IN THE MIDDLE | beyond the job description

Going Beyond the Job Description: Learning and Organization Development Practitioners

By Alyanna Silvestre
Published August 19, 2021

Learning and organizational development is a crucial part of human resource management. It's how the company ensures that employee goals and performance align with that of the organization. It's also the key for many companies to gain and retain top talent, improve workplace productivity, and earn more profit. But how exactly do a learning and organizational development practitioner does it?

In the latest career-defining episode of Job Defined, podcast host Patt Soyao speaks with the AVP for Learning and Organizational Development Head of SMDC The Good Guys!, Vincent Benedicto, to make sense of what makes a learning and development (L&D) practitioner.


Instead of focusing on misconceptions, Benedicto took the chance to carefully define his profession through the eyes of a trainer rather than the company. He did debunk a few myths, such as the idea that trainers know it all and that they don't get tired, but he mainly discussed the necessary tools and strategies needed in his line of work.

So, what makes a learning and organizational development practitioner?

Passion for improving the qualitative lives of the company's internal stakeholders — the employees.

Obviously, it's not just the company that benefits from the training and the learning opportunities that L&D practitioners present. Through L&D, trainers like Benedicto empower learning participants or employees and contribute to their career advancement through courses that aim to help them improve their existing abilities and acquire new skills. Training enables an L&D practitioner to develop multiple skills and considerable expertise within the organization's workforce.

An approach that is facilitative

L&D practitioners are not the font of all knowledge.

In some cases, Benedicto says L&D practitioners train older participants and those of higher ranks and different tenures who are more experienced. This fact and his many years of repeatedly conducting the same materials made him realize the need to strategize and develop a different approach. According to him, asking the right questions to extract the most relevant, substantial, and insightful responses from participants rather than enforcing authority makes training more realistic and relatable. So basically, it is better to draw out and enhance the group's collective knowledge, take advantage of classroom dynamics, and let both the participants and the trainer learn along the way.

Skills for networking

Understanding the business and the work dynamics is an essential responsibility of an L&D practitioner. In the nature of their work, they are required to immerse themselves in the various internal departments that they will be training to roll out the appropriate, relevant courses and fill the knowledge and skill gaps in each division.

Ability to adapt and pick up new skills

Due to the digital transformation of the business world, companies and their internal departments had to make changes. Among the many business operations that were affected drastically is instructor-led training (ILT). 

The need to shift to online distance learning has been evident since the beginning of the lockdowns around the world. With this shift, L&D practitioners like Benedicto had to develop new and digital skills of their own and take advantage of readily available online tools and resources to create captivating e-learning courses with engaging content. 

However, Benedicto is confident that learning and organizational development will return to the old normal despite this digital revolution. He is certain that the time will come when corporate auditoriums will be filled with professionals of different roles, departments, and ranks once again for ILT.


For Benedicto, leading a series of lessons for the company's growth and its people can fuel a trainer with a sense of purpose, a deeper level of self-satisfaction. After all, L&D practitioners contribute to the professional advancement of most employees with the courses they create, the storyboards they make, the stories they tell, and the new knowledge or information they extract for the benefit of their students and themselves. It's more than just competency mapping or determining learning pathways. Instead, it's about making people empowered with more capabilities and considerable expertise regardless of the participant's age, tenure, or rank.

Are you eager to learn more about this career, or is this not the profession you're looking for? Check out "Job Defined" on Spotify and Apple Podcasts now for more career-defining and myth-debunking episodes about various job titles.

Job Defined is hosted by Mr. Patt Soyao, Icon Executive Asia's managing director, and powered by Podcast Network Asia, Southeast Asia's first and biggest podcast network agency. For more information, visit the series' official Facebook page here: