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Why Learning and Development Isn’t Just HR’s Job Anymore

Learning and Development (L&D) has transcended its traditional HR-centric role. To create a culture of continuous learning and drive organisational success, L&D efforts should be a collective endeavour, involving HR, department leaders, subject matter experts, and employees themselves.

According to Forbes Advisor, a staggering 22% of workers have reported not having advancement opportunities as a major reason for quitting their jobs. In another study conducted by LinkedIn, it was found that an overwhelming 94% of employees would be more inclined to remain with a company if it invested in their career development. These statistics underscore the need for learning agility has never been more pronounced in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape. 
Organisations that prioritise employee learning and development programs benefit not only from increased employee satisfaction and loyalty, but also from enhanced productivity and performance. According to LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report, the required skill sets for modern work have changed by 25% since 2015, and this figure is expected to double by 2027. This is creating a sizable skills gap. The need of the hour, therefore, lies in upskilling and reskilling. By investing in the growth and skills development of their workforce, companies can create a culture of continuous learning and improvement. 
Gautam Rao, Chief Human Resources Officer at Max Life Insurance, encapsulates this aptly, stating, “When a team is labelled as the L&D team, it inadvertently creates a perception that learning and development is the sole responsibility of that particular team often limiting the engagement and ownership of other key stakeholders within the organisation. By decentralising the learning agenda and engaging leaders, supervisors and functional heads, a true learning culture can take root.” 
Max Life Insurance has recognised the importance of this approach. By appointing a dedicated facilitator called ‘Dronacharya’ in each function and ensuring every team member dedicates 40 hours to learning, they've ignited a culture of continuous improvement. The publication of employees’ achievement data on the leader dashboard fosters healthy competition, turning employees into active participants in their growth journey. This can lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce, ultimately contributing to the company's long-term success in a dynamic and competitive industry.
In fact, several organisations have started investing heavily in learning and development programs. One such example is retail giant Walmart which committed a substantial amount of $1 billion to reskill its workforce. Recognising the need for reskilling its workforce, McDonald’s spent $165 million over the past eight years to prepare thousands of employees for upward mobility. 
By investing in the development of employees, these companies are not only preparing their workforce for the future but also demonstrating their commitment to the growth and success of their employees. 
Needless to say, organisations must foster a culture of continuous learning to stay competitive and adapt to constantly evolving markets. However, the responsibility for it should not be placed on the shoulders of the learning and development teams alone. To create a culture of continuous learning and drive organisational success, it's crucial for Learning and Development (L&D) efforts to be a collective endeavour that involves various stakeholders, including HR, department leaders, subject matter experts, and employees themselves. 
Says Raginie Singh, Senior Director- HR, GUS Global Services India Pvt. Ltd., “Learning and development is not confined to a single department, but a shared responsibility woven into the fabric of the entire organisation. Making it everyone’s responsibility promotes collaboration, teamwork, and a sense of community within the organisation. It also helps to break down silos and encourages cross-functional learning, leading to a more agile and adaptable workforce.” 
Overall, a collective approach to Learning and Development not only enhances the effectiveness of training programs, but also contributes to a more engaged and skilled workforce. It aligns learning initiatives with organisational goals and fosters a culture of continuous improvement, which is essential for long-term success in today's dynamic business environment. 
In today’s ever-changing corporate landscape, learning and development must be seen as everyone’s responsibility. By nurturing a culture of learning, empowering the workforce, sharing knowledge, and providing diverse learning opportunities, companies can create a workforce that is adaptable, engaged, and continuously growing. When learning becomes a shared responsibility, organisations can unlock the full potential of their employees and drive sustainable success.



For more insights on Learning and Development, check out the first episode of WILL Power Minutes:

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