In a continuation of the L&D QuestionTime series we hear from this years finalists of the Learning Professional of The Year award.

This week we hear from Gina Fleming of Novus Leisure.


In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at the moment?

I feel that there is so much pressure out there to utilise digital options for learning and development, due to it being widely accessible and flexible for our teams to just log on and go through a module. I think the challenge for L&D professionals is to find the right balance. To ensure that we don’t always take the easy option of digital and continue to remember the impact we have when conducting face to face training.

Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?

For me my teams are always at the forefront of my mind, that is my focus! How can I develop them into better managers/leaders in the business. How I approach our L&D strategy is by asking the teams what they need, understanding their challenges and ways we can help them (and of course the business) to improve. It is very easy to get caught up in the latest L&D trend/craze but unless it fits with the team it is not always the best solution.

What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?

I am always keen to hear and learn of new changes in L&D and although technology has taken a leap forward in the last decade, I don’t think it has fully reached its potential quite yet and I imagine there will be more on the horizon.

What “game changers” would you like to see and why?

With the advances of digital technology, I feel the challenge will be around the ability to bespoke the learning to each individual learner rather than a blank digital approach and that is what I would look forward to seeing.

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2020?

It is difficult to say, as in hospitality we still have a number of face to face courses and digital input. Although I feel the digital option  will continue to thrive and storm ahead, I feel that we will continue to maintain a balance between face to face training and online.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Enjoy the years, stay focused on what you want to achieve and do it!

About Gina:

Gina studied at the University of Derby, completing a degree in BA Hons in HR Management with full CIPD accreditation, which included a 12 month work placement at McDonald’s UK.  After her degree, she re-joined McDonald’s in a post-graduate position to start her HR career. She soon progressed her career by taking a role with Superdrug and then iNTERTAIN , which was her first dual role of HR & Training.

Currently the HR Manager at Novus Leisure, in addition to the HR department, she took responsibility of the training department in August 2015. In the last 12 months, has seen a dramatic shift into learning & development, with key achievements launched in regards to career paths and the leadership development programme.