Organisational change is top L&D priority
Organisational change and development has been cited as the number one issue on the learning and development agenda in the UK, according to a recent CIPD survey.

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The research, led by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), found that 47 per cent of respondents expected to see organisational change topping the agenda for learning and development (L&D) issues in the coming two years.

Citing performance management, organisational development and increased coaching integration as the main factors predicted to drive the changes, the Learning and Talent Development Survey questioned 600 organisations throughout the UK.

“Learning and development specialists across the country will be judged over the next two years on how well they support organisations as they aim to gain competitive advantage through their employees,” explained Dr John McGurk, learning and talent planning adviser, CIPD, who also said that organisations should welcome the findings.

Among other anticipated changes in the L&D arena were a greater responsibility devolved to line managers, plus more emphasis on monitoring, measuring and evaluating training effectiveness.

With organisations in the UK having to deal with issues such as public sector cuts and the re-emergence of a private sector after the worst recession in a decade, McGurk insisted that workforces needed to be “change-ready” and “future-focused”, and also develop the necessary skills needed to drive long term change.

“The current gaps in leadership skills in the area of leading and managing change and performance management, highlighted by the survey, should be effectively targeted by the increasing focus on organisational development and change management as an integral part of the learning and development specialists’ role,” he said.

The survey also focused on the need for practitioners use comprehensive evaluation methods in order to prove the impact of L&D. The results showed that:

• One in six organisations report that they do not fully evaluate learning

• Post-course evaluations or ‘happy sheets’ are by far the most commonly used method of evaluating learning and development (93%), followed by the use of stories and testimonies of individuals to evaluate learning (56%)

• Half of organisations (49%) frequently assess the likelihood that individuals or teams will benefit from learning interventions before embarking on them

• Half of organisations (50%) frequently discuss the progress of individual learning interventions at appraisal and performance reviews

Source - HR Leader April 2011