The cure for L&D Stress: Insights from the HCI Learning & Leadership Conference

Posted by Paradigm Learning on September 24, 2015

A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” Yep. That’s it, the very definition of stress.

This year at HCI’s Learning & Leadership Development Conference, we administered “The L&D Stress Test” to pinpoint the stressors that keep the learning and development leader up at night. It was FUN too! Of course, that’s just our style.

After analyzing the stress in the room, here’s what we discovered: Of the 87 L&D and Talent Leaders surveyed, the average stress level (out of maximum 65) was 42! Our advice? Breathe in. Breathe out. You might also want to consider taking up a stress-relieving hobby. Have you tried mixed martial arts?

Top 5 stressors:

1.Limited Funding (I bet you didn’t see that one coming?)
2.Strategies for Millennials
5.Effective Leadership Development Programs

You are reading this right now thinking, “YES! Those are mine too!”

Since we are devoted to creating highly customized, game-oriented learning solutions for large organizations that empower the L&D professional, we wanted to share a little of our experience backed insights.


1. Limited funding doesn’t need to hold you back. The concept of “do more with less” really can work. Working with a partner that captures your pain points and addresses them efficiently results in extending those tight budget dollars.

2. Millennials? Piece of cake. We know. If any of us see one more article about Millennials, we might scream. The truth is, however, that they crave learning and development because they connect it to job promotion. Understanding what types of training makes them tick is important. And a secret: Millennials LOVE games!

3. ROI can be achieved. If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it an infinite amount of times: you need ROI! With an outcome-based approach, you can get it. Great learning partners build your learning solutions, zeroing in on your outcomes, or ROI. And measurement is not only possible but key.

4. Cure retention with engaging onboarding. Fact: 35% of companies admit to spending no money on an onboarding program. Additionally, 1 out of every 25 workers will leave a new job simply because the company has poor to no onboarding. Do you really want to risk losing talent? Great employee onboarding promotes an understanding of the company’s vision and underscores that early and most significant investment in your employees.

5. Effective is the key word when thinking about leadership development. US businesses spend more than $170 million dollars on leadership-based curriculum. Yet almost 75% of programs fail. That’s just…crazy. Training that is audience appropriate, that immerses participants into a simulation to experience leadership accountabilities generates great on-the-job results.

So let’s alleviate the stress! It absolutely can be done. We’ve seen it, live…and in action.

Topics: Leadership Development, Learning Development, Strategic Alignment, Business Acumen, Human Resources, Organizational Change, Employee Engagement