The perception of alignment of L&D with business strategy is vital to the establishment of an alliance between the two. This partnership can lead to a greater impact to the business than even the best learning strategy could offer. In the previous article we discussed the challenges of L&D. Now, we shall discuss the strategies and advantages of alignment of L&D with business strategy.
Strategies for Partnership
Here are some strategies to help you show value and alignment, enabling the development of an effective partnership.
- Know the Business, and Understand the Work – L&D leaders cannot align to what they do not know or understand. Taking time to understand the work of the business is also an investment into the relationship between you and your associates. Some of your team members may need help to understand a company’s business goals, but giving them that support will improve the business insight of the entire L&D function.
- Be a Thought Leader, and Bring a Perspective – The value that L&D brings includes a deep knowledge of adult learning, ability in solution types and technologies, the ability to match solutions to needs, and the talent to foresee and resolve challenges by executing learning solutions. Alignment of L&D with business strategy, can highlight both value and partnership using a confident perspective that demonstrates this value in the context of current business goals.
- Act As a Partner, Not a Giver – When L&D acts as a giver, the business considers the process of identifying learning solutions, wearing down the L&D value proposition. When you act as a partner, you become a loyal adviser who gives the best solutions and techniques to fit the needs of the business. Sometimes, slight adjustments in tone and process can set the stage to shift the L&D function as a business partner.
- Provide the Perfect Solution For The Need – The business’ courage in L&D grows when the scope of a solution is corresponding to the scope of the need. Immediate issues that you can solve by simple changes in communication practices should not be dealt with expensive, sophisticated learning solutions that take a long time to develop. Often, even when a difficult solution might be the best long-term fit, you can plan a simpler solution to meet immediate needs and avoid delays in business function.
- Focus On Experiential Learning – Across the organization, experiential learning is only as good as the selected quality and regularity of available experiences and coaching. A L&D organization that knows the business, understands how the work is done and has established a reliable partnership is well equipped to design impactful experiential learning that include the necessary support for learners and their managers.
Advantages of Alignment
Some of the advantages of alignment of L&D with business strategy are as follows –
- Ways to Measure L&D – If learning leads to positive results for the company, then the flaws that already exist must impact negatively on the growth and profitability. While aligning the L&D with the business strategy the organization should find useful ways to measure the L&D. This is possible only if the learners can contribute to the strategic goals of learning and development.
- Identifying the Future Challenges – A good learning programme records all the challenges of the organization. Being aware of the present position of the company helps in dealing with the future goals aptly. The L&D programme needs to realize the future goals and challenges that an organization needs to focus on.
- Increase Employee Engagement – Implementing L&D should be relevant to the individuals or it would be just a waste of time. Therefore, targeting learning that is purposeful both to the individual and the organization increases the engagement. Thus, leading to a long-term success.
Aligning L&D with business strategy is a big challenge in modern business. By following the same things repeatedly, you can’t start a revolution and you can’t keep your learners engaged, if you use improper learning platforms. That’s why it’s so important to clearly convey the purpose of training, how this helps the business to reach its objectives for learning and development, and how that moves the organization closer to its longer-term vision.