For over 35 years, we have had the opportunity to talk with thousands of L&D professionals and feel like we have a pretty good idea of the unique challenges they encounter in fulfilling their responsibilities.
We have combined this insight with data from external sources to develop the following Top-10 list of challenges faced by the learning and development professional. Take a look.
1. Dealing With Change
Organizational change is more common than ever. Dealing with changes due to mergers, acquisitions, technology, budgets, and staffing is the top challenge cited by Learning and Development (L&D) professionals.
2. Developing Leaders
Many work environments are more complex, diverse, and demanding. It is crucial for organizations to develop leaders in every level—from the front lines to the CEO—to support its success.
3. Engaging Learners
L&D professionals must communicate the value of learning and development. Too often, other urgent tasks or priorities seem to win out. It’s a challenge to get learners to attend, actively participate, and follow through.
4. Delivering Consistent Training
When a company is global or geographically dispersed, it increases the difficulty of providing consistent training. The most common challenges include geographic limitations, increased costs, language barriers, translation issues, and virtual training needs.
5. Tracking Skills Application
Discovering the “stickiness,” or sustainability of a training program is challenging at best. L&D professionals must find and implement an effective way to ensure skills are learned and applied in the real work environment.
6. Instilling Conflict Management Skills
Training learners about handling conflict can be difficult. Conflict management is a critical skill and can deeply affect an organization’s success when it is lacking. Conflict can increase turnover, decrease employee morale, and impact the longevity and well-being of a business.
7. Quantifying Training Effectiveness
It is important for many L&D professionals to provide a quantitative assessment of how training programs are impacting their organization. It is challenging to figure out which metrics to use, how to incorporate them into post-training assessments, how and when to follow up, and how to adjust future training based on the results.
8. Improving Learning Effectiveness
Training learners effectively is important. There are so many topics to cover and many require unique delivery methods in order for solid skill development to occur. It is important to ask the right questions and identify the desired outcomes when planning each training session.
9. Demonstrating Value to Leadership
It is the task of senior leadership to determine which activities are worth funding. It is paramount for L&D professionals to demonstrate bottom-line value in order to get buy-in from leaders. Keeping corporate training and development as a top priority in an organization is challenging.
10. Adapting Training to Millenials
Traditional training methods may not work with Millenials. This generation may be technologically proficient, but they also tend to lack important skills such as communication, diplomacy, and relationship building. It can also be difficult to provide training to multiple generations.