Chief Learning Officers who belong to the Linkedin Learning, Education and Training Professionals Group were asked by Jason Silberman to describe their three biggest “pain points”. Silberman wrote, “What makes you emotional - what makes you want to punch a pillow?”
While not a scientific survey of Learning Officers, the 97 comments (to date) give us an indication of the kinds of issues that trouble learning leaders in organizations. I’m especially interested in knowing the challenges of these leaders because I’m co-founder of Learning to be Great™, an online marketplace designed to connect leaders with tools and experts who can help them be successful in their jobs.
After reading through the comments by members of the Linkedin group, I identified eight major themes. CLOs worry about…
- Lack of organization-wide understanding of the purpose and intended results of a program.
Managers not buying-in to the goals; learners not knowing why they were asked to participate; leaders not seeing the “line of sight” from learning interventions to performance outcomes.
- Not knowing what results to expect from learning interventions, whether designed internally or purchased from vendors.
- Not having the right training professionals that can provide learning interventions to help the organization be successful. Current training and development staff do not have the competencies needed in their organizations as they are today.
- Managers and learners not committed to organizational learning and the learning interventions needed to improve performance. Managers not providing the attention and support that learners need.
- Lack of accountability for what happens before and after training that supports learning. Managers not preparing learners and not following-up after the program is over.
- Top leadership not valuing employee learning. Their expectations are low and this translates into little involvement and support for learning interventions. They consider training to be a cost, not an investment.
- Inadequate design and delivery of learning programs. Not using technologies that could facilitate learning. Not matching content with method.
- Lack of employee commitment to their own learning and development. Employees not making optimal use of the learning resources that are offered to them.
One observation that is striking about this list is the absence of a need for more resources. It seems that the “pain” does not come from a lack of time and money but rather how time and money is used. CLOs worry about wasting the resources they have, not trying to acquire more resources.