Companies across sectors understand that learning and development (L&D) is an essential part of keeping employee retention and morale high. More than this, it's a crucial element in running a successful and competitive business, helping organizations be more innovative and creative.
But is your company's approach actually holding it back? There are many misconceptions about L&D that just aren't true, which could be hampering your development efforts without you even realizing.
Here are six L&D myths that could be stopping your business getting the most from its talent:
1. Generic company-wide training has no benefit
Because of the rise in popularity of bespoke training packages, many HR teams now believe that generic company-wide sessions have no benefit. This isn't true. Doing the same session to the whole business or very large groups can be an effective way of bringing people up to speed quickly. Of course, it's important to make sure the content is relevant and accessible to all participants, but you shouldn't automatically dismiss non-personalized training programs for staff.
2. It's too difficult to measure ROI
With the growing prevalence of people analytics, there's no reason that you can't measure the ROI of training. Often L&D can be a significant investment for businesses, so it's important that you can determine whether it's been effective on a company-wide scale. Make sure you're implementing the right KPIs and metrics before you start a specific session or program and you should have everything you need to prove its value.
3. You have to consult third-parties
It's true that you can access a wider variety of expertise by looking outside your own organization, but this doesn't mean it's the only option. You probably have a lot of talent within your business who could help deliver or develop training sessions that would benefit staff in other departments or less-experienced professionals. This is a cost-effective way of hosting L&D sessions, but it's important you put the same effort into tracking progress as you would with a third-party trainer.
4. Reading isn't enough
Reading books is often seen as an archaic way of learning, but it can actually be an effective way of helping staff to upskill themselves. It allows people to work at their own pace and take in the information without any peer pressure. In addition, reading a book on a topic can be an effective way of gaining insight that you can't secure training in. This way people develop a foundation that can better prepare them for a training session or the basic understanding of a key principle. You can combine reading-based training with gamification to help track people's progress and see who may need more support.
5. All participants must be of the same skill level
Although significantly mismatching the skill level of participants may hamper the success of your training sessions, you don't need every attendee to be of the same expertise. An effective way of managing a session with mixed-level skillsets is to group people off so that there are people at both ends of the spectrum. Creating a group-based task will help the stronger members pass on their knowledge, and deepening their understanding in the process, to less experienced staff in a low-pressure environment. This can be a great way of encouraging collaboration, as well as passing on key skills.
6. You need to make big investments to have any impact
Even with small budgets, training can have a massive impact on your workforce. There are many ways you can make L&D affordable, including applying for government grants, doing a lot of the work yourself, and pooling your company's talent. E-learning is another way of accessing a wide range of expertise on a limited budget. There are variety of free webinars and conferences that can help your staff become more informed on certain topics without breaking the bank.