3 Tips to Link Learning and Business Performance

Link Learning and Business Performance

Do You Link Learning and Business Performance?
We have yet to meet a front line leader that does not want to link learning and business performance.  One of the major components of an effective talent management strategy is promoting the kind of learning that makes good business sense. It’s all about making the link with business priorities.

Make an Impact on The Business
Today’s learning leaders who want to make an impact on people and business performance understand that learning is no longer simply about one-time training events, well-crafted content or alluring delivery modalities. To make an impact, corporate learning leaders must link learning and business performance to help move the people and business strategies forward.

Otherwise, What Is The Point?
Imagine learning that does not link learning and business performance or move the people and business strategies forward.  That type of learning would not be highly relevant to the employee’s job, performance or company priorities.  Unfortunately this happens more than you think.

According to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Beer,

  • Studies have shown that only 10% of corporate training is effective
  • An oil company built a $20 million safety training facility but still suffered several fatal accidents
  • Individual development has to take place in the context of a larger change process motivated by the senior team

We could not agree more.

Three Tips to Link Learning and Business Performance
Follow these three talent management tips to better link learning and business performance to help learning make a true and positive difference at your company. Make the link between:

1.  Make The Link Between Your Role and Leadership
Learning professionals can and should play a critical role in talent management. To do so, they must earn a seat at the executive table by showing how each learning initiative is relevant to:

  • The participants
  • Their bosses
  • The business as a whole

Training should not be a series of isolated events you can check off a list; training should be highly relevant, customized and reinforced to directly boost performance where it matters most.

2.  Make The Link Between Learning And The Business Goal
Work with company leadership to define and understand the critical few strategic priorities and how improved skills, behaviors or knowledge will directly move them forward.

  • For example, if reducing turnover of first year employees is a strategic priority, more effective new employee onboarding may be an effective learning solution to improve employee engagement, attrition and speed to productivity.
  • If, on the other hand, one of the top strategic priorities is to sell more complex solutions to target clients, sales training could be an effective component to improving revenue growth.

You would be surprised at the number of isolated training events being designed and delivered at companies today with little link to the business.  You will know you are on the right path from a learning and development perspective when your key stakeholders agree upon the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the desired business and learning results?
  • How specifically will the training initiative help the target audience achieve one of the company’s top strategic priorities?
  • How will you know that success has been achieved?
  • What business metric are you trying to impact?
  • How big is the problem you are trying to solve compared to other strategic priorities?
  • What makes you believe that skills, knowledge, or attitudes are part of the solution?

3.  Make The Link Between Learning And The Employee Experience
Based upon over 500,000 employee engagement survey responses, we know that continuous learning has a direct impact on employee engagement, productivity and retention. When employees are continuously given opportunities to develop and grow, they feel that their company values their contribution and that they have a desirable career path ahead. Engaged employees make up a dedicated, hard-working, productive workforce.

You will know you are headed in the right direction in this area when employees believe their job gives them a chance to learn and grow.

The Bottom Line
Our organizational alignment research found that Talent accounts for up to 29% of the difference between high and low performing organizations.  We define talent as the workforce that leaders build and manage to create a unique advantage their competitors cannot replicate.  It includes the ability to effectively attract, develop, engage and retain top talent that fits your unique situation.

Unfortunately, organizations continue to spend (and often waste) billions of dollars each year on training and development for their employees – programs that typically fail to produce tangible behavior change or business results.  To better develop talent make sure you link learning and business performance.

To learn more about how to link learning and business performance, download the Top 5 Training Strategies and Key Mistakes To Avoid

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I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

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Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

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I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

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LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.

Robert Breckner
Firmware Engineering Manager

We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.

Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources

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Bob Ward
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The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.

Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

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