Successful leaders use their experience and best practices to develop competitive business strategies for profitable growth. Why then, do over 90% of organizations miss the direct connection between business performance and learning effectiveness? In a recent Bersin study[i], a major finding was..,
“L&D functions in most organizations are in crisis. L&D leaders feel pressure from the organization; they understand that they are not meeting the needs of learners; they struggle to align and stay aligned with current and future business needs; and, they know on some level that they are not as streamlined, agile, and responsive as they need to be”.
Business strategies have always been affected by the rapid pace of change in the market, while learning strategies typically lag. Bridging this gap through necessity, employees have made the shift and they are learning instantly by searching for and accessing the informal information they need to succeed. No longer is the learner satisfied with the pace set by the formal learning solution or getting the same information as everyone else.
If your learning strategy doesn’t account for both formal and informal training, expected performance will be left to chance. Self-directed learning can be valuable, if the knowledge and skills are aligned to job performance. L&D leaders need to rethink their learning strategy with a direct line of sight tied to business results for profitable growth.
Back in the day, traditional learning strategies were built on competencies which were once considered stable or static. In the 21st century, where advances in technology are rapid and we are bombarded by information, learning strategies need to adapt to the changing environment. Connecting the dots between training and improved performance is no longer achieved by taking a snapshot in time and designing curricula in a ‘one and done’ event. To improve performance through learning, while keeping pace with the rapid rate of change, requires an adaptive learning environment that enables individuals to gain and apply new knowledge, when and where they are needed most… in real time.
How can you tell if your learning strategy is aligned with your business performance?
- Align learning strategy with key performance indicators (KPI). Map the objectives to business performance results to evaluate and measure learning effectiveness.
- Validate the desired individual, team, and organizational skills to the outcomes using a learning roadmap.
- Assess the responsiveness of your learning strategy as it relates to emerging technology and trends by staying aware of changing business challenges and the most important priorities of your business leaders.
- Stay abreast of learning industry trends and emerging training capabilities. Benchmark new approaches and best practices so you are prepared to address the ever- changing environment.
Developing a learning strategy in alignment with business performance requires strong collaboration with business leaders and the learners. Staying in lockstep with stakeholders will ensure the strategy is responsive to their evolving needs.
Don’t leave your learning strategy to chance. Remain agile in an ever-changing learning environment. Strategic alignment of learning to performance outcomes requires integrated thinking where the interrelationships are clearly mapped in the context of the work environment. Leaders can avert a crisis by using the proven methods of business diagnostics, learning analytics, and continuous process improvement to develop a strategic learning roadmap that aligns with business goals to accelerate and improve performance.
Learn more about strategic learning alignment by visiting www.rps.com to discover your chance to improve your organization’s performance.
[i] Transforming L&D in Nine Easy Steps, Bersin by Deloitte, 2016