The shoemaker’s children have no shoes. We grasp the meaning of that proverb all too well. Learning development teams realize the importance of learning. However, we often fail to apply it to our own careers.
In L&D, our work helps others learn. We encourage people in their professional development. We pour our hearts and souls into it. Yet often we neglect our own careers. We develop learning for a living, but fail to practice our own learning development.
Learning Is An Investment
This train of thought began as I read a recent article about how employers value training. A survey found 72% of companies cover some or all educational costs for their employees. Why did employers choose to cover these costs?
- Employers and employees saw it as a useful benefit.
- Covering education costs helped recruit and retain employees.
- It showed commitment to career advancement.
- The learning helped the student, but also helped the company.
Committing to professional development is good for everyone. The businesses and stakeholders you work with agree, as shown by the work they do with you.
It’s time to apply this knowledge to ourselves. As we turn the corner to 2017, let’s commit as a profession to invest in ourselves. If you’re an L&D leader, what resources can you invest in your team? As an L&D pro, what skills gaps do you need to fill to enhance your practice?
Why Learning Development Teams Need L&D
In recent years there has been a shift in focus for learning. Businesses are no longer content with learning that does not impact business needs. Business leaders are requiring L&D to show the quality (not just the quantity) of the programs they produce. Therefore, learning professionals now need to understand what makes learning effective. They need the skills to identify effective learning components. They need the skills to diagnose, repair, and produce data on results for their programs.
Through professional development we can change that. The business climate is right to make this change. Businesses demand results. If they spend money on L&D they want proof it’s money well spent. They expect L&D to show which learning methods work best. They want to know what creates good learning outcomes that contribute to business results. They want to see L&D linked directly to business improvement.
Now is the perfect time to step up and show your expertise and value. Embrace your craft. If you don’t have instructional design competency, learn it. If you don’t measure the impact of your learning programs, learn how and then do it.
How Do We Find Our Own Skills Gaps
As we aim to improve our professional development, what should our goals be? The Association for Talent Development (ATD) Competency Model tells us. Their model recognizes how L&D has changed in recent years. It reveals what knowledge gaps exist.
Review that model. Click on each section to understand what knowledge you should have. If there are areas where you need work, make that part of your 2017 plan.
Do you lack instructional design and measurement skills? If so, consider Measurable Instructional Design® Certification. The instruction includes classroom training, but it doesn’t stop there. This program guides you from the classroom to completion and deployment of your own measurable program.
You learn to use tools that support the entire process. This includes design, deployment, data collection, and analysis. You’ll learn how to prepare your organization for measurement. This includes communication and roll-out planning.
Does your leadership development team need its own L&D? What professional L&D skills do you hope to gain this year? If you’re interested in Measurable Instructional Design® Certification, then contact us at eParamus. We’d love to help.
Please follow eParamus on LinkedIn and feel free to connect with me, Laura Paramoure, PhD.
Photo copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo
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