Align training efforts with your Business Initiatives 1

How to Align L&D efforts with your Business Initiatives?

Businesses usually fail to understand how effective training efforts can aid in the accomplishment of their corporate objectives. Every organization’s Learning and development(L&D) department is responsible for strategizing excellent training methods aligned with business initiatives to make their people competent enough in the ever-growing environment.

Businesses must understand that people and organizations are two sides of the same coin. When employees are trained to have skills and knowledge that accelerate transformation it makes a great impact on achieving organizational goals faster. The greater business context should guide and motivate L&D’s training efforts and help training managers and instructional designers align their work towards achieving higher goals.

Core capabilities can be developed using well-planned continuous training methods like upskilling, cross-skilling, and reskilling to cater to the needs. It adds to the efficacy of the performance in every department. In addition, it also makes your employees compliant with the most recent technology and behavior.

Importance of aligning training with business strategy How to combat L&D challenges to meet business goals faster

How to combat L&D challenges to meet business goals faster

Challenges CXO faces while achieving Business Goals

To achieve distinct results, it’s vital to transform your people (talent) and organization to see business growth. With the disruption caused by fast-changing trends, the challenge that CXOs face is to build a strategy to achieve definite results.

Any CXO faces the following challenges and essentially, any effort taken by the CXO is tied to one or all of these challenges-

  1. Revenue Growth
    Revenue growth is directly proportional to increased productivity, quality products, and better services. Additionally, you should have distinguished products and services in the marketplace. Competitive change in your products and services can be achieved by differentiated efforts from your people. Hence, talent and organizational transformation are crucial.
  2. Lower Cost
    Lower costs can be attained when there is an increase in productivity. When production becomes efficient, it will help do away with the cost involved in reworking and correcting errors. An increase in productivity can be achieved with L&D training strategies that are aimed at transforming people so that they can take advantage of the change and build efficient production for the success of the organization.
  3. Lower Risks
    Lower risk means to lower compliance risk or risk of losing business because of multiple reasons such as competitors, better products, higher quality, etc… Businesses can sustain in the marketplace only when they have the Moat or innovation with products and services well before their competitors. While doing this, some businesses also need to take care of being compliant to the conditions their industry demands.

Training and Business Objectives- What’s the link?

In an organization, employees must possess the necessary information, tools, abilities, and attitude with respect to their job roles and duties. With changing technology, the existing employees or the new hires need to have the right mindset to grasp the new strategies, methodologies and have proper execution at work.

Employees must receive the appropriate training to be aware of technological advancements. Individual contributors need to be upskilled in technical and practical knowledge, new productivity-boosting techniques, new tools, and workplace security & safety precautions. The supervisory level requires training to develop analytical skills for problem-solving and problem-identification. Finally, employee performance, strategies, Business Analysis and other topics are covered in top-tier training.

By considering training of employees, rather than spending money on hiring from various sources, the business organization can lower costs involved in recruitments. In a good way, training helps the organization remove complexities while empowering employees to manage ongoing and new challenges. In addition, training is a reliable resource for improving employee performance and building competence.

Importance of aligning training with business strategy How-to-align-LD

This alignment helps you accelerate your business transformation

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How to Strategize Training efforts with Business Initiatives?

Only 36% of companies have a business-aligned training strategy. Whilst many companies struggle to begin. Is your company facing a similar problem?

It is imperative for your company to understand the importance of aligning training with business strategy. Follow the 9 steps that L&D Leaders can use to align training activities with business goals.

  • 1. Mindset

    Having a startup mindset is having a new vision, and a new mission.

    • A) Thinking of L&D as a Startup Business

      The L&D needs to strategize and plan to change mindsets to achieve business goals. Organizations need to ensure the L&D’s role is not just of trainers but they are agents of transformation. The L&D must comprehend and decide on long-term goals and examine how training can help employees.

      First, business goals must be evaluated, then strategize training initiatives to achieve those goals. For Instance, if your goals are reduction in costs, and revenue growth, then, upskilling or reskilling platforms can be used in accelerating change among employees to reduce errors and improve performance. In addition, customer satisfaction training can help your company earn loyalty business. Your company must design compliance courses to prevent regulatory agency errors and fines.

    • B) Branding of L&D

      Change in Reputation is most important for L&D’s department to be successful. Trainers also need to be perceived as agents of transformation focused on bringing about change. L&D needs a makeover so that it is no longer seen as a cost center but as a transformation unit by both CXOs and employees.

      This branding of L&D will introduce a change in mindset. Thus, initiating the change in organization where everyone will be aligned to business goals.

  • 2. Strategy

    Strategic Alignment of your L&D strategy with your business goals is crucial for transformation. One method is to create models as per market trends to decide your initiatives. These initiatives have effects on each department in the organization to grow and do things differently. So, how to build a great strategy?

    • A) Research

      When the L&D department understands what the CXO needs and is talking about, they walk into the executive’s shoes to understand what exactly he is looking for as per the new market trends. The L&D team is also required to study the micro-macro, and internal-external trends in your particular industry, understand your board’s requirements and strategize to change people’s skills, knowledge and attitude.

    • B) Gap Analysis

      Next, determine how well your personnel can achieve the company’s vision. Have they got the skills, knowledge, and abilities? To identify gaps in competencies, the L&D can conduct a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), which will help build business-aligned courses.

      Ensure the analysis considers business goals and employee training needs, depending on their current competence and knowledge gaps, to attain the desired performance. The training requirements analysis should uncover:

      Capability Requirement: For instance, one of the corporate goals is to lower production costs. What skills are required of the workforce here? This suggests that the employees should be able to spot mistakes or flaws and eliminate or minimize waste.

      Identify Target Audience: After determining the capabilities that must be enhanced, the next step is to identify the target employee groups who already possess a set of skills comparable to those that will be taught and who will be expected to put those skills to use.

    • c) Learning Objectives

      Learning objectives should be aligned with business objectives. They should be smart, time-bound, relevant, measurable, specific, and reachable. And your strategy’s training objectives should also be smart and efficient.

      For example, consider a learning objective that corresponds with the hypothetical corporate target to cut production time in half. Improve the operations manager’s skills and train the production employees in handling and operating machinery to shorten production time by 25% and boost line efficiency within the next six months.

      These learning objectives are relevant to the business objectives, specifically improving the skills, knowledge and efficiency of employees to handle machinery and increase production by 25%.

  • 3. Execution

    To get the desired results, proper delivery of training as per your strategy is pivotal for transformation. These delivery models can be different depending on the nature of content, the employee requirements, and the preferred method in your organization.

    • A) Methodology

      Training methods include ILT, eLearning, virtual classrooms, and more. Choosing the correct training kind helps align business goals. 52% of training managers prefer three to six modalities for their training courses, with ILT and eLearning as the foundation.

      Additionally, when the delivery of learning is in micro doses, learner-based and personalized it’s more convincing for employees to neutralize the challenges faced due to the forgetting curve. Spaced repetition of complex concepts and ideas is an effective method to reinforce learning.

      Designing an L&D strategy that is strategically aligned with business goals can be met essentially by having an alignment model that accelerates transformation. Let’s consider the industrial giant Bosch that recently announced spending 2 million Euros on reskilling its employees to develop skills, knowledge, and attitude for new electrical technology. Their new strategy will have an impact on departments, like sales, marketing, production, HR, Finance, etc. The L&D team will do skill gap Analysis, design plan, and implement training that will have all their departments ready for the latest change in time.

    • B) Winning Proposal

      You will be able to more effectively convey your company objectives if your employees can find motivation in training and upskilling themselves.

      • To learn something new or learn something that would help employees accomplish their jobs well
      • To acquire skills such as rapid and effective use of tools and technology
      • To hone social skills such as leadership or teamwork

      Whatever the motivation for your training, it’s critical that you establish clear targets to monitor, pertinent to your corporate goals.

    • c) Training Implementation

      Employees don’t stop learning when they finish a training course. Employee learning is constant, like company growth.

      To maximize learning, plan before, during, and after the training. Training should be considered a journey. Follow these methods to make your learners’ learning experience memorable:

      • Teaser movies, pre-assessments, posters, etc., can persuade students to take a course. The more accessible students assimilate material, the faster they’ll improve.
      • Ensure post-training reinforcement. You might recommend designing on-the-go post-training learning activities (micro modules delivered on mobile devices).
      • Repetition of training increases retention, which helps employees achieve company goals.
    • D) Show Results

      You now understand the training’s aim and how it will help employees achieve corporate goals. Then, it’s time to approach the company’s highest executives.

      It’s essential to explain how the training helps achieve long-term corporate goals. Keeping them in the loop as decision-makers and experts clarify corporate objectives and ensure you’re on the right track.

      After communicating the training, the need will be evident if the cost is justified. Their insights will help design more trustworthy courses. Involving the C-Suite in training programs helps establish a robust learning culture that allows everyone in the firm to achieve business goals.

Final thoughts

Every business is set to achieve certain business goals. First, however, there must be a clear path of action and plan that the CXO decides and an L&D team that understands the needs of employees training as per the company vision and business initiatives.

Without a clear set of business goals, the risk of failing or losing business to a competitor in the short- or long-term becomes obvious. Having an L&D team that understands the top executives’ needs as per the market trend is crucial. The L&D, when responsibly manages to prepare strategies, provides means for people to upskill and improve their knowledge, and helps accelerate transformation starting with people transformation, the organization achieves business goals faster.

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