It is common knowledge that organisations spend millions on learning and development per annum. And yet, many managers don’t measure the value and impact that learning and development has within their organisation. Catherina Opperman in her new book Determine the True Value of Learning & Development identifies some of the reasons why this occurs:
- If it is not enforced, it does not have to be done.
- The strategic objectives are not widely shared beyond executive management.
- The vision and mission of the organisation are not actively communicated.
- The organisation only conducts a formal needs analysis in isolated pockets of departments, or not at all.
- The mindset is one of how many employees attend training during a year to boost the training plan figures.
- Job descriptions is not regularly reviewed.
- Competency models do not exist for all departments and employees.
- Facilitation is not done against specific measurables to increase/decrease quantity, quality, cost and time.
- The influence of non-training variables is not pro-actively determined.
- Skills transfer reports do not exist.
Identify the business case for implementing learning and development
Organisations as players in the very competitive global market arena have access to a broad range of strategies to choose from. This has an impact on both the organisational strategy and the strategic HRD plan to assist with strategy formulation and implementation. In formulating this strategy, the vision and mission will be translated into goals that the organisation plans to achieve in the foreseeable future.
What is it that the organisation would like to improve on? In Determine the True Value of Learning & Development, Catherina Opperman suggests these goals could include some of the following strategies:
- Gain a bigger market share
- Profitable growth
- Improve service delivery
- Extend the suite of products
- Reduce operating costs
- Re-engineer processes
- Enhance information technology processes
- Increase the quality of products and service delivery
- Benchmark for best practice to streamline processes
- On-time delivery
- Powerful branding and identity
- Sound customer relationships
- Customer support before, during and after service delivery
- Increase customer connectivity
- First to the market with new products or services
- Innovation by targeting new markets and developing new processes
- Convenience for the customer by being easily accessible
- Legislation compliance
Sustainable learning is integral to organisational survival. A competitive advantage is not only defined by new products; the role of strategy is to identify the talent that needs to be developed to ensure the organisation can achieve and sustain a competitive advantage to retain a prominent position in the marketplace. Strategic learning will assist the organisation to have a knowledgeable and skilled workforce to maintain this competitive advantage and develop its talent.
By implementing strategic learning and determining the value of learning, organisations make a statement by saying “knowledge is important”. This is necessary for management and staff to know that learning was done for the sake of learning, and not to accumulate data for annual reporting purposes.
Linking learning to the strategic objectives of the organisation
The objectives of the organisational needs analysis focus on the long-range intentions aligned to the goals, purpose and mission of the organisation. A goal is a general statement about a desired outcome with one or more specific objectives that define in precise terms what has to be accomplished within a designated time-frame. A goal may be innovation, an improvement, performance-related, or a combination of these goals.
These organisational goals are translated into departmental objectives by determining which particular area will be focused on to achieve these strategic objectives. Catherina Opperman suggests, for example:
- Competitor benchmarking
- Convenience for the customer
- Customer retention
- Customer acquisition
- Culture of the organisation to be service driven
- Change in market strategy
- To implement new products
- The climate is conducive to implement new products
She suggests you ask the following questions when transferring strategic goals to achievable departmental objectives:
- What does the organisation want to achieve?
- Which area/s will be affected?
- By when should this be done?
- Who will be the project manager?
Use Catherina Opperman’s new book to: Determine the True Value of Learning & Development within in your organisation. In this book she links the various processes of the learning and development cycle to deliver sustainable impact sessions to determine the true value of learning and development.
To learn more about this new title – click here now.
About the author
Catherina is a specialist consultant who, with her knowledge and expertise, assists companies with ROI measurement, quality assurance, assessment, skills development and legislative compliance. She is experienced and knowledgeable in outcomes-based education and learning principles, and education, training and quality assurance (ETQA) processes as a result of being extensively involved in the industry. She is co-author of the first South African Book on ROI – Measuring return on investment in training: A practical implementation guide, and co-authored Integrating training needs analysis, assessment and evaluation. Catherina is one of the managing members of ROIONLINE.
Learn more about her new book Determine the True Value of Learning & Development here.
3 Books that belong on the shelf of every learning & development specialist