It is a known fact that organizations who encourage a culture of continuous learning house the best performing talent and achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. To keep a business running in its top form, leveraging learning and development (L&D) can be one of the most effective ways. According to The Association of Talent Development, “organizations are more competitive, agile, and engaged when knowledge is constantly and freely shared.”

Achieving your L&D goals is not always a smooth sailing scenario. It involves a substantial amount of planning and coordination, right from identifying competency gaps, developing the right learning content to cater to different roles and at the end of the day, proving the ROI of L&D investments to the senior management. Owing to the complexity of planning and execution that the function entails, at times business can overlook the role of L&D in the larger business scheme.

Having said that, there are proven ways to overcome these challenges. Firstly, L&D professionals need to actively be a part of strategic business conversation with other function heads, understand the overall organizational goals, and ensure their L&D programs are well-aligned to achieve them. Secondly, L&D must encourage everyone in the organization to make continuous learning a part of their daily routine to achieve the desired learning effectiveness. Let’s deep dive into these two ways a bit more.

Collaborating with Cross-Functional Departments

For strategic conversations that happen between business/functional heads involving discussing the KPIs and outcomes of the next quarter or year, L&D stakeholders need to be a part of these dialogs. The insights from these conversations can help L&D professionals to craft better learning programs that align to the over business goals. Similarly, the business or function heads too need to oversee and supervise the L&D to set the desired learning outcomes. Another dimension to this approach is for function heads to not only be involved as the subject matter expert to help create the content but also be involved in being accountable for the learning outcomes. This way of having company-wide shared goals can ensure the effectiveness of L&D initiatives and also establish a process of continuous improvement. For instance, L&D professionals can discuss with function heads to understand the skill gaps of their respective talents and the key areas they want to focus on in terms of reskilling and upskilling. The L&D team can take pointers and go back to the drawing board to develop the appropriate learning programs that best suit the goals of every department. Function heads too need to emphasize the importance of continuous learning amongst their teams and take feedback on the learning content regularly. These ways of having shared learning responsibility can help businesses to develop and hone excellent talent which can in turn result in driving desired business outcomes.

Making Continuous Learning a Habit 

When employees and managers alike make learning a habit, as a part of their daily work, they stand a good chance to be proficient at their jobs by upskilling and reskilling themselves. Business can benefit largely to drive results when employees gain the right competency to do the job well. With cross-functional collaborations L&D teams have a decent amount of data points into the learning needs, competency gaps of the workforce, and how it can be fixed. When everyone in the organization takes the responsibility to create successful partnerships between their team and the L&D professionals, the organization can achieve greater goals.

l&d playbook digital transformation

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