Should You Centralize or Decentralize Your Training Function?

Should You Centralize or Decentralize Your Training Function? Whitepaper Download.

Once your training function has a clear direction and mission, it needs to have the appropriate structure to help make it happen. When it comes to organizational design, we believe that form follows function.

If you are reading this article and your training strategy is unclear, seemingly impossible to implement, or if people do not believe in it, stop! Get your team together and agree upon your overall strategies, priorities and action plan. Your organizational structure should be a reflection of your strategic intent and priorities.

There are three basic structural models that are commonly used for Learning and Development Functions: centralized, decentralized or federal. The choice of an organizational structure should follow naturally from your strategic direction. While no structure can ensure success, it can create an effective framework for making decisions and organizing how work gets done in a way that aligns with your overall corporate strategy and workplace culture.

In addition to the centralized, decentralized and federal models, some training functions have successfully developed hybrid models to take advantage of specific elements of each. For example, some companies centralize leadership, safety, onboarding and compliance training but have left sales, product and customer service training separate. The bottom line is that the structure should help to deliver bottom-line value and help the organization achieve its business goals.

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