Do you have a burning passion for helping people develop and progress within their career? Does watching people thrive bring you joy? A career in Learning & Development might be perfect for you.
What is a Learning and Development Manager?
The Learning and Development Manager, often shortened to L&D Manager, is responsible for identifying the development and training needs of a business or organisation. They will then work with the rest of the Human Resources function and line managers to design and implement development plans and training programmes for employees.
Their plans mean that employees are constantly evolving to be the best that they can be, allowing the business to grow and become the best in their industry.
L&D professionals are constantly monitoring the effectiveness of their development strategies and training programmes, to ensure that they are always innovative and effective.
They can also be known by other titles, such as Talent Development Manager, Training Manager, or similar. This is dependent on the scope of the role as well as the terminology that the individual business uses.
How do you become a Learning and Development Manager?
Typically, L&D Managers come from a Human Resources background, as experience with people management and talent management are essential to the role. Whilst there are no formal qualifications required, HR qualifications or memberships, such as CIPD, would be beneficial.
They have a keen eye for making the most out of people’s talents and are skilled at balancing the needs of the business with those of the individual. A solutions-driven mindset is a must, as is creativity – you’ll need plenty of it to develop and deliver bespoke learning programmes! L&D professionals tend to be very collaborative, as well as great listeners.
If you currently work within HR and have your eye on a future role within Learning and Development, you could volunteer to help with L&D projects within your business to gain valuable experience and insight. There are also Apprenticeships available within the field, which is a great way for someone just starting out in their career to work within L&D whilst learning the ropes.
A Day in the Life
So, you’ve decided that a career in Learning and Development is right up your street, but what does a typical day in the office look like for a Learning and Development Manager? We chatted to some experts to find out!
Your alarm goes off – time to get out of bed to get ready for a day of developing people!
You arrive to the office, clutching a travel mug of coffee (or tea!), and sit down at your desk to check your emails and get ahead of the day. Whilst you finish up your coffee, you make a few notes on the things that you’re hoping to accomplish today.
Time for a meeting with a team manager. His team is growing fast, and you are both working together to create an industry-leading training programme for his new starters.During the meeting, you also catch up about his existing team members and any development needs that they have.You both identify an employee that could use some extra training and agree on a course of action.
Stopping at the kitchen on the way back to your desk, you pop the kettle on for another quick brew. Whilst the kettle’s boiling, you mull over ideas that have come out of the meeting and make some mental notes.
You’ve blocked out a couple of hours in your calendar to work on a project – you’re working on a company-wide leadership development programme for employees who have been identified as top talent, or for those that require the extra support when stepping into a management role. It’s a big project, but as you see it coming together bit by bit, you can’t help but feel satisfied!
Back to those emails! You take a bit of time to respond to the emails that you’ve received since this morning, as well as returning a couple of calls. Soon, however, it’s…
You’re back at your desk by 1pm, preparing for a meeting you have this afternoon. It’s a collaborative project with the wider HR team, where you are creating an onboarding programme to make new starters feel valued and embedded within the business from the outset. You also check-in with the Head of HR to ensure that the L&D strategy is aligned with the overall People/HR plan.
After another quick brew, it’s analysis time. You recently developed a training programme to help employees with their ‘soft skills’ – time management, conversational skills, presentation skills, etc. – and now it’s time to see how effective it is.You wade through survey responses and real-time line manager feedback, to figure out what is working and what isn’t.
Now you’ve sorted through the data and worked out what needs changing, you have a bit of a brainstorming session on how to improve the programme, coming up with some ideas on tweaks to make.
After some more emails, you crack on with creating an employee development plan for the person you discussed in your morning meeting. You work out what areas need improvements and how best to approach the training so that it is effective for the employee.
One last meeting for the day, and you’re having a check-in session with an outside IT company. They are helping you create a bespoke e-learning platform, and there’s a lot of kinks to iron out! During the meeting, they give you a sneak preview of your new platform as it all starts coming together – which is just the boost you needed to end your day on! After giving your feedback, you log off the call, looking forward to when you can roll out the new platform company-wide.
One last quick email check, and you’re all done for the day! Well, after you’ve had a quick natter with your colleagues on the way out, of course…
And that’s another full but rewarding day as a Learning and Development Manager all wrapped up!
Your Dream Career?
Does this sound exactly like the sort of career that you’d love? If you don’t mind the prospect of long, full days filled with problem solving and developing teams, then a career in Learning and Development might be perfect for you.
Examples of other Learning and Development roles (from CIPD):
· Learning Administrator
· Facilitator (face to face or online)
· Training Deliverer (face to face or online)
· Learning and Development Business Partner
· Learning and Development Manager
· Head of Learning and Development
· Director of Learning and Development.
· Instructional designer
· Digital learning designer
To understand if your experience fits the bill and to discuss opportunities give us a call on 0161 359 3789 (Manchester) or 0207 871 7665 (London). You can also send us your questions via email to email@example.com.
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