Even as technology continues to redefine business operations, growing competition among organizations to hire and retain top talent and worrying skills mismatch in the workplace, institutions have not put in place requisite learning and development systems to bridge skills gap, cultivate relationships in the workplace, ensure employee satisfaction and grow bottom lines, experts have said.
Human resources practitioners and training managers continue to grapple with a fast-changing business landscape that requires constant skills upgrade and growing demand for personal development from staff coming at a time when reports point to a worrying trend where both leaders and staff lack organizational skills to take their businesses to the next level.
But even as employees express appetite for learning and development training that has proved effective in an organization’s well-being, studies indicate that there hasn’t been a commensurate investment in them by organizations.
A recently released report conducted by City & Guilds Group business Kineo, a leading global skills organization, indicates that while employees around the world have a strong appetite for learning, they are inhibited by a lack of accessible, appropriate and engaging training opportunities.
The study that surveyed 6500 employees and 1300 employers across 13 markets among them Kenya, South Africa and UK found that while 79 percent of employees expressed interest in seeing a bigger focus on training and people development in their workplace, 85 percent are currently struggling to access training in their workplace.
But even the existing training programmes have also come under scrutiny with only 16 percent of those surveyed in the study finding them effective and relevant to their growth and that of their organizations.
As the workplace learning and development programs fail to meet employee’s expectations, the staff are looking at personalized alternatives with the research indicating that 6 out of the ten employees surveyed invested their personal time in learning, education or training activity, and 59 percent had sought online advice, guidance or e-learning solutions.
It is against this backdrop that players in the Training, Learning and Development industry among them Human Resource and Development practitioners, Training Managers and coordinators, Capacity Development experts, Curriculum and skills development experts, innovators and investors are set to meet in Nairobi Kenya from December 3 to 5 2019 for the Annual Training Evaluation Compendium in Africa, ATECA, conference, the first of its kind in the region.
Themed ‘Value and Accountability in Training Management and Human Resource Development Investments,’ the gathering is looking at placing a pulse on the current learning systems and technologies while championing for increased investment in modern training models that makes business sense to African organizations and their workforce. It will target corporate, academia, Not-for-Profit, government and International Development institutions.
“Due to technological advancements and globalization, our working environment is constantly changing, there is a focus on “employee-driven” or “user-centric” learning approaches.
It is essential that we understand what this actually means for us in Africa. Companies invest billions on learning management systems adopted globally that may or may not be suitable for circumstances that employees operate in, said Catherine Jura Director of Learning and Development at Edify Learning Forum Africa, ELFA, the conveners of the conference.
The conference intends to also develop an open-source compendium of best practices that will bolster and harmonize training, learning and development among African organizations while aligning them to emerging global trends.
“Organizations worldwide have acknowledged the connection between corporate learning development and business sustainability. The current trend and emphasis is on creating and designing a ‘learning organization’ that has acquired skill-sets in creating, interpreting, transferring, retaining and managing knowledge. It is unfortunate that the effectiveness and the appropriateness of the learning organization model in Africa still leaves a lot to be desired, hence, the need to have this compendium,” added Mrs. Jura.