>The day L&D gains prominence


So my chosen career path has been for a while now learning and development. I really enjoy what I do. I’m able to develop sessions for staff to enable them to learn skills they didn’t know they had and then to go out and do. Then based on all that I get to learn more about how business works and offer my insights to how to continue developing new and more interesting sessions that really tap into what the business needs.

The size of the company I’m working at now (circa 400) means I get to really learn about what the business needs. What I love most about it all though is the freedom to develop and learn because the business is open to it. However, as time is passing by I’m noticing more that my learning is increasing about business operations. Eventually I’m guessing this will also develop into finance and the accounting side of a business. But that’s what’s so unique about L&D. You get to truly understand the departments across the agency and develop initiatives that make a difference.

Learning and development has importance for businesses because they understand that you have to invest in your staff and develop them and all that good stuff. What businesses fail to understand though is that L&D can help businesses develop at every level through staff. What do I mean by that? I mean that as an L&D professional it’s my job to understand how X department works. At the same time I’ll understand how Y department works. I can then take that learning and apply some thinking which centres on how to get the two working together effectively. At the end of the day that’s what a good L&D person should be able to do – facilitate essential conversations that improve business effectiveness.

The trouble with this though is that L&D is lumbered with HR. It’s understandable why that’s happened, and it has to sit somewhere so why not HR right? Well it’s right insofar as no-one else in a business has the vested interest that HR does in the development of its workforce. But what needs to happen is L&D needs to be a dedicated function that sits independently of HR. It’s then that L&D will gain the prominence it seeks. If a business can recognise this and support it, it will reap the benefits of having a team of L&D people that only care about one thing. Business effectiveness.

I’ll save for a later blog what should be included in this ninja team of L&D folks. For now though it’s enough to say that until the day HR and L&D are seen as independent but vital parts of a business, L&D will always play the backfoot no matter how good they should about what they do.

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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

3 thoughts on “>The day L&D gains prominence”

  1. >I'm not sure I understand the basis of your argument for the independence of L&D from HR. It seems to that all of the things you say about L&D needing to know the business inside out and working across all departments with all levels of the organisation; are also true for HR. Like you say- both HR and L&D have a vested interest in the development of the workforce, is there not more strength in working together than fighting against each other? Jane Arthur

  2. >Hi Jane. Apologies I've not replied sooner, have only today realised I had a comment against my post. I agree, there is strength in working together. What I'm suggesting is that one should not be dependent on the other i.e. L&D feeding into HR. In my experience the objectives L&D work towards are not always linked to HR objectives. As such the L&D plan ends up being a square peg in a round hole. What I'd like to see happen is L&D serve as a distinct discipline within a business without being linked to HR. In small businesses this is difficult so I'm talking more about medium to large organisations. At this time of year with business plans being agreed, I don't see my department objectives fitting in with the HR objectives. I see them fitting in more directly to the company business plan. Hope that makes it clearer.

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