By August of this year, a whopping 4.3 million American workers quit their jobs in a mass exodus that has been called the “Great Resignation.” Since then, companies have fought to both attract quality talent and to retain the talent they already have. With the average cost of training a new employee averaging between “one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary,” hiring and training new employees is almost always more expensive than retaining and upskilling existing talent.
Even if the labor market improves as the economy improves, companies still need both an effective recruiting strategy for new talent and a robust Learning & Development (L&D) program to retain existing talent. Up to 80% of workers complain that there is not a clear career path to help them meet their goals within their organization. Additionally, an unprecedented number of workers expect to be able to work at least partially remotely—one in three would not want to work for a company that required exclusively onsite work. These realities add up to an urgent need for an L&D program that serves both the career advancement needs of employees and the functional training needs of the organization.
As we approach the holidays and the new year, is your organization ready for these emerging challenges? Do your employees know exactly how to reach their career goals within the organization? Does your L&D strategy offer a direct path to learning the skills your employees need for advancement? And does it clearly and comprehensively identify skills gaps in your organization, many of which accompany remote work accommodations, along with actionable, measurable ways to bridge them? If the answers to any of these questions are “no,” or “not really,” your organization might need an L&D playbook.
What is a playbook?
Accenture writes that a playbook “reflects a plan; an approach or strategy defining predetermined responses worked out ahead of time.” In the sports world, coaches cannot perfectly predict what plays the opposing team will choose, so the team playbook provides options to respond. In the same way, in a corporate environment, a playbook offers structure within change and uncertainty. Sterling Woods explains:
If your company is currently operating with bad procedures—or no procedures at all—then you’ve seen the problems firsthand. Log jams, increased frustration among team members, and wasted time and money are all a result of poor planning. Having repeatable, scalable processes, on the other hand, boosts your bottom line. It decreases time spent training, encourages independence and autonomy on your team, saves time and mistakes, and ensures consistent results.
What should an L&D playbook include?
A playbook is not a rule book, but a flexible strategy that can be both adopted and adapted to fit emerging L&D challenges. However, there are certain questions you should expect an L&D playbook to help your organization answer:
Needs Analysis: How will you find knowledge gaps?
Having a hunch that there are learning gaps in your organization is not the same as knowing what they are, where they are, and what resources currently exist, within the organization, to address them. A careful needs analysis will allow your organization to target the right problems and design the right learning solutions.
Learning Architecture Analysis: How will you decide how to get there?
Learning architecture analysis is about identifying learning objectives and curriculum needs. Interviews with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at this stage, along with analysis of existing materials, will help you define learning audiences and training recommendations within the company.
Solution Design: What will you create to address the gap?
This stage should include attention to issues such as assessing budget; analyzing existing competencies and training; deciding the scope and sequence of training; aligning learning objectives; and creating new content.
Delivery Modality: How will you deliver the training to learners?
In addition to traditional instructor-led training, there is now a dizzying array of modality options for delivering learning experiences, including microlearning, gamification, mobile learning, and real-time 3D environments. This stage should select the most effective modalities for the audiences and objectives of each training intervention.
Evaluation: How will you measure it?
Successful training should offer Return on Investment (ROI), and ROI can only be determined through careful measurement of training outcomes. At this stage, you should consider questions such as of what was learned, what the user experience was, and how the training addressed the identified skills gap.
What will an L&D playbook do for my organization?
A good L&D playbook should offer structure and options as your organization considers emerging training challenges. Our free, comprehensive Learning Strategy Playbook, based on industry best practices and insights from our award-winning team, will guide you, step-by-step, through the process of designing a proactive yet flexible training strategy that will keep your organization competitive in 2022 and beyond. And should you ever need additional help, CoreAxis is here for you. To support your company’s training needs, we offer everything from agile L&D talent augmentation to custom solutions and off-the-shelf courses. Contact us for your free copy of our Learning Strategy Playbook and let’s get started. With a strong, responsive L&D strategy, your company will be equipped to meet any training challenge head-on.