How can Leadership & Development help build organizational culture? ft. Elsie Nemieboka

Elsie Nemieboka:

My name is Elsie Nemieboka, I'm a human resource professional. I've been in human resource practice for, closer to two decades. So I think I can say that I'm a professional I've been in, the management part of it I've been in the consulting part of it, you know, put as a manager and as a consultant. And today I'm a HR director level. My area specialization is learning and development. Actually, my love for human resources started from learning and development, you know, so, that's my core area of strength.

Q: How can learning and development help in building strong organizational culture?

Elsie Nemieboka:

Leadership and development, in building a strong organizational culture is very key and very strategic into this, you know, McKenzie talked about culture, what we do around here, you know, organizational culture. So, and if you talk about what organizations, what the employees, what the management they do around there, you're talking about more of assumptions, beliefs. You know, they're not the things that are actually written down as the strategy of the organization, you know, so unconscious people, assume things, and that becomes the culture, you know, of an organization. So it's a huge role for L and D to come in and feel because learning and development, basically by the nature of that, profession has to do with what the organization, what the employees in the organization get to know, you know, the information that is passed across to them, what you want them to know what you need them to know.  

Now it could be in terms of, in the past, it's been in terms of technical skills, helping to hone their skills. It's been soft skills, you know, and all of that, but, and needs to move way past that especially with this ever changing world, okay. Change culture has become very fueled because of how fast technology is changing things. You know? So if L and D needs to be at the top of their game and how they can actually help to build strong organizational culture, they need to be more proactive in the past. It's been reactive. Okay. We do training needs of analysis. We look at performers, oh, you have strength here. You have, you need to work on this area. Okay, let's train on this area. It's gone past that. L and D needs to be more proactive. L and D needs to be focused, have their ears to the pulse of the organization's strategy, understand the environment, look at the environment.  

What is happening in the industry and say, L and D also needs to sit at the table, you know, go pass those days when Andy is behind and they make decisions as they go and train. No. Now L and D needs to have a seat at the table at the decision making table where they can say, this is what is happening in the organization, in the world. This is what is happening in the industry. This is what technology is coming up with. We need to get our people ready. You know? So in the annual budgets of L and D, that needs to be there. You don't budget to train someone in June about soft skills. When by that June, we don't know you by that June, those course soft skills, would've been obsolete. That's how fast the world is changing. That's how few culture is, you know, so we need to have not an open budget because I understand that organizations are into business and profit and loss, you know, but we need to have some room in our budgets for us to be proactive, you know, where we're able to initiate learnings ahead of the need, you know, ahead of when that culture, when that need is actually going to be there.  

Can you imagine with COVID 19 last year, if an opposition had an L and D department that saw it coming and got their employees trained and ready for better meetings, you know, a lot of things that most organizations were struggling with, how do we suddenly get online? How do we suddenly connect to zoom, how do we suddenly connect to Google, meet all of that do have been issues because they would've been already in the know, you know, that think something like that was gonna come up. Last thing I wanna talk about in regards to the role of L and D building a strong organizational culture is the stages of, you know, learning and development, It is common knowledge that you start with the needs analysis, and then you design the training and then you facilitate it. And then there is monitoring and evaluation, which most organizations do not really do.  

You know, by the time has come. When we have to, really monitor the planning that we pass across and not just monitoring, monitor it, evaluate it and implement, you know, monitoring needs to be more creative. We need to think of creative ways. It's not, oh, we thought you did. And then you send a sheet, a questionnaire that says, what did you learn three months after? No, there are better ways, you know, as we're implementing these trainings, first of all, we need to use blended learning, you know, techniques. We need to involve all the senses. We need to make sure that our slides are colorful. If they're not colorful, people will just sleep off. People will be bored. They won't understand what you're saying. You don't need to just write words in your learning materials. You need to use visuals. You need to use videos.  

You need to use, you know, creative things to make the learning stick, to make the information that you're passing across actually stick. Now, when these employees have gone back to their different offices, departments or sites, L and D does not stop them monitoring also, it will include creative things like doing road shows, you know, go out there and do a road show. If you have an organization that is large and you have different sites, different locations, you can do a road shows to say, hey, this is what we taught you. You can do proper banners. You can do, you know, just something go around to show people that, hey, what you were taught, this is how we need to implement it. You know? So until L and D gets to that point where they become very creative, where they're engaging employees more, you know, not just you have learned, go, no, you have to engage the employees.  

You have to enter that zone of uncomfortable debate with employees, because you can tell them, you can teach them best practice in class. And then they go to the department and it's back to square one. They're dealing with uncomfortable issues, the elephants and the room, things like discrimination, things like, you know, inclusion issues, diversity issues that are not being addressed. You know, so engaging employees, one on one and engaging team leads. You know, it's also the role of L and D because you don't just pass on knowledge and sit back and expect that that knowledge will not dramatically translate into a change in the culture. You have to be part of that, implementing that change. You have to be the change agent. You have to initiate that change, you know, and that is when organizations can actually be very strong cultures. It's easy for organization to have, you know, their strategy all well written. Now, you know, and you read the strategy. You're like, wow, what's top notch. But what is actually on ground is the role of L and D to move this strategy into the minds of employees and also move the strategy into how employees do get daily work. I think that is the role of L and D.

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