How to align eLearning Initiatives to Business Success: What do L&D Leaders suggest?

Posted on : June 19th, 2015
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Technology-aided learning has a lot of potential to significantly improve the way that learning and work are integrated. But the L&D function within an organization needs to clearly find important links between learning and business objectives of the organization. It is important for the L&D function to create a continual learning process that is beneficial both to the learners as well as the organization. This builds the confidence and capability of workers as well as improves business results for organisations.

Online Learning for Business Success
According to a research done by Towards Maturity, there is a definite lag in how well the objectives of learning and business are actually defined within the organization. The following numbers are quite surprising:

  1. Only 36% of organisations work with business leaders to identify business needs within the organization and performance indicators that they want to improve
  2. While demonstrating value back to the business only half of those organisations -a mere 16% in total, measure against the business metrics they agreed!
  3. And finally, only 55% analyse the business problem before recommending a solution.

Can this by why often online learning, for all its vast potential, does not measure up to the expectations of the learners as well as the organization? A lot of times, the answer is affirmative! Here are 7 things that most evolved L&D leaders suggest to create ‘aligned’ elearning within the organization – for the benefit of all.

Prioritize elearning through strategic business objectives: From a clear understanding of business objectives, successful L&D functions establish elearning priorities as well as set up a longer term strategy. While working along business managers, L&D teams don’t have to simply take learning orders from business managers. They should analyse business problems before recommending solutions. Not only does this improve the learning impact but the strategy is also inclined to adapt with changing business priorities.

Involve corporate leaders and top honchos in learning decisions: This may be easier said than done, for the top honchos find it difficult to get time out of their busy schedules. Before approaching the top management, L&D managers should do up the reading on what the senior leaders are sharing in reports and media interviews. These are the values that create the objectives for the business and help L&D team to build a learning programme to deliver these objectives. In addition, L&D managers can involve top management in other ways that do not take up much of their time or effort. Building a channel of communication – over something as basic as email, might be the first step that will aid involvement. Know the answers to key implementation questions before the board asks them. This will demonstrate preparedness and all save the precious time of top management.

The focus should be on the end results: The L&D team should be clear of learning goals and focus that online training strives to meet the goals. Thus all learning solutions should be designed with the business outcome in mind. This means ensuring that learning professionals are clear about the strategy and priorities of the business. Top elearning company succeed by setting up business targets for learning interventions as well and then measure against them. They also demonstrate a commitment to ensuring the skills that are developed are then actively utilized in the course of work.

Integrate with HR and talent strategy: Learning is a social activity and even within the corporate houses, it never occurs in isolation. Many modern organisations have established talent management strategies and their L&D function makes sure that their learning activity fits within the wider talent strategy. In such organisations, learning is closely meshed within succession planning, recruitment and performance management strategies.

Calculate ROI, Demonstrate business value: Successful L&D teams are focussed on adding real value back to the business. Learning-inclined organizations calculate the return on investment for their learning programmes and go beyond efficiency savings by calculating actual value to the bottom line. This makes sure that management teams are clearer about how learning is aligned to their overall business plan and push the learning efforts accordingly.

Ensure staff understand their contribution: L&D managers should make sure that learning is embedded directly into the workflow of the learners. This encourages them to develop a learning culture. It also answers the important question ‘why am I learning this’. L&D should ensure that their staff are clear about how their learning supports the organisation’s performance and that their workers understand their personal contribution to business success.

Proactive management commitment is the cherry on top: Lastly, successful learning companies run impactful learning initiatives through the proactive support from their top managers. If senior managers demonstrate an ongoing commitment to learning, including technology-enabled learning within the organisation, it is a huge push for learning which not only benefits their staff but also themselves. Managers influence the employees the most even more than top learning professionals within the organisations. So if L&D can convince the managers to embrace learning initiatives, the reach and impact increases exponentially.

Modern organizations implement successful elearning by clearly understanding what is important in the business. They understand how learning adds value back to the business. And with a well-defined alignment of business goals as well as learning, the value of the entire organization increases.

If you want to discuss more about how you can align your eLearning initiatives to your business success, please contact us via info@gc-solutions.net or fill the following form:

Arunima Majumdar

Arunima is an e-learning blogger and likes discussing innovations in training & learning for the new-age corporate sector.

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