HRD 2013 - How sticky is your L&D?

By Greg Styger, CIPD Conference Producer

The Christmas break is over, and work has recommenced for a new year.  Whilst the first few days of restarting something after time away are always challenging, I've been surprised at just how difficult it is to get back into the pattern of work.  Emails aren't been answered perhaps quite as efficiently as they were before, and people are needing a bit more caffeine than usual in the mornings; everything is getting done, but perhaps not quite the same efficiency as of a month from now.

This has made me think about the effectiveness of L&D.  For anyone that goes on a development course, inevitably a variety of new ideas, techniques and tools will be offered for participants, with the idea for them to use them to improve their working capacities.  No matter what the lesson is, however, if you're not using it in your working pattern six months after the course, then it can only be deemed a waste of money.

The real value of learning can therefore only be measured by the 'stickiness' of it; how it becomes embedded into an organisation and its people, and how they use that training in work over a sustained period of time to enhance productivity.  Only if the course teachings are embraced and utilised over the long-term, is the course of real value to the business.

Proving the 'stickiness' - and therefore value - of L&D, is, however, immensely difficult.  How do you tell how effectively someone is using the training six months from the course, and how can you prove the value of this to the business?  A measurement of productivity before and after could be taken, but this isn't necessarily proving the direct impact of the training; just a change over time.

This is why I am particularly interested in the workshop on the ROI of L&D.  Techniques and best practice on how L&Ders can prove to senior stakeholders the value of learning in their organisation is the critical cause of any business function, and one that so far has eluded many in not just L&D, but perhaps more generally HR.  Being able to prove the actual value of development courses is the only way L&D can establish itself as a core component of any business, and ensure it thrives in 2013, and beyond.

You can join in the build up to HRD 2013 on twitter with #CIPDHRD13.

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