May 5, 2023

Learning & Development is the Foundation to Building Resilient Economy

A resilient economy is the one that can withstand external shocks, adapt to changes in the market, and continue to grow and thrive.

Learning & Development (L&D) is essential to achieving this goal, as it helps businesses and various industries in ensuring that their workforces acquire the relevant knowledge and skills — which invariably help them succeed by adapting to the ever-evolving environment and dynamics, and still stay competitive.

To quote Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”


So, how exactly does L&D contribute to building a resilient economy?

Skill development: L&D can help individuals acquire new skills or improve existing ones, making them more adaptable and versatile in the workplace. This can lead to higher productivity, better job satisfaction, and a more competitive workforce.

Innovation: L&D can foster innovation by encouraging individuals and organizations to think outside the box, and explore new ideas and approaches. This can lead to the development of new products, services, and technologies, which can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.

Adaptability: L&D can help individuals and organizations become more adaptable by providing them with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to pivot quickly in response to changing circumstances. This can help businesses survive and thrive in rapidly changing markets.

Resilience: L&D can also help individuals and organizations develop resilience by teaching them how to overcome challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and persevere in the face of adversity. This can help businesses weather difficult times and emerge stronger on the other side of adversities.


Why are organizations spending even more on L&D than earlier?

Among various other factors, the COVID-19 pandemic too has highlighted the critical importance of learning and development (L&D) in organizations. With many employees working remotely and the economy in flux, L&D can play a key role in helping organizations adapt quickly to changing circumstances.

Here are some potential reasons why organizations are investing more on L&D than they did earlier:

Remote work: With many employees working from home, organizations need to ensure that they have the necessary skills and technology to work effectively in a virtual environment. L&D can help employees develop these skills and stay connected with their colleagues and clients.

Digital transformation: The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, and organizations need to keep up with the latest technologies and trends to remain competitive. L&D can help employees develop the digital skills that they need to succeed in the digital age.

Reskilling and upskilling: With the economy in flux, some industries have been hit harder than others. L&D can help employees in those industries to reskill or upskill so that they can transition to new roles or industries.

Leadership development: The pandemic has highlighted the need for strong leadership in times of crisis. L&D can help organizations develop their leadership pipeline and ensure that they have the necessary skills to lead their organizations through difficult times.

What are some of the key benefits of investing in L&D during these times?

Improved performance: L&D can help employees develop the skills they need to perform their jobs more effectively, thereby leading to potential improvement in productivity and performance.

Employee engagement: Investing in employee development shows that an organization values its employees and is committed to their growth and development. This can result in increased employee engagement and satisfaction.

Retention: Employees who feel that their organisation is invested in their development are more likely to stay with the organisation over the long term.

Innovation: L&D can help employees develop new ideas and approaches, leading to innovation and creativity within the organisation, and thereby providing more work satisfaction to the employees as well.

Let’s reflect on some statistics on how L&D is changing the corporate environment

L&D is indeed changing the current corporate landscape in a significant manner, and statistics can help illustrate it quite well. Here are some examples:

Increased investment: According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), US organizations spent an average of $1,320 per employee on L&D in 2020. This represents a significant increase from previous years, indicating that organizations are recognising the importance of investing in employee development.

Digital transformation: The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, and L&D has played a key role in this transformation. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 57% of L&D professionals say that their organizations have increased their use of online learning since the pandemic began.

Personalisation: According to a report by Deloitte in 2021-22, 94% of employees would stay with an organization longer, if it invested in their learning and development. Personalisation is a key part of this investment, with 56% of employees saying that they would be more engaged with training if it was personalised to address their needs.

ROI: According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, organizations that invest in L&D are 80% more likely to see an improvement in productivity. Additionally, a report by IBM found that organizations that invest in employee training and development are more likely to report higher revenue growth and profitability.

Skills gaps: According to a recent report by McKinsey, 87% of organizations report that they are experiencing skills gaps or expect to experience them in the next few years. L&D can help bridge these gaps by upskilling and reskilling employees to address changing business needs.

Overall, with increased investment in L&D, it has been changing the corporate landscape, especially by driving digital transformation, focusing on personalisation and ROI, and helping address skills gaps. These changes are supported by statistics that show the impact of L&D on employee engagement, productivity, and organizational performance.

As organizations continue to adapt to a changing business environment, L&D will be a critical part of their success. As an educator, I do believe that government, industry, academia, and working professionals should work collaboratively to leverage L&D effectively and derive positive results in various sectors and industries — thereby leading to the overall development of our nation.

To quote Drew Faust, the President of Harvard University, “Higher Education is the strongest, sturdiest ladder to increased economic mobility.”

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