A meaningful L&D strategy is in more demand now than ever
LinkedIn research found a 159% increase in CEOs championing L&D in their workplaces. 76% of employees are more likely to stay in their workplace if they are offered continuous training. Meanwhile, 85% of HR leaders admit to training being a key component in organisational growth.
Between the uptick of remote/hybrid workplace demands, the great resignation and a notable skills gap, the emphasis on L&D and a meaningful L&D strategy is in more demand now than ever. So, here we’ll show you what you need to do to ensure you’ve secured a winning L&D strategy. Let’s dive in.
What Does a Good Learning & Development Strategy Do to Benefit Organisations?
The pandemic caused a mass shift in perspective. When the 'Great Resignation' (or the 'Great Re-Evaluation') saw employees quitting or quiet quitting, businesses scrambled to regroup on what was important for retention and engagement.
A stronger focus on L&D was one factor that bubbled to the top of the pile. Learning and development correlates to higher revenue, profitability, engagement and performance. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) organisations who invest in training can double their profit margin.
It's not just training employees with the right skills for their current roles, it's focussing on the big picture. This includes increasing soft skills (communication, self-awareness, listening skills) across all teams, including the executive team.
An effective L&D strategy should improve the company's attractiveness to top talent, and make the workplace a fulfilling environment for employees.
6 Steps to Build a Winning Learning & Development Strategy
While 98% of L&D practitioners want to develop a positive learning culture, only 40% have developed one. So at any stage of your business growth, it’s important to always look at what you’re currently achieving. Here’s some foundational steps to make sure you’re on the right track:
1. Examine Where You Are & Plan Where You’re Going
The first question you need to ask yourself is ‘Why’? What’s the goal?
L&D strategies need to align with your business goals, so whether it’s to reduce turnover or improve productivity, understanding your organisational priorities is a must.
This also means taking a look at different learning tools within your organisation, and finding digital training solutions for hybrid and remote working staff. To be effective, interactive learning is shown to increase employee engagement and helps support your overall L&D strategy.
Look into how learning outcomes from each strategy brings you closer to accomplishing your key goals.
2. Establish a Budget
Good L&D is an investment, so you need to create a financial plan for training and learning techniques. On average, Australian companies spent $1111 per learner in 2020, but some experts suggest a doubling of current investment in L&D activities could be required if the executive team is serious about prioritising their learning culture.
This will be an ongoing practice to make sure everything is on track. Some metrics you many want to consider include:
- Cost of training for employees
- Performance post-training
- Training ROI
- Value of retention
You’ll want to document what training tools you want to adopt and create a solid budget for your L&D. To help keep track, re-assess every 12 months to ensure your strategy still aligns with your business goals and ask for feedback from employees.
3. Analyse Your Company’s Skillset
According to Deloitte, 74% of organisations are recognising how reskilling employees impacts on their success. To add to this, 64% of L&D specialists say reskilling employees is one of their biggest priorities.
Each organisation will have unique needs, so you’ll need to grasp what kind of skills shortages your employees are experiencing. This may even depend on what department you’re investigating as well. A skills gap analysis is crucial to figure out how and what your L&D strategy is focussing on.
Simple ideas to gather data may include:
- Performance reviews
- Employee surveys
Identifying skill gaps effectively can be tricky and represents one of the many trends that are changing the way the workforce is operating. It’s also a topic the world's best leaders are researching to better understand the skills of future. Luckily, we can give you exclusive access to the brightest leadership minds with our Growth Faculty Pass through live and interactive virtual learning.
4. Get Feedback From Internal Stakeholders
It’s always important to get the buy-in from those who will be benefiting from the tools. Training needs to make sense and, more importantly be useful. This goes hand-in-hand with the skills gap analysis, but it goes a little deeper - what do your employees want? Where do their L&D needs lie? What kind of learning tactics will suit your teams?
Learning and development needs are dynamic and can change regularly, so be sure to maintain relevant.
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5. Implement Learning Tools
Launching a L&D strategy effectively takes time. Start small with a soft-launch with a smaller team so you can pick up on any kinks or obstacles before implementing on a full scale.
Another crucial aspect of this is to communicate it effectively. L&D needs to be a part of the workplace culture.
A winning L&D strategy should consist of a mix between the following:
On the Job Training
On the job training is crucial and it’s where most of an employee's training should come from.
How you want to train your employees here is up to you. You can adopt an online learning program, introduce peer learning, produce walk-through tutorials, or provide one-on-one training with management.
On the job training, whether it’s in the office or online give employees a better sense of control and confidence. In fact, according to a 2018 LinkedIn survey, employees will feel more productive, confident, successful and less stressed.
Collaboration training consists of a mixture of mentoring, leadership shadowing, and any other tasks or activities that allow the employee to mix with other teams and departments.
Lastly, formal training should also play a part in an employee's onboarding experience. These might include workshops, online courses, e-learning tasks or hands-on certified training.
6. Review, Measure, Repeat
L&D takes time - so it’s important to take on employee feedback on the execution, layout and potential improvements. This may also mean tracking employee KPIs or brainstorming new ways to onboard employees.
Remember, the first go may not be a success, it will be a work in progress - but don’t strive for perfection first go. As Dr. Brene Brown says, “we burn out trying to do things perfectly”.
An organisation needs to always be ready to change and adapt their strategy to keep relevant in the workforce market. Regularly checking performance, getting feedback, and smoothing out the kinks is always the best way to stay on track.
Recapping the Benefits of a Winning Learning & Development Strategy
A winning L&D strategy can do so must for your organisation. But here’s a few well-known examples:
- It improves company attraction for top talent
- It boost the ability to learn
- It gives employees the opportunity to explore and learn within the company
- L&D programs correlate to higher levels of engagement
- Organisations experience higher levels of productivity
Finding the right L&D strategy can be challenging, but investing the time to do it right is worth it.
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