Many businesses could be failing their employees when it comes to L&D and HR. According to research, only 40% of companies say that their learning strategy is aligned with business goals. Of those, only 24% of L&D professionals know how long it takes employees to become competent in their core job roles. 83% of employers believe attracting and retaining talent is a growing challenge within HR, whilst 76% of HR leaders say employee on-boarding practices are underutilised within their organisation.
But where has HR and L&D come from?
Looking back over the past 25 years, HR and L&D are almost unrecognisable. HR, or the ‘personnel’ department, was hidden away behind stacks of paper files and hand drawn spreadsheets – only called out from behind the piles if there was an issue to solve. Similarly, L&D would only be called upon when they needed to stand at the front of a room and deliver training to employees. Both professions were arguably an after-thought of the business, an aid when they were needed but largely brushed aside otherwise.
What direction are HR and L&D headed in?
For HR and L&D professionals, times have changed, and both professions are now seen in very different light – they each play a pivotal role in any business. HR is in place to look after the business and the people within it, with L&D there to nurture people within the business and develop their careers. With both functions adding true business value, employees will feel recognised, nurtured and motivated by having measures in place which allow them to get the best out of their workplace and their career – 75% of employees would stay longer at an organisation that listens to and addresses their concerns.
It’s not all plain sailing, though…
In recent years, both professions have seen major changes and conscientiously tried to evolve to meet the needs of those in their care – where management allows. HR and L&D can often be faced with challenges or stumbling blocks along the way. As such a pivotal part of a business, HR personnel deal with highly emotional and sensitive challenges on a day to day basis. For this reason, when an outcome doesn’t favour the employee, HR often finds itself branded as the bad guy, a tool for businesses to avoid legal issues and rumours – and sadly this is sometimes true. We only have to look back to 2017 and Uber, dubbed an organisation of ‘chaos and rampant sexism’ by one employee, to see examples of HR abused rather than applauded.
Scandal aside, what are the main challenges facing HR and L&D?
- Management Changes
Priorities vary from leader to leader. As a business grows and new leaders come in, strategies, structure and internal processes become vulnerable to change. When this occurs business owners can often experience a decrease in productivity and morale.
Communication is key in this situation, with HR and L&D offering a listening ear and guidance through these periods. With effective HR and L&D in place, employees will be able to understand the why, how and when of the change.
- Leadership Development
Leadership Development is an on-going challenge which businesses face. For a company to function well, leaders should be open and transparent with their teams and have a clear awareness of the aims and direction of the business. There should be minimal gaps in perception between a leader and their team. To ensure this, HR should work to recruit well-rounded leaders who show that they have a flair for nurturing teams as well as doing the job in hand. L&D can then ensure that the right training is in place for both leaders and the team to make sure that everyone is aligned.
- Adapting to innovation
Technology is developing faster than most of us can keep up with, but for a business this is vital. For employees, it is essential that L&D provides training and guidance on any new technology or system deployed with the business – setting clear goals to motivate them to get comfortable with change. But for HR and L&D themselves, technology plays a huge part in their roles and implementing new software could reduce time spent on admin and menial tasks, freeing them up to do what is most important – look after the business and its people.
Good employees give a lot to the business that they work for, turning up day in day out and working hard to grow and develop the company. It is therefore key that a business shows its appreciation. HR and L&D are vital in this, both being able to create a system that rewards employees and continues to aid their development and career progression. Be it a bonus scheme, a progression route or a reward, by demonstrating a need for these to be in place, HR and L&D can help businesses have happy and engaged teams.
- Onboarding and retaining talent
Competition for talent is fierce and employee turnover at companies that don’t demonstrate a genuine desire to help their employees develop is high. From the beginning of an employee’s journey it is vital that you demonstrate that a clear HR and L&D process is in place. Offering a structured on-boarding process and clear progression routes is a key way of doing this. From the start, employees should feel that they are in a company that has their interests at heart, not just the profits. If a talented applicant has an offer from another company, why would they choose you?
How can PCS help?
Our tool was developed for those working within HR and L&D. It was created to help businesses, HR managers and L&D providers to diagnose team climate and leadership effectiveness and find gaps in perception between leaders and their teams. PCS serves to better the climate, culture, productivity and profits of those organisations. Through anonymous, in-depth surveys, based on 30 years of research, employees and leaders are given the opportunity to be transparent, voicing any concerns that they have and where they feel the company could better support them and those around them.
If you feel you could benefit from implementing a PCS campaign, or if you’d like more information, get in touch today – call: 01395 233 040 or email: info@PerformanceClimateSystem.com.