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Corporate Learning and Development

Corporate Learning & Development Unpacked

What Is Corporate Learning and Development?

The pace of change in the modern workplace isn’t slowing down. Organizations must invest in their employees to ensure they’re prepared for tomorrow’s challenges. Fortunately, corporate learning and development provides an opportunity to transform the organization and ensure that it keeps up with ever-changing workplace dynamics.

We’re not exaggerating: A recent LinkedIn Learning report found that skill sets for jobs have changed by as much as 25% since 2015 — and that number is set to double within the next five years. Nearly all (89%) of respondents agree that proactively building employee skills will help organizations as work evolves.

Explore what corporate learning and development is and how you can use it to unlock the potential of your workforce.

Corporate Learning and Development Strategy 101

Your corporate learning and development (L&D) strategy is a plan to improve the skills and competencies of your employees. There are two drivers for this type of strategy.

One is to identify employee training needs to build internal capabilities. Training programs help employees acquire the skills and knowledge they need for effective performance. Such qualifications include a combination of technical and soft skills, as well as how to apply skills to achieve the organization’s mission, strategy, and values.

The second driver of L&D is to help employees reach their full potential through professional and career development. When employees are learning in their role, they’re more motivated to stay with the organization because they can see a path forward. That supports better retention and leads to an all-around happier workforce.

3 Learning and Development Trends That Are Here to Stay

Here are three trends employers have adopted to promote L&D as a strategic priority in their organizations.


Microlearning is an emerging trend that focuses on providing bite-sized chunks of information to learners. This type of “just-in-time” learning has become increasingly popular with the rise of digital learning platforms and the need for learning to be more engaging and accessible.

Microlearning allows learners to focus on one topic at a time, making it easier for them to engage with and retain information. Microlearning is ideal for learners with limited time or resources, as the content is designed to be completed quickly and with minimal preparation.

Microlearning is a key addition to your L&D program because it’s flexible and can be adjusted based on new industry trends or new information. This is particularly useful in industries that are rapidly changing, such as technology or health care.

Data-Driven Learning

Data is essential to every business decision we make, and this mindset applies to L&D, too. Data-driven learning is becoming increasingly important as organizations move away from traditional learning strategies and toward technology-first approaches.

Data-driven learning involves gathering data from a variety of sources, including surveys, online assessments, learning management systems, and user feedback. L&D professionals can identify gaps in skills and knowledge, create targeted and personalized learning experiences, track the effectiveness of their L&D initiatives, and make adjustments in response to the data.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Peer-to-peer learning is a trend in L&D that emphasizes learning through collaboration and interaction. This type of learning can take many forms, such as team projects, collaborating in a chat room or online forum, workplace mentoring programs, or even just informal conversations about what you’re learning.

Peer-to-peer learning is becoming popular because of its social and interactive format. Tools like virtual reality may grab headlines, but simple human connections are one of the most effective and enduring tools for training and development.

3 Steps to Designing a Corporate Learning Strategy

While some organizations have a designated L&D function, HR remains a key player. HR aligns L&D with the business strategy so it delivers the skills and development needed to drive business value. Here’s how to create an L&D strategy in your organization.

Identify Your Needs

Before you can design a strategy, you need to assess your workforce’s current and desired skills and competencies. Refer back to your business strategy: GIven where the business wants to go, does your workforce have the skills and capabilities to get you there?

For example, a hospitality company wants to become the go-to event spot in each of its geographies. What skills do you need to make that happen, and do you have them in your workforce? If not, you need to hire externally or develop a corporate training program to fill the gaps.

Set Realistic Goals

Based on your needs analysis, set measurable, achievable goals for filling skills gaps. For each goal, include the type of training, the methods of delivery, and the evaluation process.

Perhaps you’re upskilling employees to take over event planning, for example, and you need to improve their organizational and management skills. One option for training could be microlearning modules that pose situational challenges. These modules are delivered via your workflow management system, and you evaluate their progress by assigning a real-life test project.

Develop an Implementation Plan

Your implementation plan should include clear descriptions of each task, who’s responsible, what resources will be used and what success looks like. Regularly review and update your plan to make sure you stay on track.

Develop an evaluation process to measure the success of your implementation plan. Include a review of the L&D goals you’ve set for yourself, as well as feedback from participating employees.

3 Learning and Development Strategy Examples

The look and feel of your corporate L&D strategy depends on several factors, including the business plan, external factors, and the current state of L&D in the workforce. Here are some examples of basic L&D strategies to inspire yours.

Upskilling and Reskilling

An upskilling and reskilling strategy takes the skills already present in your workforce and determines where you need to expand on or replace them.

Upskilling is the process of acquiring more advanced skills and knowledge, while reskilling is the process of learning new skills and knowledge. Both are important for L&D, as they help employees stay up to date with the latest industry trends and technologies.

For example, artificial intelligence is changing job roles and requiring new skills from workers. While the name of the job role might remain the same, those employees need to be upskilled or reskilled to work alongside AI tools that augment their contributions.

Corporate Training

Training is an important part of L&D that focuses strictly on role- and company-specific education. It can help employees learn new job-relevant skills, stay up to date on changes in their industry, and keep up with company policies and procedures.

A good corporate training strategy accounts for employee and business needs. It should be tailored to the specific industry and the types of jobs that are being done. The strategy should also be flexible so it can be adapted to changes in the business environment.


Workplace coaching focuses on building and improving employee skills and abilities. It’s a collaborative process designed to help employees identify and achieve their goals and objectives in the workplace. Coaching can be led by managers or by internal or external coaches.

Coaching helps to create a supportive environment where employees can explore their potential, gain new skills, and reach their professional goals. Since coaching is often led by managers, these learning opportunities may be embedded in the flow of work so that employees can apply what they’re learning within their daily tasks.

5 Ways HR Can Support Employee Professional Development

Since HR is already plugged into daily operations, you’re in the best position to take the lead on creating and driving a learning culture. Check out these five ways HR supports employee development.

Create Learning and Development Plan Templates

L&D plan templates provide a framework for employees to understand their development plan, the learning activities involved, and the expected outcomes. They give managers talking ‌points to navigate exploratory conversations with their reports.

With templates, HR can ensure accountability by making sure employees and managers participate, follow best practices, and track progress through regular check-ins between managers and employees.

Deliver Learning Content in the Flow of Work

HR departments can take advantage of HR workflow software to create automated processes that allow employees to access learning content in the flow of their work.

For example, HR departments can use workflow management software (like Enboarder®!) to trigger specific learning content whenever an employee completes a task. This allows employees to access material as needed without having to search for it.

Provide a Variety of Learning Experiences

The more learning experiences you can provide, the better. No one learns the same way, so giving employees options helps them find the learning experiences that have the greatest impact.

Learning experiences can range widely in format. HR can facilitate classroom-based learning, seminars, job shadowing, individual coaching, and other in-person formats. Additionally, HR can provide access to online learning platforms that allow workers to learn on their own time and across devices.

HR can also use outside resources to provide employees with a variety of learning experiences. This can include partnering with external vendors to provide employees with access to specialized training courses or working with local professionals to create networking events.

If you have the need and the budget, you can use virtual reality, augmented reality, and other emerging technologies to create immersive learning experiences, too.

Align L&D With Career Tracks

Ensure there are clear pathways for employees to grow within your organization, whether that’s up the ladder or laterally. Providing career tracks requires HR to have an in-depth understanding of the skills required for each role.

Work with managers to identify (or refresh) the skills and competencies needed for employees to progress in various career tracks. Make sure employees know how to explore these options and contrast their current skill set against the requirements of their desired role or career path. Finally, make sure employees know how they can fill the gaps through L&D offerings — and how they’ll be supported by their manager and HR.

Invest in a Learning Platform

Investing in a learning platform is one of the best investments an HR team can make. A learning platform gives employees access to educational resources, such as online courses, webinars, and tutorials, which can help them develop their skills and knowledge. These platforms also make it easy for HR professionals to give feedback and track employee progress.

Corporate Learning and Development Powers Progress

Investing in corporate learning and development is synonymous with investing in the success of your employees and the longevity of the organization. By setting strategies and creating learning programs, you’re creating an environment where employees can thrive.

Want to learn how to build an L&D program for a changing workplace? Check out our webinar “4 Steps to Make Your Learning Program Work in a Hybrid World.