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Assistant Director Learning Experience

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


This role contributes to a Talent Development team that designs, develops and delivers world-class learning solutions in an engaging and effective manner.  This role will manage key relationships, utilize training systems and resources, and apply adult learning methodology to consult and execute relevant learning and performance solutions.  This role serves as the strategic sustainment and activation lead for enterprise core leader development solutions either at the programmatic or functional level. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work in deep partnership with senior HR business partners and Talent Managers to lead and drive employee development within the assigned function(s), activating and sustaining enterprise programming at the functional level and responding to functionally specific professional development needs connected to broader talent strategies

  • Conduct needs analyses to identify desired employee knowledge and skills; use findings to prioritize needs and create appropriate learning solutions, while taking into account audience background, existing skills, timing, organizational readiness, and business strategy

  • Serve as conduit between function & talent development CoE to inform and align to future enterprise needs; drive needs assessment in partnership with leadership and other key HR contacts and aligned to broader talent cycles

  • Proactively leverage data and analytics to inform business consultation on talent development solutions. Applies data analysis skills and judgement to accurately interpret findings and to provide data insight-based approaches to the business.

  • Advocate for and prioritize learning solutions that deliver business outcomes that can be rapidly developed and deployed while still maintaining quality standards and learner experience; scrutinize existing solutions to ensure learning addresses evolving needs

  • Analyze the most complex organizational issues and skill gaps when conducting root cause analysis of performance problems; connect learning solutions to business strategy and needs

  • Connect and consult with senior learning and business stakeholders, translating L&D-specific terms to business relevant language

  • Understand and design against target learner role context and daily workflow; Prototype and test the most complex learning solutions and incorporate learning feedback before launch.  Provide guidance to lower level team members.

  • Engage in cross-role and cross-functional relationships with senior leaders to gain insight into both standards and innovation

  • Design and create content for various talent development initiatives, in particular those relating to people management/engagement, team effectiveness and talent identification efforts.

  • Develop, implement, lead and/or design the most complex learning programs and/or curriculum applying a verity of methodologies and platforms to meet specific needs.  Provide guidance to lower level team members.

  • Manages multiple priorities, stakeholders, and changing business landscapes, flexing work approach and style to support highest priorities across the talent development portfolio and/or within assigned business functions

  • Serve as point person for tracking progress, spurring communication to participants, and regularly following up to help keep work on schedule for various projects

  • Support the development of training for all employees to establish individual development plans, provide insights on the business and learn how to give and receive feedback

  • Partner with teams to facilitate talent development program meetings and training sessions

  • Oversee and develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of programs and communications

  • Write and review the most complex instructional content to ensure alignment with corporate strategy and consistency with other L&D programs.

  • Develops effective instructional design strategies that focus on different ways to deliver and deploy learning to ensure completion of goals and learning objectives.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Bachelor's degree. Experience in or understanding of  instructional design, adult education, organizational development, communications or related field ideal; Master’s degree beneficial

  • 8 years of experience in a talent related field preferred; 5+ years of talent development experience ideal.

  • Industry Acumen, 3+ years of experience in financial services preferred. Functionally relevant experience always a plus.

  • Knowledge of Adult Learning principles and working knowledge of all aspects of the L&D landscape.  Preferred experience with experiential learning and expertise in leadership and professional skills development.

  • Exceptional interpersonal and relationship management skills; ability to interact with all levels of employees
  • Excellent consultative, interpersonal/influencing skills, including the ability to build trusted advisor relationships across the organization.

  • Engages in and models courageous, constructive and consultative dialogue; confidence to offer a new and potentially challenging idea to foster conversation and critical thinking

  • Demonstrated ability to co-create business-impact talent solutions and quarterback teams in the execution of solutions with business leaders that enable the achievement of business goals enabled by talent development.

  • Experience with overseeing the coordination and planning of events, with proven ability to be creative and detailed;

  • Comfortable speaking in front of large groups across a variety of levels; proven expertise in facilitation (over presentation) ideal

  • Ability to operate and prioritize in a fast-moving & demanding environment and deal with complex situations

  • Strong analytical mindset with an ability to synthesize data and input from stakeholders

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and data accuracy when handling employee information

  • Knowledge of HR policies, laws and regulations

  • Experience with learning software and online/web tools; proficiency in Workday LMS and Articulate is a plus

  • Advanced proficiency in MS Office, including Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook



This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.