We’ve been taking a close look at what’s happening out there in the world of corporate learning and training.
Organisations continue to invest in developing people, which is a good thing, but we’re not seeing a clear connection between what’s being spent and the organisation’s real priorities. This makes it hard to demonstrate real value being returned to the organisation.
We see the problem facing many learning initiatives is that they are not:
· Connected to Strategy, and or
· Driven by Managers, and or
It’s clear that if all three of these elements are connected and present then the organisation will get a return on investment (ROI), and get real value from investing in learning.
Is it possible to get value by only having one or two of these elements in place? Yes, but nowhere near the potential of having all three. Let's take each individually.
Applied OTJ only – if a learner is highly motivated and views their learning as their responsibility, then it’s possible for the learner to get better at what they’re training for, and ultimately drive value for themselves. The question remains – what about application OTJ to deliver value to the organisation funding the learning?
Our motivated learner example looks positive, but according to a recent HRM Online article this learner only represents 14% employees. 86% of employees view it at their manager’s responsibility to ensure they have the right skills and knowledge to do their job.
Driven by Managers only – first let’s clarify that we’re talking about the manager of the employee, not members of the People Capability team (HR, OD or L&D). The employee’s manager is pivotal in this picture, they translate the strategy into goals and objectives for the team, they set the tone and they are ultimately responsible for their team’s performance. That being the case, surely they need to be in the drivers seat when it comes to their team member’s development pathway?
Connected to Strategy only – whose responsibility is it to ensure the right capability is being developed to drive the organisation’s strategy? It has to be a partnership, the People Capability team working closely with those pivotal managers from the business. The managers can bring what’s needed ‘in the trenches’ (short to medium term) to marry with views on what’s needed longer term from a people capability perspective.
Gap analysis is the other piece of the strategy puzzle – what’s known about the organisation’s capability today vs. what’s needed to achieve the strategy that is likely focused towards 2020?
Over the coming weeks we’ll share more thinking, and hopefully generate discussion on how these three elements grow value from learning.
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