Leverage Individual Development Plans to Build a Culture of Learning

Aug 14, 2019

Leverage Individual Development Plans to Build a Culture of Learning

After years of complaints from the L&D profession about not having “a seat at the table,” learning and development are both in the spotlight in the crosshairs. 

Developing talent was the top priority of 81% of executive respondents in LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, and their 2019 report said this is the “breakout year” for L&D. Learning leaders find they have fewer budget constraints, more budget for online learning, and more active support from executives. 

Digital transformation is driving this trend. CEOs worldwide understand that upskilling and developing talent is less costly and more effective than competing for skillsNecessity drives the need to create a culture of learning. 

Over 98% of organizations are on a mission to transform the impact of their learning strategy, and most L&D leaders are focusing on accelerating digital because they believe it holds the key to help more people increase their performance. 

Technology as an Enabler 

Our learning technology partners, including Cornerstonefocus on providing the tools and training that organizations need to create a learning culture. These enablers make it easier than ever to provide tools and systems that will support the skill growth so critical in today’s talent economy. 

However, technologies alone do not create learning impact or business results. What matters is how you use them. 

Almost 20 years ago, when some of us were working in startups like Success Factors and Taleo, our companies didn’t have much face-to-face training. We were scattered all over the world. What we had was resources provided by product teams, a well-organized wiki to store them, and each other. We used resources and social learning, and it turned out to be an effective way to build our skills. All the technology we needed were in the wiki, Instant Messenger, and our phones. 

Link Learning and Performance 

Today, technology supports those ways of learning and more. But a more powerful connection is when we link learning and performance. We can do that by putting renewed emphasis on the individual development plan as a part of performance enablement. 

Here are four ways that an individual development plan can help you create a learning culture focused on performance. 

  • The requirement for a plan and the communication that goes with it deliver the message that learning is important. That’s what we do herewe learn and grow. 
  • It moves the focus of reviews and feedback away from How did you do? toward How will you grow. People who look forward to the future will be more engaged and more likely to stay. 
  • The plana provides a means to hold managers accountable for developing their people. If you use metrics to hold them accountable, you can encourage them to pay attention to skill gaps and strengths. 
  • Putting learning and performance into one conversation puts the emphasis on the connection between them, reinforcing the idea that learning is about performance and performance is about learning. 

Transformation is More than Technology 

We often think about digital transformation is about technology, but technology is only the enabler. The change is about how people build the skills and competencies to apply technology to unlock organizational potential. 

Linking learning and performance are the key to unlocking that potentialbecause “High performers are made, not hired.” 

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.


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