5 Things Every Public Sector Learning and Development Manager Should Know

Every Learning and Development (L&D) Manager is at the heart of employee growth and organisational development, which is often achieved through targeted training resources and ongoing motivation to reach wider organisational goals.

In this article, we’ll cover why an L&D Management role is so important, what skills you need to succeed and 5 things every Learning and Development Manager should know. Let’s get started.

Group of employees talking to learning and development manager

Why is a Learning and Development Manager’s Role Important?

All Learning and Development Managers aim to help their organisation get the most out of their people. When it comes to the public sector, people are at the heart and centre of the journey and end goal towards providing high-quality services.  

L&D Managers ensure employees have the necessary tools and resources they need to do their job to the best of their ability and provide the highest quality service for their organisation, all while improving the quality of lives outside of work. This is done through regularly analysing skills gaps, supporting employees with their training needs, fostering a culture of learning, sourcing effective learning resources and much more.

Without an L&D Manager, employees’ skills would not only stagnate, but service quality would become poor and outdated, resulting in a failure to keep up with the ever-changing public sector environment.

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What Skills Does a Learning and Development Manager Need?

L&D Managers need to have a strong skill set that starts with communication skills. These communication skills are the foundations that other needed skills rely on, including:

  • Leadership skills – including problem-solving, adaptability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Strong listening skills – needed to specifically build rapport with employees and potential external stakeholders
  • Negotiation skills
  • Ability to adapt to change
  • Analytical skills for budget management

5 Things Every Learning and Development Manager Should Know

  1. Focus on employees' hard and soft skills
  2. Weak employee relationships can break your L&D goals
  3. The impact of improving employee skills
  4. Digital learning is here to stay
  5. The skills and methods that will benefit the organisation

1. Focus on employees’ hard and soft skills

An L&D Manager’s job is more than just learning how to fill an employee skills gap. Employees are looking for value in their work, the skills they learn and how they will impact them positively in their careers (even beyond their current roles) and life.

Soft skills are at the forefront of many public sector roles, but it’s also important to find out what hard skills need improving to develop stronger processes and provide higher quality services.

Examples of hard skills in the public sector include data or statistical analytics, project management, patient care, digital communication or even learning a foreign language. These are skills that are highly valued in specific roles or departments, and they can be a critical factor in helping employees not only do their job but also react to situations, and be well-equipped and prepared for anything.

2. Weak employee relationships can break your L&D goals  

A good L&D Manager is also a good listener.

L&D Managers should be at the forefront of change in the organisation when it comes to gaining feedback or opinions from employees and understanding the latest learning trends, before incorporating them into the L&D strategy and goals.

If you can’t get employees onboard with your strategy or training recommendations, it’s usually down to a lack of communication, trust and time spent understanding the needs of the team.

It's important to allow employees enough time to give feedback when they want to, rather than being prompted. This not only allows employees the chance to think about how they feel they can improve, but it also is a great way to encourage team growth and implement the right learning opportunities going forward.

3. The impact of improving employee skills

It’s easy to get bogged down into specific skills that need improving, but it’s important to remember and consider the wider impact of these improvements. Is it to improve public service quality? Improve communication with external stakeholders? Or develop improved processes in a particular department? What would this achieve?

Gaining a wider view will help you improve your training strategy to better suit the organisation and employees’ needs in the long term.

4. Digital learning is here to stay

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all come to realise that virtual digital learning is here to stay in some sense. Whether your team would benefit from fully digital learning, or partly face-to-face for that full interactive experience, digital learning will continue to be a great option.

Every employee has different needs in and outside of working hours, and digital learning can be a great way to solve this. It also allows employees to learn at their own pace, improve their time management by assigning time for learning and develop self-motivation for personal improvement.

Looking for new accessible and impactful E-Learning courses for your team? Browse our E-Learning courses today, from stress and time management to phishing awareness training.

5. The skills and methods that will benefit the organisation

Not only do L&D Specialists need a good grasp of the organisation, what it does and what it wants to achieve, but they also need to understand the areas of potential growth that are currently missing. One of the best ways to do this is through a skills gap analysis and feedback from employees on the skills they think they need to excel in their positions.

A skills gap analysis is a great way to dive into your organisation’s vision, learning and development objectives and uncover what’s really stopping your employees from achieving them. It can also help you understand what type of training will benefit your employees for the type of skills they need to develop or improve.

Whether you’re a new L&D Manager, or you’re feeling stuck with your current training strategy, a thorough skills gap analysis could be your next best step…

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