5 Pitfalls L&D Leaders Should Avoid In 2019

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In this era of constant change and disruption, it is important to be aware of what defines success. The start of a year brings a lot of opportunities for Learning & Development leaders to plan how they are going to support business growth and positively impact learners. However, there are certain things you need to check off the list before you get into the planning mode.

Did you know research has consistently shown that as an industry L&D is standing still, not able to achieve its goal year after year?

According to an analyst at TrainingZone, one of the reasons for this can be that L&D leaders continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

The purpose of this article is to shed light into these common pitfalls so that you can steer clear of them this year.

Ignoring Your Own Learning

If there is only one takeaway from this article, it should be this: ignoring your own learning will have a negative impact on your learners and your business.

In the learning and development landscape, in the last couple of years we have seen a rise in online learning delivery mode, an increasing shift by organizations to social and collaborative learning and an emphasis on supporting workplace performance. In spite of all this, two in three L&D leaders report that they do not have the necessary skills to respond to these trends.

With businesses starting to recognize Learning & Development leaders as strategic enablers, demand for skilled L&D leaders are on the rise. This means that the core skills L&Ds need to have, is expanding to encompass a wide range of skills which were previously not even considered a necessity.

Today, organizations across the globe are keen on investing in Learning & Development teams that have a collective competence across diverse areas such as facilitating collaborative and social learning, digital content development and live online learning delivery. Few tools like the CIPD Profession Map and LPI Capability Map, can serve as a guideline as you go about equipping yourself for the present and future.

To fasttrack your L&D learning, you can utilize platforms like Connect L&D, that is aimed at bringing together learning and development professionals on a common platform to share knowledge, opinions, and to network. Under this Connect L&D brand, webinars, conclaves, and other events are held that are exclusive to L&D professionals.


Connect L&D also hosts an exclusive WhatsApp group for L&D professionals. With over 100+ L&D professionals as members, this group facilitates knowledge sharing and peer learning. If you are an L&D leader and want to be a part of this L&D community, do send a message at +91 8746965149 indicating your L&D area of specialization/interest & brief profile.

Partnering With The Wrong Training Vendor


As you already know, there are hundreds of training vendors in the market today. However, finding the ‘right’ fit for your organizational training is paramount. Even a well-thought-out learning strategy can be rendered futile in the absence of a good training partner. Some of the things that you should pay attention to while finalizing a training vendor are:

  • Training vendor that caters to enterprise needs, offering a convenient 3 step training delivery process and hassle-free training experience for L&D leaders and trainees
  • Training vendor that offers a good course portfolio that includes  emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and IOT
  • Top notch training delivery with consistently exceptional-rated programs & trainers
  • OEM Partnerships with key global technology providers which validate their training content
  • Certified industry experts & SME’s as trainers
  • Training vendor that focuses on experiential learning and offers hands-on training experience through lab integration in all training programs

Check these things off the list before you entrust your employees training to a training provider.

Need any help with choosing your training vendor ? Drop us a comment below and our learning consultants will be in touch!

Chasing After Trends That Are Not Right For Your Organization

The importance of keeping up with industry trends has been discussed briefly in our previous article, Top L&D Trends to Adopt in 2019. A few years before, blended learning was all the rage: most events and journals had something to say about it. Today wherever we go, we are daunted with the possibilities of VR, AR, AI, and ML.

Having said that, it is equally important to know which trends are the best fit for your learner and organizational goals. A Myopic view of trends can lead to a wastage of your time and L&D budget.

In case you need to learn all about the top relevant trends for the year ahead, don’t miss our upcoming Connect L&D webinar on ‘2019 L&D Trends & How to Leverage Them for Success’ by Smitha Krishnamurthy, NASDAQ.

Just because it is the latest buzz doesn’t mean that it is the right fit!

Relying on Past Success

An important lesson that Learning & Development leaders need to remember is that what worked in the past, might not reap the same success in the future. L&D teams need to evolve to be more agile, fluid and flexible with their strategies to make course-corrections for optimal outcomes. Staying rigid and conventional can deter your team’s progress.

As highlighted in the report, The Transformation Curve, it is necessary that you need to be in a constant state of transformation, if you want to sustain your momentum in an increasingly VUCA world.

Neglecting Industry Research

In today’s information age, there are tons of reliable, useful and accessible research literature available for Learning & Development leaders as compared to the past. Ideally, an L&D leader should refer the latest industry reports and gauge their relevance and effectiveness for their particular organization and learners. If utilized to support learning strategies, these research articles can give L&D leaders the edge they need to stay competitive.

Some of the top reports of 2018 that were invaluable to L&Ds were LinkedIn- The State Of Workplace Learning in 2018, Towards Maturity – The Transformation Curve  2018 Benchmark Research, Deloitte – 2018 Global Human Capital Trends etc. The only problem is that these readily available resources are not utilized by most L&Ds.

As mentioned earlier in the article, platforms like Connect L&D can be utilized by L&D leaders to further and consolidate industry knowledge. Other than hosting an exclusive L&D whatsapp group for L&D leaders to network, learn and share knowledge, Connect L&D also provides a knowledge bank which contains the latest news, reports, industry trends and blogs which can help L&D leader to stay updated and relevant.

Not Measuring ROI

As organizations today scramble to cut costs, it has become more imperative that all functions, including Learning and development, are able to justify spends and costs. This is where a clearly defined, metricizable ROI becomes important.

As of 2019, there is no single, accepted benchmark or standard for measuring true L&D ROI. Though there are a good number of learning and development evaluation models in the market such as Kirkpatrick model to Will Thalheimer’s recent LTEM, these may not be applicable in all organizational contexts. One good way of measuring ROI in L&D is to use digital learning and see the way data is used and analyzed.

Gauging ROI is essential as it will shed light into what worked and what didn’t and help you to alter your learning strategy based on that.


All the above-mentioned pitfalls will guide you as you plan your long-term L&D strategy. Yet another important thing that you need to be aware of involves learning to design an effective training calendar. From our discussions with the SpringPeople L&D community, the biggest mistakes stem from focusing too much on the operational aspects of L&D rather than on the quality of actual training experience. A crowded training calendar with classes too closely spaced, not enough focus on experiential & blended learning are other common pitfalls.

So this new year, take a step back to review your L&D goals for 2019. Reflect on what you need to stop doing that is holding you from realizing your objectives – and make a conscious effort to avoid these top 5 pitfalls that ails L&D teams from achieving success!


Enjoyed the read? Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the article – feel free to share in your network.

Agree/disagree with any of tthese any of our findings? Want to add your inputs? Do let us know what you think in the comments below.

About Vibhuthi Viswanathan

Vibhuthi is a an avid follower of the latest trends in the world of Technology. Her writing aims to engage and educate the readers on all things Tech. When she is not twirling with words and pauses at SpringPeople, she binge reads popular literature.

Posts by Vibhuthi Viswanathan

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