“It’s quite comprehensive and quite different to how training has been viewed traditionally. It’s very much a joint responsibility between the learning provider and the participant and the line manager as well – because the activities we’re asking them to do in the workplace are often going to be things they need to share with their line manager and their team. It’s not isolated from the reality of their job,” she says.
Most learning interventions now are working from back to front – ie they are working backwards from desired business outcomes and building a curriculum from there. Willscroft says L&D and HR managers are always keen to hear about creative ways to measure ROI.
“The key is to identify early on in the design process what are the performance outcomes you’re looking to achieve as a result of the program, and then we translate that into learning outcomes and learning design. Throughout the program there might be a number of ways we’re capturing data to produce evidence of ROI. A good example would be in a sales program where you want to see an uplift in sales revenue. We would engineer that back into what the learning intervention should look like.”
In a positive reflection of the HR fraternity, Willscroft has noted that HR professionals are increasingly able to prioritise the key programs that will have the biggest strategic impact on their business – hence the ongoing focus on management training cohorts of top talent – and are well aware of the retention benefits.
However, Rosamond says he often hears from L&D professionals that their budget is limited, yet the service line GM’s have their own budgets for people development – meaning that all available assets are not centralised or effectively managed, thus leaving the L&D team frustrated and under resourced.
“We suggest a consolidated shared services approach to budget allocation, enabling the expertise within the L&D function to best service their internal clients,” he says.
Willscroft says that some review of the L&D budget is inevitable, but she remains confident that the core elements will come through largely unscathed.