L&D leaders need to consciously tune their learning programs to align them with different business metrics in order to gauge their effectiveness in driving business productivity
An organization’s success depends on its ability to address rapidly evolving business challenges by providing extensive learning and development opportunities to its employees. The ability to apply new knowledge and adapt to meet the changing needs of customers is imperative for organizations that want to stay ahead of the competition. L&D initiatives need to be modeled to fill this gap and help organizations be productive. Today, L&D leaders need to consciously tune their learning programs to align them with different business metrics in order to gauge their effectiveness in driving business productivity along with a focus to add value to the overall business.
Innovations form a necessary part of L&D initiatives today. With a multi-generational workforce, the aim is to provide individualized learning using audio, visual and textual mediums. Self-directed learning has now become the new focus for many successful L&D initiatives. This focus is to enable an environment where individuals can take the initiative and responsibility of their own learning. Learning occurs naturally and contextually as part of the daily flow of work. Self-learning can be used to create an integrated solution to promote individual growth by using big data algorithms that identify hidden patterns in content consumption and personalized learning plans that are adapted to individual needs along with strong analytics to quantify the business impact. At its foundation, an effective self-learning program has a deeply integrated content and engagement platform that knows, entices, improves and rewards employees.
L&D initiatives are also strengthened by introducing micro-learning practices that help drive productivity. Micro-learning entails packaging relevant content into small, highly specific modules which are delivered by both textual and audio-visual means. As a result, learners can use specific lessons, a standalone video, or a section of a digital book to fulfil their learning requirements. At Skillsoft, our aim is to provide clients a platform that serves up micro-learning and is optimized to deliver the content as a personalized experience, with a powerful discovery mechanism that enables searching and browsing relevant information, which increases the effectiveness of such initiatives.
Successful engagement begins with committed leaders setting the right direction and tone of the L&D initiatives. Objectives of using various tools ought to be defined upfront with stakeholder buy-in, executives should participate in active sponsorship of program initiatives, and L&D should hold regular strategy sessions to involve business leaders in learning decisions. Despite its influence across the organization, L&D sometimes struggles to quantify or validate their contribution to the business. This hampers subsequent investments to further L&D prospects within the organization. To ensure productivity, adoption of technology-driven learning has become an imperative.
By building on their analytical capabilities, L&D leaders will be able to examine large amounts of data to demonstrate the impact training has on the workforce, and make insightful decisions that have a positive workforce impact. Analytics functionality is increasingly being included in learning and talent development systems. This also helps L&D prove a case for itself. However, the tools and data are only part of the equation. The aim should be to build capabilities to examine data that helps in monitoring agility and other key characteristics that drive success within the organization, identify high efficiency or over-investment that allows decision-makers to compare performance quarter to quarter. To ensure a learning program is positively affecting business outcomes, the program’s initiatives should focus on end results, use business objectives to determine learning priorities and integrate it across other HR and talent strategies. For this, L&D leaders need to ensure that their L&D programs align with business metrics. They should be able to implement a framework that allows the learning programs to drive the guiding principles of the company.