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September 8th, 2022 · 6 min read

How to adapt to a changing learning and development environment

blog header graphic L&D environment

What does a learning and development environment mean?

  • Easily accessible education opportunities that are delivered in a flexible format, allowing employees to take advantage of L&D on their own schedule 
  • People managers who are encouraged and empowered to facilitate regular conversations with their direct reports about career aspirations and professional development goals
  • A workplace culture of learning that’s observed at all levels of an organization, from entry-level all the way to the executive team
  • L&D programs that provide clear pathways to career advancement 

Where learning and development can fall short

  • Failing to uphold L&D as a cultural value
    Companies whose learning culture is not driven and upheld by leadership can dissuade employee participation by making L&D seem irrelevant or not worth the time, rather than an opportunity for advancement.
  • Rigid, outdated or inaccessible learning methods
    Organizations that fail to make learning accessible to employees with different learning styles, work schedules or financial backgrounds run the risk of alienating key groups within their workforce.

    For example, many organizations have tuition reimbursement programs that require employee learners to pay upfront and wait months for reimbursement. This approach alienates employees from low-income backgrounds who may not have the funds to pre-pay tuition — yet often benefit the most from L&D opportunities.
  • Lack of consideration for DEI
    For a learning environment to work across an organization, it needs to take into account the needs of a varied workplace, including workers of different ages, races, genders, sexual orientations or neurotypes. The most successful L&D programs offer options tailored to each learner’s specific needs, addressing inequity head-on with thoughtful programming.

9 steps to fostering a better workplace learning environment

Diversity, equity and inclusion

Prioritize accessibility 

Meet diverse learning needs

Focus on continuous learning

Make learning a part of the company identity

Career advancement and internal mobility

Align learning to career paths with tangible outcomes

Leverage real-life scenarios to complement formal learning

Business performance

Integrate learning goals with company performance goals

Reframe skills gaps as skills opportunities

Create learning objectives that drive efficiency

Crafting the environment you need for L&D success

You can address talent development challenges