Onboarding, talent development, corporate culture, employee retention, career paths, filling skills gaps.

These are all areas where learning leaders can have a tremendous impact. All areas that L&D professionals touch in their work every day. Also all areas where L&D intersects with HR.

The dismantling of silos and the increased focus on overall performance are indications of—or results of—increasing collaboration between HR and L&D teams at many organizations.

Learning leaders well know that “a training” is not the only, or even the best solution, to every problem—whether a safety risk, a culture problem, or a skill or performance gap. And, HR professionals and corporate leaders are increasingly willing, even eager, to look at solutions such as internal job mobility and up- and reskilling to develop talent in-house rather than instinctively turning to hiring to fill skills gaps.

Thus HR and L&D are both working on skills acquisition and development. What's more, as companies adjusted to post-Covid realities, including high employee turnover and a dearth of qualified applicants, depleted leadership pipelines, and significant changes in work cultures, such as shifts to hybrid and remote work, solutions that emerged often relied on the intersection of HR and L&D skills and efforts to succeed.

Areas of overlap

Career pathing

A shift from hiring externally to upskilling and reskilling existing employees and/or facilitating internal job transfers—both promotions and lateral moves—requires input that touches on HR and L&D.

Identifying skills gaps, as well as anticipating future skills gaps, is another area where HR and L&D leaders need to pool their expertise, while also calling in the data analysts who can help predict what skills a team will require in one, three, or five years.

Working together, HR and learning leaders can do more to future-proof their organizations than either can from inside a silo. And organizations whose employees know they have multiple career paths and opportunities to learn new skills experience lower turnover and higher employee satisfaction—and performance.

Building leadership pipelines

Identifying and developing future leaders is an obvious area of HR and L&D overlap. Building a leadership pipeline can also touch on DEI efforts. HR and learning leaders are deeply engaged with efforts to identify potential leaders and provide basic management skills training, teach deeper leadership skills, and support initiatives to increase diversity and inclusivity, whether through training, targeted recruitment, or fostering a culture that supports psychological safety for all employees.

Navigating hybrid and remote work

Organizations moving to hybrid and remote work contend with myriad issues, from onboarding remote employees to bridging gaps in technology skills and access to technology tools and reliable internet. Existing managers need to upskill and adjust to managing people they rarely see in person and culture around meetings, working hours, and communication all need to adjust. While some changes require new or updated policies, others require learning new skills and even adopting all-new mindsets and methods of scheduling, conducting, and evaluating work.

… And more

With improving performance as the lens, it’s easy to identify other areas where HR and L&D professionals’ goals intersect and where these two teams could collaborate or coordinate efforts. A few:

  • Competency mapping—Assessing skills needed, along with those present and lacking in the current workforce
  • Performance management—Aligning training and development initiatives with individuals’, departments’, and the organization’s performance targets and long-term strategic objectives
  • Transforming culture—Fostering and maintaining a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and inclusivity is an organization-wide effort; one where HR and L&D teams can have outsize impact, especially if they coordinate their efforts
  • Data-driven decision-making—Gathering, analyzing, and applying data from training, onboarding, recruitment and retention, and much more can aid in reaching goals, whether DEI targets, retention benchmarks, or performance improvements

Shared purpose

Recognizing and leaning into the shared goals with a shared sense of purpose can bring benefits to both the HR and the L&D teams. That’s one reason the Learning Guild is expanding our spring conference, Learning Solutions, to include HR technologies and solutions. The all-new 2024 Learning & HR Tech Solutions Conference & Expo will take place in Orlando, Florida, April 23–25, 2024.

With a renewed focus on the complete employee experience in a time of significant changes in how and where we work, the Learning & HR Tech Solutions Conference will feature dozens of sessions focusing on learning and development; HR tools, processes, and solutions; and on the areas where these fields interact, intersect, connect, and collaborate. We’re accepting speaking proposals through August 18. Share your expertise!