Why Learning and Development Is Everyone’s Responsibility?

learning and development

The traditional “training” approach to L&D dictates that the responsibility for learning and development is placed upon one department. However, in today's fast-paced and dynamic business environment, this approach is no longer effective or relevant. 

Learning is not an isolated event to be scheduled, but rather a shared responsibility embraced by all employees and embedded in the culture of the entire organisation. The article advocates for a shift to a more holistic and strategic approach to L&D. It emphasizes the need to view learning as an ongoing process that happens in various ways, including formal training programs, and training on-the-job.

Employees should have opportunities to learn from their experiences, reflect on their successes and failures, and acquire new skills on an ongoing basis. This approach often referred to as "continuous learning", emphasizes the need for a learning mindset that embraces curiosity, experimentation, and adaptation.

The most effective way to create a culture of learning is to shift the responsibility for learning from the training department to every employee and every leader in the organization. – Michelle Ockers

While L&D professionals play a crucial role in designing and delivering formal learning initiatives, they should not be the sole owners of learning within an organisation. Instead, they should act as enablers and facilitators, driving the conversation and creating a culture where learning is celebrated and supported. 

This involves celebrating learning as a key driver of individual and organizational success and acknowledging achievements related to learning and development. Creating opportunities for employees to share their knowledge, collaborate, and learn from each other. Aligning learning initiatives with business goals and priorities and using data, and analytics to measure the impact of learning interventions and make data-driven decisions. 

Providing learners with access to a variety of resources, such as training programs, workshops, e-learning platforms, books, articles, mentors, or subject-matter experts.  Above all, L&D professionals should be modelling the learning mindset they want to instill in their learners by investing in their personal development, ultimately, setting the tone for the entire organisation.  

The most powerful tool you have is your own personal example. – John Wooden

In this collective approach to learning, leaders own employees’ learning on the job. They should create opportunities for employees to practice and apply their new skills on the job. Follow up to ensure the desired behaviour has been reinforced, practiced, and learnt. 

Provide ongoing support and feedback to help employees identify areas for improvement, encourage reflection, and drive sustained behavioral change. Collaborate with employees to align their learning plans with their career aspirations and development goals.  

staff earning and development

Guide them in identifying relevant learning opportunities and resources based on their interests, strengths, and areas for improvement. Set clear performance expectations and hold employees accountable for their learning and development progress; Above all, leaders should be modelling the learning mindset they want to instill in their team by taking the time to become the best version of themselves, ultimately, setting the tone for their team and the entire organisation.  

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence. – Abigail Adams

Creating a culture of learning in an organisation requires employees to take ownership of their own learning and development. This entails proactively seeking out learning opportunities relevant to their job roles and career aspirations. Applying their learning to work by practicing new skills and experimenting with new approaches to problem-solving. 

Asking for feedback from managers and reflecting on one's strengths and areas for improvement. Being willing to share knowledge, and open to learning from others can create a positive learning environment and contribute to a culture of continuous improvement within the organisation. Such a positive learning attitude can foster a growth mindset, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and productivity.

My intention with this article was to challenge the traditional approach to L&D and advocate for a more integrated, strategic, and culture-driven approach.  I hope it sparks inspiration and encourages organisations to rethink their approach to learning seeing it as a continuous process, driven by L&D but owned by the entire organisation. In conclusion, it is important to recognize that while the L&D team can help create a culture where learning is celebrated and supported, it's up to learners to actively participate in and take advantage of the learning opportunities.

A company that learns together grows together. – Unknown

Image by pressfoto on Freepik, Image by peoplecreations on Freepik
Previous Post Next Post