We keep saying that Learning and Development departments are crucial to an organization’s success. We believe that they have the power to drive the winds of change for any firm. But how can the L&D function become truly strategic? Or, specifically, how can learning and development contribute to your business’s success story?
Here are some ways that L&D can make a strategic business impact:
By Helping You Embrace New Technologies and Trends
Embracing the latest technologies out there on the market has become crucial to business survival. L&D can itself constantly evolve in order to make sure that the organization and the people in the organization are enabled to stay up-to-date with the latest norms or industry standards.
Technology is also becoming a major enabler of how people learn. This is proven by the U.S L&D Benchmarking Survey 2018. According to the survey, the firms that experienced growth in the past year embraced technology and made it a crucial part of the L&D strategy. 32% of these firms, for instance, said that they are more likely to give precedence to eLearning over other technologies in 2018.
In the drive to become more technologically-adept, learning and development teams need to drive a change in what the organization learns and how it learns. This includes curated learning experiences backed by technology.
By Promoting a Learning Culture
This one’s a no-brainer. To achieve exceptional organizational growth in our dynamic times, it is a must to foster a learning culture within the organization. This is the true test of the impact of learning and development on the organization.
Organizations face nimble competitors, demanding customers, and active governments and regulatory bodies. This means they must be agile and willing to pivot—find tactical as well as strategic ways quickly.
Learning and development departments can help build the engine for this agility. They can drive constant coaching and mentoring. They can create and distribute eLearning content that is customized for each department within the organization. Making learning always accessible to all is one of the ways to promote a unique learning culture. This only makes it easier for organization-wide learning.
By Nurturing Conversation and Employee Engagement
One of the features of the top organizations is that their L&D departments have a focus on nurturing employees and conversations. Learning and development departments that will drive strategic impact can do so by creating learning strategies that are contextual, specific, and timely.
These departments would have regular sessions to understand what the learning communities expect, what are the improvements to make or what are the gaps in the current learning initiatives. They can encourage the use of different communication modes including IMs, Newsletters, and forums.
Employee engagement has always been important. The L&D departments that address this problem will be able to show strategic impact immediately. Tactics and best practices abound on how to achieve this. For example, according to a survey by LinkedIn,
“Manager involvement is critical for employee engagement in learning. 56% of employees said they would invest more time in their learning with their manager’s direction and support. Learning and development teams could equip the managers with the tools, techniques, and attitudes to help drive learning in their team members.”
By Reporting the ROI of Training
Just how effective is the L&D strategy? Without measuring the impact of the learning and development team, how would a company know if the investments in the activity are worth it or not?
Business leaders trust quantifiable results. They believe in metrics and look for improvements from period past. They want to know if something is working or not. Clearly, an L&D department with strategic ambition will have to set great store by numbers.
It will become key to define the metrics that matter to the business. Then it will be important to measure those metrics. And to report on them transparently. One of the ways to go about this is to collect employee stories or continuous feedback from professionals who have taken part in a development or a training program. These stories will also prove to be immensely valuable when it comes to inspiring others in the long run.
Significance of L&D: You Can’t Ignore It
No one has said that you can ignore the importance of learning and development in your organization. The question is how to step it up from that? How can such a crucial function get the management attention it deserves? How can it become a truly strategic function? Well, it may already be on that path!
We at eNyota have had multiple interactions with L&D teams so we know and understand the challenges. We consider ourselves well-equipped to offer impactful learning solutions. Talk to our team of experts to know how we can help your organization create and implement effective training courses. Get in touch with here. You can also reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.