Many organization senior people feel (I would not address them, Leader, as they are not true Leaders) that investing in Learning and Development for the employees does not worth. They feel rather than developing existing employees by spending a few dollars, hiring of new talent is much cost-effective. Unfortunately – they are not aware of the cost of attrition. Attrition cost is anywhere between 50% to 200% (depending on employee career level, the criticality of the role performed, and the skill the employee possesses). Over and above this – there is an additional cost of productivity loss – because any new resource will have their learning curve. It is proved that investing money in Learning for the existing employees are much more profitable compared to hiring new talent.
So, what should the organization focus on? First and foremost – they must focus on the Learning and development of their employees. They must form a strategy for Learning and Development. The organizations must not shy away from investing some money towards it – as I have mentioned, it will be an investment and will give the return of the investment very soon.
Many of the organizations again focus on the Learning of their lower career level staff members, compared to the senior position or leadership position. The reason is – the organization management feels that they (the senior management of the organization) knows everything and does not require any training! That is the biggest mistake that they made. Learning should be top-down.
First, the senior management must be trained on various cognitive skills that they are using and also on the leadership skill. Leadership skills, it has to be a continuous learning and coaching process, as it takes time to develop and get acquainted with these traits. Once the senior management is trained, then only they will be able to appreciate the need to train their teams and also will correctly identify what Training is required for whom.
Another common mistake many organizations make is – they ask a big chunk of employees to get trained on a particular training – which many times are based on their career level. They prepare a curriculum that is based on the career level or the role. But, what they miss out is – even a hundred employees are working in the same career level and a similar role, their training need may be different. So, what is missing here? The Training Need Analysis.
So, to frame the Learning Strategy of any organizations – we need to keep the following in mind:
- Get the senior management trained on the Leadership Skills
- Do a Training Need analysis for the senior management to identify which cognitive skill training is required for whom.
- For the rest of the population of the organization – first, conduct a through Training need analysis. It is not just about the skill and role of the employees, but we need to do a deep dive here. One approach can be – prepare a pre-training survey for the folks doing a similar type of work and do a fit-gap analysis. This will help to identify the real training need.
- Finally, once we have done a training need analysis – based on this frame a detailed competency development plan for each of the individuals of the organization.
- Identify the common enabler (training/coaching/certification) and organize the program accordingly for the identified employees.