time and Pressure
Reading the April 2018 edition of ‘People Management’ magazine (published by the CIPD), I was fascinated by the different perceptions that Learning & Development specialists had of what L&D should be.
My summing up of the different opinions would be: personalised, brief, solution focussed and deliver at the point of need (i.e. designed to solve a specific issue in the business where and as it happens).
This looks great to me and at the same time, appears to lean more towards coaching/mentoring than group training. Perhaps it might include a brief team session to resolve something or a quick look on You-Tube to find out how to do something (particularly useful for technical issues).
Time is certainly an issue that apparently prevents some people from attending courses. Despite the overt messages from many organisations (e.g. ‘your development is important’), covert pressure from management and peers combined with subtle organisational messages (e.g. ‘do more-for-less now’) can create an overarching culture of ‘development is a luxury we don’t have time for’.
Are brief learning activities the answer? For example, the 45-60 minute ‘spotlight’-seminar-style sessions might help to update people with information or to give them the ‘top 3 tips’ on how to deal with something. These sessions can indeed be very effective both in terms of time, cost effectiveness and practical ideas.
Is there still a business case for the one or two-day ‘group experience’? Diverse people from different departments getting together to learn, develop and discuss ideas… meeting others across the business, understanding and empathising with the challenges in other areas… Personally, I hope that this format doesn’t disappear. There is so much more potential learning happening in this environment (when it is done well!) with time for some reflection and the sharing of challenges/ideas/best practice around the room.
I was heartened by a recent study of 2600 people (carried out by Totaljobs website) that 9 in 10 people wanted their employer to offer more training courses and 2/3rds felt training was more critical now that 2 years ago. Apparently 2/3rds of those surveyed had changes jobs (i.e. quit) due to a lack of training opportunities. Also, 100 employers were surveyed: 80% agreed that companies should offer staff professional development opportunities and 90% said training had a noticeable impact on the wider team.
I’m not packing away the flipchart just yet!
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