Challenges of a learning and development professional

Hello World! For my first post, I thought I’d write about some of the challenges I have been facing in my career so far, so you can get to know me a bit better and hopefully we can connect on that level too!

So, this is the story of me, a Learning and Development (L&D) professional in a corporate world. It could also be your story.

Ever since I was little, I loved learning and I loved school. I wanted to be a teacher, someone adored by kids, helping them achieve good grades. How easy and amazing it would be!

As I grew older, I realised how much stress a bunch (or better, 30!) kids and teenagers can be, not least because I was one of them. I learned that teachers also don’t exactly have 6 weeks off during summer and don’t really earn a fortune. So, I let go of that dream and placed my career on hold for a while.

Once I started working, I enjoyed helping others with their tasks and training new hires into their roles. It felt good to share wisdom and I liked how people looked to me when they needed help. I thought to myself ‘Heck, I don’t need to teach kids to be a teacher, I can train adults!’. My dream came true after all.

Again, of course, what I didn’t know about where the challenges connected to L&D teams in the corporate world.

 

Here is a short list that you might identify with:

 

  1. Training is often an afterthought.

I realised quickly that the training team or trainer was often left out of decisions on projects that influence how people work, what tools they are using and ultimately how they will learn new skills and do so going forward. Or you are informed on the day a new person starts that you need to dedicate all your time that week to the induction of said new hire. Ugh!

 

  1. Training does not have a (big) budget.

Many companies seem reluctant to invest into their people, starting with the training budget. It is more important to allocate money to the design of new products or bonuses of senior management (Which are, granted, people too.). You can use PowerPoint and video conferencing to communicate with people speaking different languages in different time zones, right? Google Translate is free last time I heard…

 

  1. Staff complaining about boring PowerPoint presentations…

‘Great, another afternoon wasted sitting in meeting room ‘Waterloo’, trying to stay awake whilst listening to an energetic trainer and participating in group activities. I wish the company would provide short, online training modules I could complete conveniently at my desk…’ … is probably what the average employee will be thinking when you drag them into your workshops.

 

  1. Too many different skill sets are expected from one person.

Finally, the company has decided to gift you some money and is investing in an online Learning Management System. You get to name it and everything, how fancy! Oh, and while you are at it, can you create all the content? You know, use Articulate Storyline, Video and Photo Editor, Camtasia and whatever else you need to convert your boring PowerPoint presentations into animated, fun, short little videos employees and clients get to watch at their desks. Without any training for said Software, of course. There is no money for that or hiring a Training Designer now that we bought you that really fancy, expensive Learning Management System…

 

Of course, these challenges are not exclusive to training departments. So if you are working in a different area and can still relate, I would also love to hear your comments!

 

What is the challenge you find yourself most confronted with?

What are others not listed?

Leave a comment and I will dedicate a next blog entry to tackling those challenges.

Join the Conversation

3 Comments

  1. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.

    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like
    this one nowadays.

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Allen!
      This was the default theme I believe, I tweaked it a bit and just inserted the picture into the text – the simpler the better I believe 🙂

  2. This is a really well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your
    useful info.

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