Having knowledge of the business and learners, will give you guidance, but the ability to create a functional and effective learning strategy, and deliver it, is essential for a successful L&D business partner. For years learning and development professionals have felt neglected while HR departments have introduced the successful business partner model. But as L&D experts now develop business partner status too, a certain amount of professional conflict is arising. An effective L&D business partner needs to be at the center of design and delivery.
Workplace learning continues to evolve, bringing along not just challenges and opportunities, but also the need for L&D to continuously develop their skills to meet the demands of its people. An effective L&D business partner needs to understand the business problems they are facing, and command stakeholder engagement.
Role of a L&D Business Partner
A L&D business Partner is responsible for ensuring what L&D contributes to and impacts, improved performance in the workplace at an individual, team and organizational level. They also have the responsibility to adjust learning needs with the strategic ambitions and objectives of the business. They are agents for change, influencing key stakeholders, giving suggestions on what the business should do in an L&D context. The L&D Partner will often have expertise and competence in a specific field. They link the work they do to the context and strategic preferences of the business and measure the results and impact of any learning interventions, to demonstrate a return on investment.
Their role requires a good grounding across all areas of L&D and is business and future focused. In larger organizations, they may be one of a team supporting the business and may be accountable for managing people and a budget. The L&D business partner is better able to evaluate and correlate business and individual performance to identify relevant human factors and design L&D initiatives to address them.
L&D departments are quickly becoming the core of all strategic partnerships for organizations across industries and will be the most innovative department within most organizations over the next few years. They have the capacity to inspire innovation and drive organizational goals forward, as well as increase an organization’s income and profit margins. However, they must first build strategic partnerships with several other sectors.
A L&D business partner, should work closely with HR to build a steady, high-quality, and loyal set of participants for various programs and courses, which can include onboarding courses, leadership courses, soft skills training courses, etc. They need to build strategies for how they’ll better personalize their L&D initiatives so that employees are consistently engaged in the right programs for them and their individual career paths and interests at the right times.
They should create programs that will decrease an organization’s employee destruction rates while providing each employee with the necessary training he or she needs as a new hire with your organization. As an L&D professional, you will need to build strong partnerships with your organization’s IT and technology departments. As you adopt and update your online systems, you will need their support and expertise to ensure your programs and tools are always first-rate and that they’re always available to learners.
Learning and development business partners have long struggled to drag their function into the mainstream by showing how their work contributes true value to the bottom line, and is necessary for long-term strategic planning.