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Top 8 Learning & Development Trends and Best Practices

This is the time of the year when most human resources professionals look back on employee performance and begin planning their training needs for 2020. As human capital is the greatest asset and the key to achieving business goals, it is important that your team prepares for a highly competitive environment. Here are top eight learning & development trends and best practices you should pay attention to in 2020: 1. Alignment with Business Strategy

Only 40 percent of companies say that their learning strategy is aligned with business goals according to Human Capital Management Excellence Conference 2018, Brandon Hall Group.From conversations and observations with both clients and partners one of the pain point is budget whereby, some programs are based on last year's plan or are not being rolled out according to the current need. We believe that it will be more cost-efficient, effective and transformational if L&D develop and shape learning strategies according to current company's business and talent strategies.

2. Partnership between HR and Business units

One of the biggest mistake that keeps L&D efforts reach its full potential is the lack of planning and support or commitment from leadership. With evolving customers, tools and technology emerging constantly, companies must be more agile and adaptive with their processes & practices. L&D must enhance partnership with business leaders by sharing responsibility in identifying the needs, priorities, design and funding the capability-building programs.

3. Assessment of Capability Gaps

After identification of business priorities, organization must verify that the team can deliver them. The most effective way to do this is for them to take a deliberate, systematic approach to capability assessment. After identifying the most essential capabilities for various function, companies should assess how employees rate and L&D interventions should seek to close the capability gaps. Skills on data Analytics, people analytics, predictive analytics and tools such as employee engagement platforms might help you on this.

4. Creating a Continuous Learning Culture

The need for ongoing learning and development is greater than at any previous point in history. 38% of CEOs believe a shortage of key skills is the top people-related threat to growth. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that building a culture of continuous learning is currently a priority for L&D leaders. People need to reskill, upskill and close skill gaps that also paved way in many way to blended learning -with so many options and combinations of simulations, gamification, coaching, social learning, microlearning, face to face training, mobile learning, AR/VR, etc.

5. Develop Competencies for Future Organizational Goals and People leaders as coaches.

To maintain continued health of the company, HR & Business leaders must focus on developing future leaders. Having to equip them with skills on leadership, communications, problem-solving and agility to name a few. Everyone must find time to learning and people leaders must take an active role to people development.

6. Emphasize Communications Skills

Now a days, soft skills are being considered as one of the most important development needs in a company, in fact according to a survery by Deloitte in 2016, 90% of respondents rated it as a "critical priority". With organizations becoming more diverse, communications skills has to be emphasized. Some of the most requested program related to this are presentation skills, storytelling, feedback, negotiations and emotional intelligence.

7. View Training as an Employee Benefit and Bait for Talent Acquisition

Training has become a critical differentiator for companies. Employees want to work and grow with organizations who provide personal and professional development programs. L&D plays a critical role in engaging and retaining employes through learning opportunities.

8. Systems and Learning Technology Applications

More tools and technologies are now available for L&D to leverage on to enable just-in-time learning and other learning interventions. This has provided L&D with unlimited opportunities to plug and unplug systems without lengthy and expensive implementations. L&D leaders must make sure that learning technologies fit into an overall system architecture that includes functionality to support the entire talent cycle, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, L&D, real-time feedback tools, career management, succession planning, and rewards and recognition.

Sources: Forbes, PageUp, McKinsey and inputs from clients within the region

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