In all probability, 2024 might just be the unicorn year for learning and development teams worldwide. You ask why? There’s more than one reason.
- They are keen to drive business impact but aren’t aligned with goals.
- They’re concerned about budgets but are unsure of current spending.
- AI dominating conversations needs to do away with any gimmicks.
When it comes to learner and learning experiences, there are tech stacks that restrict discovery. Not to forget the classic challenges of time and engagement and clouded career paths.
Sounds like a predicament? Fret not! Here’s a look at ways to deal with 4 crucial challenges to top your L&D game in 2024.
1. Realigning Success Metrics To Organizational Goals
There’s been a good deal of chatter around aligning business goals and L&D teams keeping up with the pace. However, the truth is that L&D teams are in a much worse position than they were even a couple of years back.
Reportedly, 67% in 2023 agree L&D strategy is misaligned across organizations in comparison to 77% in 2021. Also, 67% of business leaders are less likely to recognize the impact compared to 81% two years back.
It’s interesting to note that half of what is being tracked as L&D success metrics falls under the vanity category.
What L&D teams can do about it:
The value of things like post-learning quizzes can’t be summarily rejected. However, L&D teams should focus on translating the performance figures into realizing immediate business goals.
2. Fixing Mixed Signals On Budget
There’s never been a worse time for finances as L&D teams stand clueless. According to an industry survey, more than forty percent of L&D experts have no idea how much they spend on each employee within the organization.
The report also draws at other vital insights as to why such anomalies are happening :
- More than 50% of L&D teams feel they have more workload than ever.
- Practitioners are also reporting fewer external suppliers. The ones who exist are functioning without much clarity.
- A quarter of employees feel the dependency on in-house expertise has jumped, which makes it difficult to assess the price.
Nevertheless, the same industry report shows how 69% of total respondents have witnessed their L&D budget either increase or stay the same. This is in sharp contrast to 2% who have witnessed a decline, while the remaining 11% were neutral in their opinion. Today, the per-employee budget is one, and the L&D teams are working on something else. This was never the scenario five to seven years ago.
What L&D Teams Can Do About It:
They need to run a comprehensive audit of current spending and compare the same to the overall L&D budget. This will give them the perfect cue to ascertain how much of the current spending is driving positive impact and after-growth opportunities.
3. Messy Tech Stacks Are Making It Hard To Find and Retain Information
It’s never a wise call if people have to wait for days to find specific information. By all means, this is not 1950 anymore. Sadly, that seems to be the case for almost a third of employees across organizations.
Yes, the learner tech dilemma is real, and guess what? The learning tools are adding to the friction. Information exists in a scattered manner, thereby making it hard to find when it’s needed. And when one can’t find it, they have to wait for a reply from the other side. This is a significant loss of time, and when the information finally reaches, the need is no longer there.
The reason behind this is the lack of consistency in learning tools and the perception we harbor. More than 60% of individuals aren’t really satisfied with the current tools in their workplace and constantly witness challenges with the solutions available.
Also, more than 35% believe that the number of apps and tools should be reduced to half to gain more clarity and reduce the waiting time for information to be passed on.
What L&D Teams Can Do About It:
Speak with people to understand how they approach situations where they need information. Who do they ask? Where do they go? The conversation should also highlight the regular blockers that people face when looking for information. Accordingly, a tech stack audit should be run to gain a clear perspective on tools that are actually useful. It will also help to find all those apps that fail to connect at the right time or merely duplicate information, thereby adding to the friction.
4. Being More Intentional When Working With AI
A simple Google search will show how AI-based learning and AI content are on an increasing spree. While L&D teams have been already using AI to their advantage, there’s still room to do away with the inherent gimmicks.
As an evolving tech, AI won’t slow down any sooner. However, as L&D teams use the tech exhaustively, there will be a moment when they hit a plateau. That could be detrimental to the whole experience. Sure, you can use AI to generate more content, but what if people don’t need much to consume? It will lead to the crux of the problem. If we can’t get the basics right, AI will only contribute to scale problems.
For instance, if your team lacks a particular skill set, using AI will only cover those shortcomings and exacerbate them for no good.
What L&D Teams can do about it :
Simply put, L&D teams will need to come to an agreement when they will only be using AI when it’s needed. Using a tech just for the sake of it isn’t really a wise call anyway, and won’t solve real-time issues.
L&D teams will need to work with strict principles to identify first-hand problems and deliver solutions for a befitting outcome. For example, training a team that lacks people management skills rather than depending on AI to draft a few copies on the topic or automate tasks.
Solving such crucial challenges demands time and patience in tandem. As L&D teams continue to focus on chalking out a roadmap beforehand, they will be able to reap maximum benefits.