Training and Development or Learning and Development department is key function of the Human Resources. While traditionally training and development has played a support role in the organizational structure, it is increasingly becoming a strategic business partner.
As per Deloitte’s 2019 Human Capital Trends research, Learning and Development learning is the top-rated challenge. The changing economy and workplace have made reskilling and upskilling critical to success, there is also a change is required behavioral skills for success in the modern workplace. All these trends mean that training and development will play a critical role in enabling an organization to be future-ready. In spite, of the importance of training and development, only 10% respondents to Deloitte’s 2019 Human Capital survey felt the function was ready to deal with this change. The survey also suggests that training and development has not yet evolved enough to support these learning needs.
This means that training and development needs to revamp the way they function in order to become more agile and responsive to the business needs. One of the ways to achieve this is re-looking at the organizational structure for training and development.
Here are some key aspects which will need to be kept in mind while deciding or changing the organizational structure for training and development:
- Be Agile – For a function to be agile, it’s organizational structure should support agility. An agile organizational structure needs to be highly efficient and functional. This means a flat hierarchy with fewer communication lines and each sub-function working independently though in collaboration with each other. Semi-autonomous cross-functional teams that cater to specific business learning needs can make the training and development organizational structure agile.
- Be a Strategic Parter – Training and development needs to move out of the traditional role of being a support function to becoming a strategic partner of the business. Since the training function is responsible for making the employees future-ready in terms of their skills, they need to work closely with business to understand the skills required. Learning for the sake of an engagement activity does not work. Learning that aligns with business goals to enable the business to achieve their targets is what is needed.
- Be an Innovator – Businesses are experiencing innovation everywhere, but the training and development function has largely stuck to the traditional learning methodologies. Though quite a few organizations are incorporating new learning technologies like eLearning and Learning Experience Platforms, there is a long way to go in terms of wearable technology and Artificial Intelligence. Training and development should be structured to have a separate wing for innovation – creating a center of excellence is another way to go.
- Be Culture Champions – The organizational structure of the training and development function should not only be aligned to the culture of the larger organization but also help in promoting the culture. Training and development play a critical role in promoting the culture through learning initiatives but that means that the function must walk the talk. For example, if the culture and values of the organization speak of diversity and inclusion, then the structure of training and development must be diverse and inclusive
- Become Co-Owners of Learning with Business – Learning initiatives must be co-owned by business and training and development to ensure they are agile and strategic. Co-ownership means that they need to work together to prioritize, plan, define and design learning initiatives together. The people capability agenda should be decided by the senior leadership in collaboration and then executed together as well.
Training and development as a function has always been at the heart of organizational success, but now know that the future adaptability and growth is going to depend on training and development more. Therefore, the time is now for the training and development function to reorganize so that they are well positioned to support the business more effectively.