Many companies in Singapore are grappling with acute labour shortages that make it hard to recruit and retain skilled talent.
This is seeing a growing number of businesses embrace learning and development strategies that address skills shortages by upskilling and reskilling current employees.
- 82% of IT professionals in Singapore are prioritising companies that offer opportunities skills development over salaries.
- A recent study found that 67% of HR managers will see an increase to their learning and development budget in 2022.
- A report by Deloitte found formal learning and development programs can have a significant impact on business performance , while also making a company more attractive to work for. In dollar terms, the study notes that every $1 spent on learning and development delivers a return of $47 in additional revenue per employee.
These findings confirm the value of upskilling employees. The challenge for companies lies in determining the best ways to use funds earmarked for staff training.
This is driving demand for hiring learning and development managers, who can coordinate learning and development activities across the business to optimise outcomes for each employee – and the company as a whole.
This doesn’t just empower employees to add value to the business, it also creates a learning culture that promotes ongoing professional development across the company.
For candidates in Singapore who are interested in pursuing a career in a rapidly growing HR field, this article explores how to become a L&D Manager and what qualifications and experience are required for the role.
What does a Learning and Development Manager do?
A Learning and Development Manager is typically part of a company’s HR team.
While the details of the role can vary between employers, a Learning and Development Manager is typically responsible for five main activities:
1. Identifying learning and development needs
In order to deliver appropriate training programs, a Learning and Development Manager needs to have a thorough understanding of staff training needs across every company department.
This calls for working with HR teams, and a variety of managers and business leaders across the organisation, to ensure learning and development programs are aligned with business needs.
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2. Developing and implementing learning and development programs
A Learning and Development Manager will understand that each person learns in different ways – and at a different pace.
With this in mind, learning and development programs should ideally embrace a range of learning strategies including in-person, online, workplace-based and external training courses.
Additional options for employee development can include coaching, mentoring (internal and external to the company) and job shadowing.
The role of the Learning and Development Manager is to develop a program of training that is most effective for each employee.
3. Producing training materials
The Learning and Development Manager may be required to produce training materials for in-house workshops or courses delivered via e-learning.
Developing these materials often calls for collaboration with key subject matter experts both within the company as well as external experts.
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4. Drawing up learning and development budgets
No company has unlimited resources, and a Learning and Development Manager will be required to draft, review and finetune budgets for training and development programs.
This can involve comparing the costs of different training programs to ensure they deliver value for money, as well as forging relationships with external training providers, and capitalising on any new technologies that could support opportunities to upskill staff.
5. Assessing the effectiveness of learning and development programs
A Learning and Development Manager will need to regularly assess the effectiveness of training programs to be confident the money spent is achieving the goal of building a more productive workforce.
At a broader level, the Learning and Development Manager will also be expected to recognise employees with leadership potential, and provide relevant, targeted training to nurture talent as part of the company’s overall succession plans.
How to become a Learning and Development Manager
To become a Learning and Development Manager in Singapore, most candidates need a blend of technical and soft skills combined with experience in human resources management and/or the delivery of training courses.
In many cases, a Learning and Development Manager will have a bachelor degree in a field such as human resources, business administration or education.
The role also calls for an understanding of the latest trends in professional training – particularly as they apply across different industries.
By continually staying up to date in this area, a Learning and Development Manager can recognise the skills each employee needs to excel in their position and add value to the company.
As part of the HR team, becoming a Learning and Development Manager means having excellent communication skills.
Strong presentation skills are also required as the Learning and Development Manager may also be required to conduct in-house training courses.
Good business acumen is also desirable as this allows a Learning and Development Manager to identify the skills required today – and in the future, that will help a company to achieve its objectives.