Talking to the Business about L&D: Top Tips for Success
June 16, 2023
For our ‘Talking to the Business about L&D‘ theme, we spoke with some practitioners about the challenges they have faced in talking to the business about the value of L&D and the strategies they have used for productive conversations. Let’s look at our top tips for success…
Establish what is possible for your organization
Budgets, learning requirements and even time constraints vary from business to business. By evaluating what your organization’s current learning needs are, you can assess and implement the solutions that best suit those needs right now. For example, for compliance-based needs, a focus on learning management with access to basic reporting may be within your scope. On the other hand, upskilling and reskilling is better achieved with a learning platform with a focus on skills development.
It isn’t only the tools and technologies at your disposal that are worth considering. Organizational-wide training is more obtainable through online learning as opposed to face-to-face, instructor-led alternatives, you may receive more buy-in from senior management if you begin with a focus on a small sample group of learners and build out once you have some success to speak of.
Align learning strategy with business outcomes
In order for L&D to be viewed as a valuable business asset, L&D must first ask itself how it can benefit business outcomes. Has onboarding become a challenge since the start of the pandemic? What skills is the business missing that is so desperately needed in this everchanging working landscape? What are its compliance needs – does it have regulatory standards it needs to uphold?
By aligning learning strategy with business goals companies are able to remain competitive in a rapidly shifting global marketplace through improved employee performance and streamlined business processes. To achieve this, L&D teams must sit down with senior leadership to gain an understanding of the business’s biggest challenges. Then, it can recommend trusted solutions and tailor training to meet these needs, as well as define objectives and outline performance metrics to measure the success of L&Ds intervention.
Build a learning culture
CIPD reported that 98% of L&D practitioners want to develop a learning culture within their organization but less than 40% say they have actually achieved it. In order to build a successful culture of learning, leaders must put it at the heart of the company’s mission. Individual learning for employees should be prioritized, as well as collaborative learning for teams and business functions to create a collective learning ethos across the business as a whole.
With a range of collaborative, knowledge-sharing tools available, L&D can pioneer the development of a learning culture, focusing on contextualizing learning within work practices and removing the barriers between work and development. Instead of taking people out of work to develop them, L&D should bring the development into work so that learners can upskill themselves as needed and see it as part of their day-to-day life. In doing so, L&D moves close to the point of need, demonstrating the value of L&D to the wider organization while giving L&D a far better understanding of its needs.
Download our ‘Talking to the Business’ eBook to discover some tried and tested strategies for changing attitudes to L&D across your organization.
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