Bravetta Hassell at CLO highlights a new survey with some troubling findings for heads of Learning and Development:
According to Spherion Staffing’s 2016 Emerging Workforce Study, nearly one-third of workers do not feel like their companies provide them with adequate skills training, nor do they think their current skills make them promotion-ready. Further, only 14 percent of workers surveyed said they’d give their organization an ‘A’ grade for learning and development programming. Even more troubling, some 45 percent of companies report they’ve increased their learning and development investments in recent years.
One potential reason for the gap in understanding? Current training offerings aren’t relevant to employees’ daily responsibilities, 45 percent of workers reported.
Our research from this year confirms the magnitude of this problem. The average L&D function has increased spending by 16 percent in the past three years by adding more learning channels, making learning more fun, and creating more timely content. However, our research (which CEB Learning and Development Leadership Council members can check out here) has shown that this spending has since fallen flat.
Harvard professors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey’s new book, An Everyone Culture, struck a chord with the Chicago Tribune’s workplace advice columnist Rex Huppke, who admits that when he started writing his column, he “had no background in business reporting and knew next to nothing about the workplace.” Choosing to fill a role with an employee who doesn’t already have the necessary skills reflects an organizational mindset that puts employees’ individual professional development first, Huppke writes in a praiseful review of Kegan and Lahey’s book:
My company took a risk — dropping me into a job that didn’t specifically match my qualifications. And it made me a better person. …
In the book, companies that embrace this approach are called Deliberately Developmental Organizations, or DDOs: “Their big bet on a deliberately developmental culture is rooted in the unshakable belief that business can be an ideal context for people’s growth, evolution, and flourishing — and that such personal development may be the secret weapon for business success in the future.”
In an interview, Kegan, a professor of adult learning and professional development in Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, explained DDO thinking like this:
AT&T’s chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson recently revealed that he had spearheaded a companywide training initiative, urging employees to pursue online learning on their own time (and in some cases, their own dime as well) or risk becoming obsolete. The company’s approach reflects a reality in which rapid technological progress demands that employees constantly upgrade their skills, but is it fair to make employees face this reality on their own? Here’s what some of our experts think: