The case of Learning and Development in Eastern Europe
Recently I had an encounter with L&D specialists from different industries. It was during a wonderfully organised event that aimed to bring practitioners together and share some experiences and knowledge. One young gentleman was asked to share his takeways from the day, he got up and said that he has been with the company for over 5 years and that just last week he finally learned what the employees do in their day-to-day. As expected, this was met with a bit of a shock. When asked how come he didn't know this before, he said that he didn't have the time to ask because he was so busy answering employees requests for training registrations.
While some of my colleagues were shocked and others nodded sympathetically, I realised that this is probably the reality for a lot of L&D specialists in a market, such as Eastern Europe. Where UK has the CIPD and the USA has the ATD, in Eastern Europe there isn't a governing body or even a training provider who can explain to organisation what L&D should and shouldn't do.
For example, I have seen over and over again how managers look at L&D as just the team who books their trainings or registers them for a conference or buys the book they so desperately need. But there is a lot more to L&D than this. Or alternatively, they are the people who just deliver training after training without stopping to ask why is this important.
For one, just within L&D, there are several different role - that of a coordinator is usually the person who handles the administrative tasks, specialists of experts provide the most value by designing and delivering learning experiences, and the manager or Head of L&D provides a strategic direction based on the goals of the business.
Everyone in L&D is also closely integrated with the whole of HR and the business. Think of a simple example - if the company wants to introduce a new technology, L&D needs to be there to understand what the current competencies are, what the desired knowledge and skills are and make recommendations on how to best breach the gap.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - there is a lot more to L&D than registering employees for conferences and delivering training.
In my course Introduction to Learning and Development you can learn more about the roles and responsibilities within L&D.
Since there is no governing body within Eastern Europe to tell us how to do it right, it is up to all of us, calling ourselves L&D practitioners, to be vigilant and stay on top! So my dear L&D fellows, learn, be curious, and develop as professionals! It is #uptous!