‘Businesses are waking up to the changes in the world of work by aligning learning and developing initiatives to business strategy, according to new statistics released by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.’ It is all very well investing in learning and development, however, how effective will this be if it is a haphazard process and does not take into account a business’ mission and strategy? These findings form part of the CIPD annual survey on the changes in Learning and Development in the workplace and highlighted some very important factors for planning your learning and development initiatives. But as a business leader, what effect does this closer integration of learning and development with business strategy have on your responsibilities?
The ever-increasing pace of the workplace combined with the restrictions on budget mean that analysing the Return on Investment of learning and development on a business’ success is placed higher on the agenda. Employees are the working cogs behind an organisation’s success; therefore, investing effectively in developing employees will have a significant long-term impact on the business. Managers need to openly communicate with employees to understand their goals and what support they feel they need to achieve these. When this is understood, it is important these employee ambitions are aligned with the goals of the organisation to ensure a fully joined-up learning and development strategy is in place. Appreciating that a successful Learning and Development plan is rooted to what your organisation’s mission is, is the key to the best results being achieved.
As a leader, your ability to lead and guide the learning of others is a significant part of your characterisation. Jack Welch, American business Executive, famously reported that he invests 40% of his time developing the next generation of leaders. Leaders need to find the correct balance of personal motivation, role modelling and orchestration of learning against measurable business goals. Learning needs to be a Board-driven priority and one thing is for certain, for an organisation to realise the benefits and succeed in the turbulent global economy, it is vital to keep learning at the front and centre of activity across the business.
What more can you do to make sure your employee’s development goals and the business strategy are all well-aligned? Do you have a recipe for success?