What is a career in Learning and Development?
If you’re thinking about a career in Learning and Development, you will ideally need to gain some professional qualifications yourself so that you can better advise others.
Your role will encompass a range of activities with the goal of improving the skills of an organisation’s staff, helping them to progress within the company and helping the company to compete in the marketplace.
What is Learning and Development?
Most of us learn and develop skills as we carry out our day-to-day work, but this can be boosted by job-related training. A sales executive, for example, could benefit from a course in managing client accounts, delivering a presentation or team leadership.
What does a career in Learning and Development involve?
A role in Learning and Development involves:
- Working out where a company is now, whether there are any skills gaps and what is needed to progress
- Understanding the culture of an organisation, from the top down, and encouraging a commitment to Continual Professional Development (CPD)
- Carrying out staff assessments and consulting with management and employees about what training will help individual staff members progress, while ensuring that their goals and achievements are in alignment with those of the wider organisation.
- Sourcing or designing training courses, ensuring that they are relevant to the individual and support the aims of the company, also that the procurement of outside training brings a return on investment (ROI)
- Identifying how training will be delivered: in-house or externally, in person or online, individually or in groups – or using a blended approach
As a Learning and Development officer, you will need to look holistically at the needs of individuals and the wider company. For example, a staff member may be excellent at the technical side of their job but need additional training in customer service or management style. You will have an understanding of motivational and behavioural theories and how they relate to adult learning.
You will also need to monitor an employee’s learning progress, both during the training and afterwards in their work, which may involve coaching and/or mentoring.
Why is this important within an organisation?
Offering CPD to employees will help them to feel valued within your organisation, especially if the training is tailored to their specific career progression. They will be less likely to feel that they can’t cope with the work or are stuck at a particular level – both of which will lead to them feeling frustrated and demotivated.
The organisation will also benefit from having staff who are happy in their work, confident in their skills and motivated to do their job. Employees who are supported in their training and development will be less likely to leave the company, causing a skills gap and requiring a costly and time-consuming recruitment process.
Is a career in Learning and Development rewarding?
A career in Learning and Development can be extremely rewarding, giving you the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives and to the company you work for. You will be responsible for helping people in your organisation to advance in their jobs, improve their career prospects and increase their earning potential, while contributing to the overall success of the company.