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Organisational learning and development: who trains the trainers?

Research shows more organisations are investing time in upskilling employees

Globally, leadership is investing more time in the learning and development of their people.
Globally, leadership is investing more time in the learning and development of their people.
Image: 123RF/Dmitriy Shironosov

People are the new competitive edge in business. Products or services can be duplicated and emulated by competitors but nobody can copy and paste the rich, intangible assets of talented, exemplary employees.

Globally, leadership seems to have grasped this concept and is investing more in the learning and development of their people. And this investment isn’t just the money allocated to the training budget; research shows that time set aside for learning and development (L&D) has quadrupled in multinational companies.

Blended learning solutions have yielded an array of new learning approaches and tools, including online learning, social learning and a renewed focus on workplace or on-the-job learning. Individual leaders and experts from across organisational functions are investing significantly more time, effort and expertise in learning-and-development interventions.

With all this investment in organisational learning and development, leaders from all occupational areas and functional fields are being called on to step up their game. Learning and development of people in the workplace requires a highly specialised and experienced skill set, which few L&D people even get to master during their careers.

Who trains the trainers? Who provides the learning and development required to drive occupational learning to the ever-increasing role-players in learning and development?

For a country plagued by poor education systems yet insistent on driving occupational learning, there are remarkably few quality, accredited, tertiary-level programmes that upskill people in the field of L&D. Most skilled, senior L&D professionals have done their time in organisations, complementing their basic diplomas in human resources with experiential learning.

Programmes are available that equip participants to facilitate, assess, moderate, etc but finding a programme that upskills professionals (whether leaders, technical experts or L&D practitioners) in the professional execution and management of organisational people development is a mission that not even all-knowing Google can accomplish easily.

The Wits Plus Organisational Learning and Development short course can be completed online through Wits DigitalCampus or part-time through evening classes.

The course offers the following benefits for organisational L&D stakeholders:

  • the ability to analyse, plan, source and deliver quality L&D solutions in organisations;
  • the ability to connect and engage adult students, strengthening commitment to learning and the overall learning relationship; and
  • the ability to meet professional requirements for learning and development, improving the credibility of L&D and the overall involvement and collaboration of cross-functional leadership in driving a culture of learning.

Make sure your L&D professionals and leaders know how to make people want to learn. Invest in the people who invest in people – the return on investment will be people who want to drive learning and people who want to learn.

About Wits Plus

Wits Plus, the Centre for Part-Time Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, offers selected undergraduate degrees, as well as a wide range of short courses. Evening classes make all qualifications accessible to working people. Wits Plus also offers a growing range of online short courses that enable you to study when it suits you.

Visit Wits Plus, Centre for Part Time Studies and Wits DigitalCampus, call +27 11 717 9510 or email wits.plus.marketing@wits.ac.za for more information.

Michelle Wolfswinkel is a Wits Plus lecturer in organisational learning & development.

This article was paid for by Wits Plus.

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