What Makes You Successful in Your L&D Role

When we produced our State of L&D 2016 report this spring (partnering with InSync Training), one of the questions we tried to answer was: what does each role in learning and development actually do?

When we asked each of our survey respondents to self-report on what tasks they are responsible for, we saw 4 general learning and development roles emerge:

  • Training Manager
  • Training Coordinator
  • Trainer
  • Course Designer


This summer, Russell Martin & Associates (RMA) debuted a white paper that delves even deeper into this question to benchmark 5 roles in L&D and examine what a successful person in each role looks like. Based on research done with Training Magazine, they grouped L&D professionals into the following 5 roles:

  • Instructor and Producer
  • Instructional Designer/Developer
  • Learning Manager
  • Technology Specialist/Media Developer
  • L&D Relationship Manager

After designating these roles, RMA and Training Magazine then benchmarked the behavioral attributes needed to be successful in each role.

One thing that became clear in our research for the State of L&D report is that no matter what your role is, you are responsible for a wide variety of tasks that often lie outside your job description. The results of RMA’s white paper show that 4 out of 5 of their roles share similar behavioral strengths and weaknesses, making it relatively easy for producers, designers, and managers to handle tasks outside of their main role.

However, the technology specialist has different behavioral strengths and weaknesses, suggesting that as the L&D world becomes more tech-heavy, learning teams need to become more diverse and embrace more analytical thinkers to focus on the technology.

What do you think of the benchmarks? Is it helpful to see whether you behavioral strengths line up with the standard for your role?

Did y5 Surprising Results from The State of L&D 2016 Reportou know 59% of L&D professionals work in departments with fewer than 10 people? Download our free State of L&D 2016 report for more insights.



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