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February 14th, 2022 · 4 min read

Breaking down the top challenges in learning and development (and how to solve them)

Are your L&D challenges related to the work environment?

  • Different standards for managers vs. direct-reports
    Workplace power dynamics that obligate lower- and mid-level employees to partake in learning and development activities but don’t hold leadership to the same standard can make participation seem like a hassle rather than an opportunity.
  • Lack of modern educational resources
    Many organizations still rely on outdated workplace learning methods and resources simply because they have been the standard for many years. Doing so can discourage employees from taking part in the L&D program, especially if the technology is difficult to use or the material itself is irrelevant or outdated.
  • Unchecked biases
    Unconscious biases or stereotypes relating to age, race, gender identity, sexuality and other factors can alienate many members of your workforce and create an uncomfortable work environment that prevents them from participating in developmental opportunities beyond the required minimum.

How to address environmental factors that impact L&D

Are your learning and development challenges related to leadership?

  • Unclear leadership responsibilities related to employee development
    Your managerial staff may not have a concrete understanding of how they are expected to guide, support and influence their direct reports’ training and growth.
  • Limited understanding of why leadership involvement is critical for employee development
    Poorly planned L&D programs often separate employee development from the interests of the business, meaning managers have little or no insight into how the development of their direct reports impacts the greater team and business. This can leave employees equally as confused as to how participating in L&D would impact their own jobs and contributions to the organization. 
  • Lack of updated knowledge on how to effectively support development initiatives for leaders
    Your leadership may not have the skills needed to support meaningful employee growth if they themselves have outdated training and information.

How to address leadership factors that impact L&D

Are your L&D challenges related to employee behavior?

  • Lack of employee participation
    Your workforce may not be aware that your organization offers learning and development opportunities or feel confident choosing which program is accessible or relevant to them.
  • Lack of employee interest
    Your workforce may not understand the benefits they will get out of participating in L&D. They may think L&D is simply a medium for self-improvement, rather than a comprehensive strategy that results in clear and tangible career outcomes.
  • Low completion rates
    If your L&D programs are experiencing low completion rates, it’s possible they’re using inaccessible or outdated methods and technologies that aren’t useful or relevant to your workforce and their skills needs. 

How to address behavioral factors that impact L&D

  • Do employees have a clear understanding of what programs are available to them?
  • Are people managers promoting development opportunities during regular check-ins?
  • Are you tying learning opportunities with tangible career outcomes? 

Overcoming challenges in learning and development

You can address talent development challenges