What does the Learning & Development team do?
The Learning & Development team (also known as L&D) is one that can either be fully integrated into an organization or have its services externalized. We started developing our own Learning & Development team a few years ago. As one of our main focuses is on continuous learning, it only made sense to have our own, dedicated team. But, especially for newcomers who are not yet familiar with the many ways a business can be structured, L&D might sound like an unexplored land from a video game.
So, what does a Learning & Development team do? Well, from training sessions to workshops, one-to-one coaching, managing different types of communities, guidance on how to change career paths, organizing events with relevant speakers for important topics to our colleagues, and so on, L&D teams have lots of things to focus on. Our team checks all the examples mentioned above and several others. “But what is the purpose of this Learning & Development team more exactly? Are their activities truly helpful to the rest of the employees?” Thank you for asking! Yes, their activities have a powerful impact on our colleagues’ professional and personal development. Let’s dive a bit deeper and get a better understanding of this team’s purpose – yep, it’s time for an Explain-Like-I’m-5 kind of comparison!
Explain Like I’m 5 – Our Learning & Development team
Imagine you’re 5 years old and heading towards your first swimming lesson. Your parents know it’s one of the best sports you can practice to ensure healthy development as a kid, so they would love to see you get skilled in it. But, you cannot master the art of swimming alone. You need someone to guide you through your development, check up on you regularly and ensure your evolution is going according to plan. And that’s where the swimming coach joins the scenario.
So, you’re a 5-year-old preparing for your first lesson. You’re a bit nervous, as you’re about to start mastering a new skill. What if you’re not good at swimming? Or, if something goes wrong during your swimming lessons, what do you? Is there a backup plan in case you won’t manage to understand how floating on water happens? Starting to work on something new can make your brain come up with many what-ifs. And they might scare you a lot.
But after you enter the pool area, it hits you: you’re not alone in this journey. You see your coach standing next to the pool, encouraging and looking after you. As you approach him, you start to notice more and more things: the tools that help you float, the lifeguard making sure everyone is safe and sound, and the rest of the kids waiting to start their journey towards mastering the art of swimming. Suddenly, you feel calmer. You noticed how everything that surrounds you has the purpose of helping you pursue your goal. Now, you are kinda excited. You’re gonna learn how to swim!
Is the swimming coach my Learning & Development team?
Yep, at least in our scenario. If you change a few details here and there, you’ll see that learning how to swim is just like participating in an activity organized by the Learning & Development department. Let’s consider the scenario where you learn how to give feedback, as this is one of the most common training sessions happening in our organization. Your swimming coaches are your L&D trainers. The tools that help you float on water? Those are the materials and resources provided by the L&D team. And the kids who are eagerly waiting to learn how to swim too? They are your colleagues, who are more than happy to learn how to give feedback with you.
Learning & Development is a department focused on employee growth, be it from a personal or professional perspective. Through their events and activities, they make sure you have everything you need to learn how to *insert something that’s beneficial to your growth*. Want to develop your project management skills? Go to your L&D team. Interested in how to achieve a better work-life balance? Go to your L&D team. Curious what are the best practices in leadership for tech teams? Go to your L&D team.
But, each team differs from workplace to workplace. Our Learning & Development team isn’t here just to deliver specific workshops or training sessions. They’re developing and managing communities in different areas of interest where people can learn from each other and grow together. The BA community, for example, is where our BAs get together to exchange best practices, share experiences, ask for feedback, and brainstorm ideas. So, our L&D team isn’t only the swimming coach teaching one person or groups of people how to swim. They’re training swimming teams to be among the best at swimming – because BAs have a common interest/goal, aka getting better at being a BA.
Interested in staying active on the learning side? Make sure your workplace has a dedicated team. It’s nice to know you don’t have to learn how to swim by yourself. And, if you have a specific topic you’re interested in that would match the goals of your Learning &Development team, let them know. The purpose of these teams is to adapt to your needs (that are related to their personal and professional growth). So, while they won’t actually teach you how to swim, they will show you how to better manage your emotions, how to take care of your mental health, how to be a better team member, how to be brave and speak your ideas during a meeting, how to get better at public speaking, and so on.
You can learn more about our passion for continuous learning from our website. And, for tips on how to stay in a continuous learning process as a developed, check out our ideas here. If you want to read more about Learning & Development, we asked our team to help us with an article and a video that explore the topic in more depth
L.E.: The swimming comparison was randomly developed during a brainstorming session a few weeks ago, but we loved how the publishing date aligned with the swimming news from this weekend.