A learning and development strategy aims to meet employee learning and development needs, ensure optimal human capital development, and build the business management and leadership skills for a strong executive team into the future. When it is well-aligned with overall business objectives, a clear and well-defined learning and development strategy provides the blueprint to develop a talent pipeline that can deliver organizational goals.
Why is a learning and development strategy so essential?
The current business environment is fast-paced, demanding and constantly evolving. Global general management leaders need the skills to face ever-new situations, so their development as leaders can't be left to chance. A good learning and development strategy incorporates senior executive training, so their leadership skills are continually sharpened. Top leaders also need competent teams they can count on. In a company with a clear and effective learning and development strategy, senior executives know that the talent pipeline is secure: team members have received appropriate management skills training to fulfil their individual roles and the management succession plan is solid.
Key considerations for a successful learning and development strategy
There are a number of things to keep in mind in order to design and implement a successful L&D strategy.
- Ensure that your learning and development strategy is aligned with an overall business strategy, because your organization's learning and development needs are unique. If, for example, your organization has placed a priority on brand marketing strategy, be sure to incorporate marketing courses into your L&D strategy.
- Make your learning and development strategy an organizational priority. A senior officer, such as a corporate learning officer or education executive, should drive its development and be awarded adequate budget, resources and support.
- Conduct an internal stakeholder assessment to identify the various stakeholders and understand what they require from your learning and development strategy. Gain buy-in by making them a part of the process. To take the above example of a marketing and branding priority, consult the marketing team to know and incorporate their learning and development needs.
- To develop an effective corporate training package, include resource use considerations in your learning and development strategy. Consider whether you will have better gains from in-house training management courses and workshops or if you can make better strategic use of resources by accessing business classes at top business schools. The former may offer advantages such as team unity and speed of program delivery; the latter enables you to tap into leading-edge business expertise. A mix of both may prove to be the winning L&D strategy.
- Consider the best corporate learning tools and technique within your learning and development strategy. Some of today's best tools for integrative corporate learning include leadership exercises, leadership coaching, guided case study analysis, flexibly balanced distance and campus learning, and real-world learning in global business hot-spots.
- Don't forget that employee recruitment and retention are interconnected and that learning and development programs should contribute to these as part of your value proposition to employees. Ensure that expected impact on recruitment and retention is set out in your learning and development strategy.
- Consider the future of your learning and development strategy. As learning and development needs and management training tools and resources evolve, so should your L&D strategy. Build your management development objectives and enhancement goals into your learning and development strategy.