get in touch

Learning and Development: Critical at Every Career Juncture


Jody Barto

Date Published

Feb 23, 2024
5 minute read
Learning and Development

For today’s workforce, no matter your professional experience and tenure with your organization, there will always be more to learn. It’s not just a cliché; it’s a fact given change is a constant across industries. However, emerging technologies and an ever more interconnected world mean the pace of change is accelerating. Even seasoned professionals can’t escape it. That’s why continuous learning is essential for staying competitive and succeeding in today’s fast-paced environment.

Change also creates new challenges that we as leaders have yet to experience. This requires continual learning and professional development to address – and thanks to today’s complex work environment, “that’s not in my job description” no longer suffices as a way to get out of learning new skills. Simply put, not investing in yourself – or your people – is a surefire way for you or your organization to be left behind.

Navigating the Learning and Development (L&D) landscape is a complex exercise in and of itself. To help you begin, The Clearing’s team of L&D professionals share their take on how leaders can support enterprise L&D efforts in 2024.

Interactive & Experiential Training: Maximize Value by Uniting Learners

For training to be effective, offerings must be interactive and experiential versus passive, and available to employees across levels. By passive training, we are referring to the classic “death by PowerPoint” lecture format. In opposition, the interactive or experiential format encourages proactivity by putting learners in the driver’s seat. And there is a unique factor at play in today’s workplace that makes experiential training especially beneficial: our country’s aging workforce. The aging workforce has several implications we’ll save to discuss another day. However, it does create an opportunity for intergenerational trainings that are beneficial for workers across the career spectrum.

When planning experiential training, the focus must be on relevant challenges employees face in their roles at work. In real life, colleagues across levels must work collaboratively and leverage a variety of perspectives to address those complex challenges. Interactive and experiential trainings offer the opportunity to practice those scenarios by bringing together seasoned professionals with emerging leaders and entry-level team members to provide each cohort with fresh perspectives. When problem-solving, the junior cohort may have critical knowledge of cutting-edge technology that when blended with the organizational know-how of team members with decades of experience facilitates solutions that otherwise may have been overlooked. By highlighting these mutually beneficial outcomes, interactive and experiential training allows employees across levels to increase their capabilities as professionals and leaders.

 L&D: More than Training

When we think about Learning & Development, training programs and workshops (like the experiential approach discussed above) are what typically come to mind. However, training is not the only tool in the L&D toolkit. An often overlooked option is formal and informal coaching programs.

We frequently associate coaching with people in the earlier stages of their careers – an inexperienced employee being mentored by an experienced one. However, coaching opportunities can be very effective for individuals at all different levels, including those senior team members supporting the aging workforce. At The Clearing, we have found that experienced senior leaders enjoy the one-on-one focus coaching provides and the ability to select specific areas of emphasis related to challenges they are facing or feedback they have received. For more information on The Clearing’s approach to coaching, download our download our Leadership Coaching Brochure.

If you are planning your Learning & Development options for 2024 and beyond and find yourself in need of help navigating options or creating the right program, I – and my L&D experts, fellow coaches, and facilitators at The Clearing – are here to help. Reach out anytime.