Modern-day companies are required to have a branch of personnel that is focused on the learning and development of employees. Most companies deem that it is wiser and more practical to develop leaders from its workforce than to hire fresh new talent. This way, the company’s vision, and mission are protected and promoted. Employees develop and improve as an individual and as a team member. The company, as a whole, progresses and is better equipped to cope with demanding times.
This resource unit functions as the evaluator and developer of employees. They conduct constant evaluations of employee performance and development and formulate programs and learning sessions for the employees’ skills enhancement and improvement. Learning and development also seek to find out the needs in a particular role so they can come up with effective and efficient measures of ensuring the quality of work and productivity. All of those come together to create innovative and creative employees and leaders.
5 Important tasks of the Learning and Development Team
1. Needs Analysis
Evaluation is constant in many progressive companies. This is to ensure that the performance and level of productivity of the employees are at par with the changing demands of the different industries. These evaluations uncover certain needs for improvement or may reveal the readiness of employees to take on a higher level of responsibilities or roles in the company. The learning and development team creates programs to fill these needs. These programs may involve on the job training, classroom learning and shadowing before hands-on evaluation. The learning and development team constantly evaluates the appropriateness of the programs and revises the existing plans to adapt to the ever-changing need of the roles or the company.
The learning and development team build a plan to achieve the required enhancement or improvement of the employees. Adult learning takes place either on the job, in the classroom or while shadowing another employee or leader in fulfilling their tasks so learning from them. Just like in school, the plan is similar to a school curriculum. It highlights the courses or modules that are needed to be completed or learned and there is an evaluation or examination to measure performance or improvement. It is not like school, however, where if one fails the program, one gets retained in the same grade level. In companies, when one fails to exhibit enhanced or improved skills and performance, they get re-evaluated. Re-evaluation may reveal a lot of possibilities. There may be a different need that requires to be addressed or focused on where growth may be pointed in a different direction – perhaps a different role or position in the company.
3. Action Implementation
The learning and development team or department, together with the employees and the management come together and formulate courses of action in correcting, enhancing, improving or polishing of employee skills needed for the job or required for other positions being considered. It is a collective effort. Once the employee begins this program, another round of evaluation is done – to check and see if these action plans are effective or not. Depending on the results, the learning and development team keeps their plans close to update the course of action or plan until the desired results are achieved. The aim is to have exceptional results with every course, module, program or plan that they intend to roll out.
Data is always gathered and reviewed in real-time. This is to make sure action plans are foolproof and effective. The learning and development team helps the employees reach their goals and the company in producing an effective and efficient workforce. All of these should be in line with the company’s goals. No company head wants to promote an employee who is not ready to take on a role with greater responsibilities and tasks. The learning and development team helps in preparing employees for this. Fresh results are gathered for evaluation and re-construction of a new and better plan, because companies employ human beings, not robots, and plans usually evolve. Program improvement should be constant, as change is constant.
Recognition is necessary. It can be in the form of a certificate, recommendation, commendation or promotion for most employees. The learning and development team is the first one who celebrates with an employee for his or her wins in the program or in the company. They are also the first ones who acknowledge one’s hard work. Recognition makes employees feel valued and appreciated. This helps motivate and uplift employees and make them aim for their own personal goals. When the workforce is productive, the company is the one that benefits the most. They produce hard-working employees that are goal-oriented and dedicated to being experts at their craft.
Progressive companies constantly work on providing great products and services at par to the ever-changing demands of the industry. Regardless if a company is into production, manufacturing, service, or distribution, etc, companies promote growth for employees as individuals, and of course, for the company as a whole. Learning and development play an integral role in maintaining and sustaining the standards or quality of work each employee provides.