New Voices in L&D – Eva Adam, part 2

Welcoming Eva Adam back to the blog, Eva presents an interesting argument about whether or not L&D is an employee benefit. Read on to find out more on what she thinks.

I don’t edit or amend the pieces being written for me. I’m not an editor, and that’s not something that matters for the purposes of this series. Each piece is submitted in the author’s own writing style.

You can connect with Eva on LinkedIn.

L&D as a benefit?

It has always puzzled me when learning and development is listed in job adverts as part of the employee benefits followed by things like private health care, flexible working hours, beer fridge, ping-pong tables, etc.

I have always considered learning and development as a necessity to the business. It is a person or team whose main goal is to provide employees with the guidance and support they need to perform their job to their best. Another important purpose of the department is to identify what challenges are coming in the world of work and how can the organisation be proactive about it and get their employees ready for it.

This is why when I see learning and development as part of the benefits, I get confused…

In my opinion there are two approaches/functions to consider when setting up your learning and development department.

  1. L&D as a performance aid/business support

In this function the main goal of any activities is to support the business to achieve its objectives. This includes performance analysis, performance support, coaching, creating resources for employees, identifying issues and friction in processes, looking at business data and measuring impact. The focus is to provide employees with everything they possibly need on an individual level to succeed in their jobs. The ultimate result to the company is a highly skilled workforce producing higher profits.

  1. L&D as a benefit

Positioning the department this way the main goal is to provide people with opportunities of development that they find interesting or useful and might not connect to their actual jobs. Someone might want to learn how to play an instrument, or how to paint, or how to use a specific type of software that they can use in a personal life. For learning and development to be truly part of benefits it should give employees a chance to learn about something that is their personal interest without the expectation of utilising the acquired knowledge at work, or even acquiring knowledge.

I do think there is value in both of these approaches, and you can also combine them in your practice. The problem comes when the second one being forced to look like the first one…

Published by

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.

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