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UK L&D agenda focused on driving organisational change, says survey
According to a new survey, the most commonly anticipated major change affecting learning and development (L&D) over the next two years is a greater integration between coaching, organisational development and performance management to drive organisational change.
Nearly half (47%) state this as the major L&D development in this year's Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) Learning and Talent Development Survey.
The next most common changes anticipated are greater responsibility devolved to line managers (38%) and more emphasis on monitoring, measuring and evaluating training effectiveness (36%).
Organisational development/change management activities will be high up on the agenda for the next 12 months too, with 43% of respondents stating it is set to be one of the top three activities L&D specialists will spend most of their time on. The other two are more operational, with 46% expecting to spend time on management/planning of L&D efforts and 44% on delivering courses/time in a training facility.
The survey found that the focus on organisational development/change management is increasing as an integral part of an L&D specialists' role. Last year it was in the top three activities for 36% and in 2009, just 22%. The CIPD says this focus is clearly influenced by the current economic volatility and the cuts to the public sector, but also by gaps in leadership skills in the area of 'leading and managing change'. Over half of respondents (55%) identified it as a gap, second only to performance management (59%).
According to the survey, the most common focus of leadership development activities in the next 12 months will be enabling the achievement of the organisation's strategic goals (43%), improving the skills of leaders to think in a more strategic and future-focused way (39%) and developing high-potential individuals valued by the organisation (37%). Coaching is most commonly rated as one of the most effective talent management activities (49%), with in-house development programmes second (28%) and high-potential development schemes third (25%).
Dr John McGurk, learning and talent planning adviser at the CIPD, said: "Learning and development specialists across the country will be judged over the next two years on how well they support organisations as they aim to gain competitive advantage through their employees.
"It's for this reason that practitioners should welcome the findings of this survey, which show a move towards greater integration between the disciplines of coaching, organisational development and performance management to drive organisational change.
"We are currently operating in a unique environment of public sector cuts and restructure and a private sector looking to re-emerge from the worst recession in a decade. Both of these challenges will require workforces that are change-ready and future-focused, and equipped with the necessary skills to drive change in the long term.
"The current gaps in leadership skills in the area of leading and managing change and performance management, highlighted by the survey, should be effectively targeted by the increasing focus on organisational development and change management as an integral part of the learning and development specialists' role."
The CIPD says the survey also highlights the need for practitioners to prove the impact of learning and development through comprehensive evaluation. The survey found that:
For more information about the Learning and Talent Development Survey, visit: www.cipd.co.uk/research/_learning-talent-development
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