We all know the value learning and development (L&D) has within an organization. In fact, according to a recent study, the learning management market will be worth more than $7 billion in 2018. It’s no secret that more and more companies are utilizing learning management platforms to make their training and employee management processes more efficient. With the market on the rise, how can you create more value this year?
Creating more value starts with reviewing how L&D impacts the organization. Learning executives can create a tremendous amount of value at the business level in 2016 by focusing on how learning and development can positively impact their company’s culture, function and business
1. Cultural Impact
Goal: Increase learner confidence
Today’s workforce is composed of millennial lifelong learners craving guidance and tools to propel their careers and grow. One of the easiest ways to create value within your organization on a cultural level is increasing learner confidence. There are two ways to do this.
First, use surveys. If you have a training project, survey your learning population before designing the content. This ensures you have solid strategic direction that supports the overall business mission and drives learner confidence. Learners always will be more engaged when your trainings directly answer their questions. Surveys are an exceptional tool for driving learner confidence, because you can track desired and fulfilled achievements, as well as measure the success of a program for future effectiveness. The reason many companies cannot do this is because setting up a survey with a list of current employees and extracting those results is a heavily manual process, not to mention on that comes with an additional cost. So, to avoid this and drive functional efficiency, invest in a survey tool that works with your learning management system (LMS).
Second, be sure you have plenty of content variety. If you don’t have an LMS, you need to invest in one! Storing PowerPoints and other documents is just one aspect of learning delivery. Too many companies fail to invest in an LMS and instead operate off shared computer drives. These are good options, but they highly limit content variety. What about engaging videos? Or ways to direct your learners to outside websites, blogs or audio recordings? If you want to make an impact on your company’s culture by building learner confidence, you have to provide content that appeals to different types of learners and solidifies your branding.
2. Functional Impact
Goal: Make technology assessments
A major struggle for learning executives is they have great goals, but poor technology to drive the desired results. To make this functional impact on your organization, you must be open to evaluating your learning technologies from your performance management and learning management systems. There always will be projects to complete, important deadlines to meet and excuses for why you can’t do this. But too many times, learning executives believe they are all set, only to discover they are operating within multiple systems that actually hinder efficiency, productivity and engagement. For optimum results, choose a provider that offers regular and consistent system updates so you can be sure the technology you’re using is always up-to-date. And it’s always a good rule of thumb to evaluate your systems year after year.
3. Business Impact
Goal: Contribute to business strategy
You do this through training.
But before you can build a training strategy, you first must identify the problem you want training to solve. Problems can be employee turnover, poor management or lack of education on products and services within your company. Once you’ve identified the issues, build your program by answering the following:
- What will the curriculum be?
- Who needs to be involved in the curriculum design?
- What impact will the training bring to the organization?
- What is the action plan to accomplish this?
- What are the reporting elements needed to measure training results?
Learning executives who utilize training have a unique opportunity to better the business because they are involved intimately with the details of the process, the learners and their knowledge competence.
Whether you strive to increase learner confidence, make technology assessments or contribute to business strategy this year, set your goals high. You will have added value by succeeding at any one of the three.