Why would companies bother to spend on learning if there are no returns on investment in it? This could be, perhaps, one of the simplest reasons for having an architecturally robust and intellectually vibrant learning ecosystem in a modern-day workplace that also holds the key to employees and organisations’ long term growth and development.
Investment on learning
Worldwide, including in India, spending on employees’ learning and development is being increasingly taken as a serious business. It is now considered more an investment on human capital rather than an expense that can be put in the backburner. Have a look at the statistics below, compiled on the basis of a survey not so long ago, to understand this.
· In India, according to a survey, total spending on learning varies from one organisation to another.
· Companies with less than 1000 workers spend about Rs16, 500 as against about Rs 55,255 in organisations with over 1000 employees.
· The average per employee spending on learning is a little over Rs 45,000. Today, more than 80 per cent of organisations in India have some or other kind of learning infrastructure in place.
Pitching for a strong internal learning programme, experts say that such a learning ecosystem needs to be developed with the prime objective of improving employees’ performance that obviously will benefit employers and add to their long term growth and development prospects. This has been necessitated by the need for acquiring new skills and the urgency of staying competitive in an increasingly globalised market.
Re-skilling & scaling up performance
It has become obvious that no amount of spending on infrastructure is likely to help organisations in the absence of a strong learning ecosystem. L&D professionals say while big organisations focus on re-skilling their existing employees, smaller ones spend on improving on workers’ performance.
Need for robust learning ecosystem
So what makes for a successful robust learning ecosystem? The answer to this may lay in the following counter questions –
· Is your organisation’s learning ecosystem in sync with your learning infrastructure to deliver flawless knowledge and training?
· Is your organisation capable of delivering need-based personalized learning? Does your organisation have a pyramidal culture of learning driven by senior executives at the top?
· Does your organisation have a clear-cut learning goal?
· And, finally, are there effective learning tools available to carry out the task of continuous learning?
Crux of the matter
These questions, in fact, make up the crux of any learning ecosystem irrespective of organisation, brands or their tasks.
It is expected that organisations will be able to effectively assess and provide solutions to learning problems. It is imperative to ensure that organisation is capable of providing personalized learning to its employees to up-skill, re-skill and cross-skill them along with necessary certifications.
Having an effective comprehensive learning architecture is not enough. The organisation needs to make sure the learning process yields desirable outcomes from across individuals, teams, external learners and partners and knowledge givers. Effective integration of the learning landscape is vital for effective learning.
Pyramidal learning culture
A pyramidal company learning culture facilitates top to bottom dissemination of knowledge by senior executives, further strengthening operational processes, competencies and up-skilling and re-skilling within the organisation.
Learning driven by biz needs
It is further important to make your business requirements the core of the learning ecosystem. This stems from the necessity of making learning a driving force of your business game plan. And, the success of business game plan greatly hinges on how well equipped your organisation is with learning tools and technology and whether it is open to the idea of offering incentives to employees to learn and to business leaders to assume the role of knowledge givers and trainers.