In any organization, to incorporate changes and improvements, one needs a good plan first. In multinational, global corporations, the collaboration between different branches across the world can be tricky. Incorporating multiple actors and engaging them on the same level while asserting congruence, integrity, and flow, crucial in every successful endeavor, can prove rather challenging. Therefore, every company should implement a sturdy training and development strategy, which will serve as guidance, a template, for implementing any changes. In this article, we will take a closer look at such strategies and see, what technological advancements can do to facilitate and smoothen the exchange.
What is a training and development strategy?
To put it simply, it’s a tool designed to align the business goals of the company with the skills of the employees. Such alignment is never stable and requires constant calibration – not just because business goals are drawn anew, reached, redefined, and so on. The flow of talents is a variable that has to be constantly accounted for, as even the best companies experience (both intra- and inter) movement of employees. Hence, learning and development strategy as a tool needs to be flexible enough to serve more as a list of guidelines than a rigid scheme. It must be underlined too, that such strategy works both ways: not only to make sure the business goals of the company are effectively met but, maybe even more importantly, that the learning aims of the employees are taken care of.
Benefits of having a training and development strategy
The state of play in the business world is that… it’s never static. On the contrary, in the ever-changing environment, constant development and evolution are key to stay afloat. Therefore, all major businesses need to focus on learning simply to keep up with the speed of the market. This refers to employees at all positions, from CEO and senior officers to interns and trainees – development is very egalitarian in that regard. Training (or learning) and development strategies target specific skills required from employees at every position so that they can keep fulfilling their roles the best way possible. For senior staff that would mean improvement of their leadership skills, for middle-rank workers – sharpening their teamwork, problem-solving and creative skills. For interns: gaining more practical and institutional knowledge, or more specialized expertise. All to make sure the pipeline is secure, talents taken care of and all the fires put out before they even start.
Creating a successful training and development strategy
To be sure, it’s a complicated process that requires collaboration between the business and HR departments, involves multiple people at various positions and ranks, outsourcing, SME consultation, and so on. Then, what are the features of the successful L&D strategy? I quickly answer – it must be efficient and effective. Here are some tips on how to build a sturdy, adaptable and efficient training plan for employees across all ranks.
Document your training and development strategy
Experts unequivocally agree, that first and foremost, training and development within companies should be formalized. What does it mean? Some companies do not have a clear vision of what they need and want to do to marry their business goals and employee training. The strategy must be put on paper (literally or metaphorically). Having a strategy means having guidelines one can constantly refer to while making decisions and managing talents.
The training and development strategy should be aligned with the overall business strategy of the company. Specialists underline, that the needs and requirements of each company are unique, therefore an approach or goals that fit one company won’t necessarily fit others. Analyzing business strategies first allows pinpointing key skills and areas of interest which will help outline the learning strategy for the staff. For example, if your company’s interest lies in social media marketing, you need to make sure to incorporate relevant training into your strategies.
Utilize and incorporate technology
In the 21st century, you should make technology your best friend. Online learning platforms are great tools for every company, whether small or big, which facilitate collaboration, the flow of information, management of contributions, and dissemination of knowledge. At EdApp, we make sure to deliver what L&D departments might need. With a powerful authoring tool, you can easily create courses, and thanks to collaboration features you can host training, manage your contributors, and receive feedback from your partners and participants.
Another feature of an efficient training and development strategy is to involve your stakeholders in the training. Assessment of their needs and requirements, understanding them, and incorporating those in your training will grant you an easy way in with them and new clients. Asking them to participate in and contribute to your company’s learning strategies, will make them feel seen, heard, and accounted for.
Invest in employees’ career development
Last but not least, in creating learning and development strategies it’s pivotal to consider the benefits of your employees. Learning and training opportunities are important factors assessed by potential employees during recruitment and it helps to keep your employee retention rates high. Strategies involve long-term actions, and you need to have your team on board, to achieve many of those distant goals, and continuity among the collaborators will be immensely helpful. Online learning platforms such as EdApp offer many employee-oriented solutions to facilitate learning, feedback, and satisfaction rates among your talents.
Developing a successful training and development strategy is not an easy task and involves multiple rank employees. It should aim to cater to the needs of all ranks and improve the skills that are most necessary for them to perform their tasks. Attention to the development and learning aspect of the job, and in effect, to the facilitation of career paths within companies, has proven very successful in keeping the employee retention rates high. No business goals can be achieved without a dedicated and motivated team – listening to their needs and catering to them should prove successful in achieving both: creating a beneficial working environment and accomplishing your business goals.
Niazi A. S., “Training and Development Strategy and Its Role in Organizational Performance”, Journal of Public Administration and Governance, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2011.