Are you a Learning and Development Program Manager? Here are 3 things you need to know in 2023

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

For learning and development (L&D) program managers, uncovering the answer to this question is essential for enabling highly productive, resilient, and adaptable teams.  

According to 89% of L&D professionals, successfully navigating the future of work requires a proactive approach to building employee skills. In a similar vein, 77% of L&D experts report that their roles have evolved to be more cross-functional over the past year.

Ultimately, the data reveals that L&D program managers need to change with the times and consider the broadening scope of their roles. The increasing digitization of everyday workplace settings and scenarios presents new demands that program managers must prepare their teams for.

By doing so, program managers can create effective learning and training programs that build lasting value for both businesses and their team members — but where to begin? 

3 things L&D program managers should know in 2023

As new technologies have reshaped modern workplaces, the L&D landscape has shifted as well.

Today’s employees want not only to feel fulfilled in their roles but to also have the opportunity to grow. Yet, where many L&D program managers go wrong is following the same old internal learning techniques used for decades rather than embracing innovation and adapting to new expectations.

With this in mind, here are three essential considerations for L&D program managers in 2023:

1. Immersive learning is vital for increasing participation

Technology continues to revolutionize the way business teams learn.

Traditional learning programs are being replaced by more digitally-oriented solutions that leverage the latest technologies and advancements. However, technology alone is not enough to encourage employee participation. The key is discovering how to make new learning experiences immersive. 

When building learning programs for employees, L&D professionals need to balance the digital and human aspects of these programs. Technology is a tool for heightening accessibility and efficiency, but it is not the be-all-end-all of modern-day learning. Employees still need the right level of support from their instructors, mentors, and peers to truly thrive from participation. 

For example, imagine an onboarding program that leverages technology to track learners’ progress in real-time. This information can become a cornerstone to how program managers improve future learning sessions — but it can also be a key resource for increasing current engagement with the program.

Rather than simply using progress reports to improve later programs, L&D program managers should integrate that data into existing programs to give employees a more active role in their learning progress. 

If an employee can see exactly where they are excelling versus struggling, this can inspire action. In turn, L&D program managers can reward this action with the proper resources and internal connections employees need to make the necessary improvements. 

Tae a look at how Netflix Studios adds human touch to their blended learning experience.

2. Personalization drives attendance & engagement

The one-size-fits-all approach to workplace learning is a thing of the past.

In today’s digital world, employees are used to highly-tailored and individualized experiences. 

Just think about the average person’s day-to-day experiences. Social media algorithms curate a feed of what interests a specific user most, financial institutions provide recommendations tailored specifically to each customer, and marketing campaigns only continue to become more and more targeted.  

Across all industries, this high level of personalization is rapidly increasing — and L&D is no different. 

For L&D program managers to build learning programs that employees actually want to attend and engage with, personalization is a must. This is especially true regarding each employee’s learning style, as people are much more likely to engage with a program that fits their personal preferences. 

Of course, L&D personalization is not just a simple walk in the park. 

To design truly custom learning paths, program managers must take the time to assess each employee’s strengths, weaknesses, background, and preferences.

Returning to our earlier assertion, this once again highlights the need for a balance of technology and the human touch. Digital support tools make it easier than ever to collect employee information and feedback but it’s up to L&D program managers to leverage this information in a personalized way.  

3. Continuous learning & improvement is a necessity for skill retention 

The importance of fostering a culture of continuous improvement cannot be overstated.

As an L&D program manager, your most vital responsibility is to build programs that provide employees with long-lasting skills. However, just as technology continues to evolve, so do the nature of the skills employees need to be productive and achieve growth.

For instance, engineering teams must constantly adapt to new technological advancements. To support this skill adaptation, L&D program managers must create a workplace culture that encourages ongoing learning and the need for continuous improvement. 

Likewise, L&D program managers need to develop program frameworks that can be easily adjusted and tweaked as needed. Finding the right learning technologies and platforms is a major part of this equation, as it enables L&D teams to codify knowledge and draw from past, present, and future insights. 

When building a culture of continuous learning and improvement, three key pillars of support are needed:

Internal Mentorship 

Mentors play a tremendous role in the workplace, especially when it comes to fostering a growth mindset and willingness to learn in younger team members. The ability to connect with a mentor both in and out of formal learning settings can be the crucial support employees need to seek out new ways to enhance their skills. 

Technical Know-How

Along with mentors, L&D program managers need to know who their experts are. With digital tools that help you gather around your experts, you can identify the best sources for specific technical information without looking outside your business team. Identifying internal experts is also fundamental to building an in-depth business knowledge base.

Automated Rules

Many aspects of L&D in the modern workplace environment can benefit from automation, from scheduling to feedback surveys. Finding where you can boost efficiency with automation is the key to creating streamlined learning programs that are easy to join, attend, and engage with. Plus, automation frees up more time to focus on program improvement. 

Enhance your capabilities as an L&D program manager with PlusPlus

Learning and development is undergoing a transformation for the better. 

As technologies continue to become more advanced, L&D program managers are gaining access to more effective digital tools that drive growth and innovation within a business team.  

At PlusPlus, our Employee Enablement Platform is built to support L&D program managers through this digital transition. With capabilities for blended learning, personalized onboarding, centralized knowledge, and internal mentoring, the PlusPlus platform has everything you need to achieve your L&D initiatives. 

Book a demo with PlusPlus today to experience the power of employee enablement.

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