The Future of L&D IS Augmented But Not in the Way You Think

Debbie Wooldridge
Posted: September 7, 2018

CalTech Regional Bank is implementing a custom mortgage servicing platform. They have 35 branches throughout the southwest with more than 500 employees who will be affected by this implementation in their daily work to meet the needs of home loan customers. What CalTech didn’t account for in its project charter was the impact of this initiative on their internal training team. The Director of Learning has determined that his team will need six additional highly qualified instructional designers to meet the scope of work required for a successful launch. Unfortunately, there is a hiring freeze and it’s not likely that the department can justify bringing on that many new team members permanently.

CalTech is not unique. Learning and development organizations all over the country are quickly finding that they are facing new challenges:

1. Talent Shortages

Baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and with a smaller population of workers available to replace them, employers are feeling the pain of talent shortages. Demographic, economic, and competitive forces will make qualified talent even tougher to find in the coming months and years — this shortage is likely to worsen between now and 2025. Therefore, learning and development organizations will be instrumental in helping their companies identify future skill gaps and build effective training programs to help entice and retain the best talent.

2. Low Unemployment Rate

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the unemployment rate in July 2018 at a near 18-year low of 3.9%. There are currently more job openings than unemployed people. In fact, forecasters expect that the unemployment rate will average 3.9% throughout the rest of 2018 and drop down to 3.6% in 2019!

3. Increasing Demand for Highly Skilled Employees

Thanks to the addition of more than 157,000 new jobs in July, the most in-demand professionals have more opportunities today. However, this makes it ever more challenging to recruit and retain top performers. This trend is expected to continue over the next two years, and the revised projections for the annual average for nonfarm payroll employment suggests job gains at a monthly rate of 194,800 in 2018 (up from the previous estimate of 185,900) and 167,800 in 2019 (up from the 160,800 estimated three months ago).

4. Hiring Freezes

While many businesses are flourishing and growing, as the number of new jobs in the economy demonstrates, even the most successful company can experience an unexpected downturn. Perhaps there were unanticipated manufacturing cost increases, or the new product launch failed to produce the expected revenue. Though essential roles might continue to be filled, training organizations are often the first to be affected by a hiring freeze, making it impossible to bring on new team members to meet the scope of work required.

5. Change Management

In the not-so-distant past, companies once understood at least the basics of their competitors’ business models because most companies operated in a similar way. Today, however, companies are constantly introducing new business models. What’s more — technology seems to be evolving every minute. Change is inevitable; it’s essential to keep your company moving forward. For companies to implement change successfully, their employees must be given the time and support to learn new information and skills, change their behaviors, and even think differently. Ensuring that a learning organization has enough hands on deck to support change-related training initiatives is a definite challenge!

Staff Augmentation = The Future of L&D

Will CalTech’s new platform implementation come to a screeching halt? No…and neither should your company’s growth. There is a solution to these challenges facing learning and development — staff augmentation!

Staff aug, also known as contingent workers, is the newest and fastest-growing workforce trend in America today. Of the companies that responded to the 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 50% reported significant numbers of independent contractors in their workforce — in all areas of the organization. And 28% of the companies anticipate a dramatic increase in the use of contingent workers within the next two years. Learning and development organizations are finding that partnering with an experienced staff augmentation training vendor can help them quickly overcome the talent challenges they are currently facing.

How do you determine if your company is ready, willing, and able to use contingent workers to solve your learning and development needs today and in the future? One quick way to find out is to take this simple 8-question quiz! Once you have identified whether staff augmentation can solve your L&D organization’s temporary talent needs, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help you find your perfect match from our Innovators on Demand™ pool of talented instructional designers, project managers, and other experienced team members.


About the Author

Debbie Wooldridge, founding president and CEO of DW Training and Development, Inc. dba ttcInnovations, had an idea for helping businesses improve their performance through effective training strategies and programs.

Under her skillful and experienced leadership, ttcInnovations provides businesses with engaging learning solutions that adopt a host of performance support options. Through instructor-led and web-based training programs utilizing system simulations, virtual environments, and other innovative approaches, Debbie’s company has ultimately helped businesses enhance on-the-job performance, improve their customers’ satisfaction, deliver significant business results, and achieve their goals. Debbie’s company has also created The Millennial Project, an interactive two-day workshop that provides companies with the tools and strategic roadmap needed to improve workforce processes and productivity.

Debbie is the author of two books, Unleashing the Intrapreneur – Changing the Face of Corporate America One Millennial at a Time and A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur.