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Employee Learning Trends

ET Cases, 4 pages
AUTHOR(S) : Deepti Nair and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Employee Learning Trends


Expected Learning Outcomes

• Ensuring consistently high level of learner’s engagement
• L&D budgeting trends in Indian companies
• Impact and effectiveness of employee L&D programs



Driving Learners’ Engagement

1. According to you, what does the term ‘individual learning’ signify? What factors determine an individual’s/employee’s ability to learn? What obstacles impede learning?

2. What measures should be taken to ensure employee engagement? According to you, who is responsible for ensuring employee engagement?

3. What do you think is the role of the organization, in general, and the HR department, in particular, in designing and orchestrating a well-defined employee engagement practice?

4. Do you think it is feasible to design customized ‘Learning & Development’ (L&D) programs for employees? What are the challenges and constraints in customizing L&D programs to satiate the diverse learning needs of employees?

5. ....................

Learning & Development Budgeting Trends

1. What parameters does an organization take into account while assessing its L&D budgetary requirements?

2. A company’s L&D budget must be allocated bearing its strategic business goals in mind. Do you agree with this view?

3. What measures should be taken to ensure that the L&D budgets are designed to meet the learner’s diverse needs? How can the Return On Investment (ROI) on employees’ learning investments be measured?

4. ............

Assessing the Impact and Effectiveness of Learning & Development

1. What is the significance of measuring the effectiveness of employee L&D programs? How can companies and employees benefit from these effectiveness assessments?

2. How can the effectiveness of such employee L&D programs be measured? Do you think an organizations’ approach for measuring the effectiveness of such programs would vary for a team and an individual? Validate your response.

3. .....................

Teaching Note Preview

Employee Learning Trends



This case flyer focuses on the issue of employee learning and development. It deliberates on the various factors that must be taken into account while designing an effective employee learning program. The accompanying article showcases the various trends in employee learning and development and highlights the factors that guide an organization’s Learning & Development (L&D) budget. Despite relying solely on statistical figures to discuss the concept of employee learning and engagement, the accompanying article paves the way for an intensely thought-provoking discussion, encouraging to probe on numerous intriguing elements. How can learning programs be designed to cater to the diverse learning needs of employees? What is the relationship between employee engagement and work performance? Despite living in a technologically driven world, Indian companies are still reluctant to generously invest in e-learning programs for employees. What could be the reasons for this reluctance? Should L&D budgets be mandated in all organizations?

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • • Ensuring consistently high level of learner’s engagement
  • • L&D budgeting trends in Indian companies
  • • Impact and effectiveness of employee L&D programs


Positioning and Setting

This case flyer can be used in the following courses:

  • a) Human Resource Management – Training and Development – The importance of engaging employees while conducting L&D programs and the impact of employee engagement on work performance
  • b) Organizational Behavior – Individual Learning – The factors that must be taken into account in designing and implementing an effective employee learning program


Suggested Orchestration

Before the Case Flyer Discussion

a) The students were asked to watch the movie View From the Top. Set in the backdrop of flight attendants training, this movie showcases how the new trainees are groomed into sophisticated professionals owing to the rigorous learning program at the academy.

b) This movie shall sensitize students towards the need and importance of learning and development for employees, in general, and for new recruits/trainees, in particular. It shall also help them gain an insight into the challenges faced by learners while undergoing such programs. Watching this movie, prior to this case flyer discussion shall also help students gain an insight into how employee learning programs are designed and implemented in real time work environment.

c) Most importantly, prior to the actual classroom discussion, the students were encouraged to analyze all the questions given in the case flyer (either individually or in learning teams or in appropriate discussion forums) to enable them to participate effectively and to enrich the learning outcomes.

During the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

This case flyer can effectively be discussed in the classroom under the three broad topics.


The flow of questions to be discussed in the classroom has been elaborated in Annexure (TN)-I: The Board Plan

I. Driving Learners’ Engagement

• The discussion commenced by asking students what was their understanding of the term ‘individual learning’ and to deliberate on the factors that influenced an individual’s learning ability and the various obstacles to effective learning.

• This was followed by a discussion on the various measures to be undertaken to ensure employee engagement. Students were then asked to debate on who was responsible for ensuring employee engagement.

• This resulted in an animated discussion among students where they asserted that the top management, the leadership team and the HR department, were all expected to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring employee engagement. It was interesting to observe that most of the students had overlooked the role of the trainer in making sure that the employees felt involved and connected during the entire learning program. To drive home this point, students were asked to recollect the scene from the movie where the training instructor played a pivotal role in coaching the new trainee flight attendants using practical and demonstrative training methods.

• It was only natural to then ask students about the organization’s role, in general, and the HR department’s role, in particular, in designing and implementing a well-defined employee engagement practice.

• The classroom discussion then focussed on whether L&D programs should be customized to cater to the diverse learning needs of employees and the challenges of such a customization. It was interesting to observe the intense debate among the students where majority of them supported the view that customization of L&D programs would help in increasing employee engagement and would, therefore, offer a better learning experience. It was also stated that an enriching learning experience would reflect in an employee’s work performance.

• At this point, the discussion was taken further by asking whether learning programs directly impacted employees’ work performance and whether a higher employee engagement during L&D programs would always tantamount to an increased work performance. The response to this discussion was captured in a graphical form [Exhibit (TN)-I].

• .........................


Exhibit (TN)-I: The Employee Engagement and Work Performance Association Graph

Exhibit (TN)-II: Nature of Industry and Employee Learning

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Product code: HRM-4-0017, HRM-4-0017A


This case flyer and the accompanying article1enable a discussion on the intriguing concept of individual learning and development. It provides a platform to debate on the relationship between employee engagement and employee productivity. The contemporary corporate scenario has witnessed a rise in the need for designing and implementing effective learning tools and techniques for employees across all levels. Organizations have realized that this is by no means an easy feat to attain given that these learning programs must be designed to ensure a consistently high employee engagement.
How can highly engaging learning programs be designed and implemented? What measures must be taken to ensure employee engagement? Who is responsible for ensuring employee engagement? An interesting trend has been the increase in the Learning & Development (L&D) budgets in Indian organizations, especially over the past 2 years. Nevertheless, these L&D budgets must be worked out to not only meet the diverse needs of the learners but to also meet the strategic business objectives. How can the Return On Investment (ROI) on employees’ learning investments be measured? Should companies be mandated to allocate budgets to meet the L&D requirements?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand how organizations can ensure a consistently high level of learner's engagement
  • To deliberate on the L&D budgeting trends in Indian organizations
  • To debate on the impact and effectiveness of employee L&D programs

1 'Employee Learning Trends', The Economic Times, November 26th 2013

This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Flyer
- Analysis

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