Everywhere we look, there is an increase in learning and development funding and yet historically, it’s the first business area to see budget cuts in times of crisis. So, how do you quantify the return on investment for learning and development? Better yet, how do you make the business case for a clear and continued focus on talent development in a pay-for-performance based market? The key is in the data.
Learning Analytics- Work Smarter
Big data continues to be a huge buzz word in the industry and yet few understand it’s power and applicability. The goal is to define relationships between massive quantities of information in order to drive more informed decision-making. In the talent world, how do I know what is the safest bet for my resources? Time and again, we fail to attach metrics to the learning impact. However, once the connection is made, there are no limits on where direct value can emerge.
Learning leaders could use big data to show that application and impact are lower for employees with poor supervisors who don’t reinforce learning. We already know this. But can you imagine using big data to show the importance of identifying the right target audience?” – David Vance (Chief Learning Officer, 2016)
Retention Strategy- It’s Time to Ramp Up
In the years ahead, Millennials will be the largest workforce leadership population around the globe and yet two-thirds of them have expressed a desire to leave their organization by 2020 (Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2016). One of the major drivers of employee engagement and loyalty lies in leadership development. Professional training and development remains one of the main criteria for this massive talent pool (Fortune Magazine, 2017). Not only is it time to invest in a long-term retention strategy, it’s also the time to think through a more effective leadership talent pipeline. A sufficient succession planning approach won’t emerge overnight and the time has passed to see the need for critical workforce investment.
Mature companies spend 34% more on training and development than their less mature counterparts (Bersin, 2014). These high impact learning organizations earn a profit growth 3X that of their competitors – (Bersin by Deloitte, 2012)
Increase Development = Increase Profit
Extending training programs will reach your customer base. The more personalized and collaborative the learning experience, the more likely that you can reinforce a culture of innovation within your organizations. It has been proven time and again that the most successful companies are able to present knowledgeable and engaged client-facing employees. This results in customer and employee loyalty while also improving trust.
Your employees are the face of your corporate brand, no matter the industry. How can you begin to help align your marketing approach with the other processes and procedures that exist within your company? An assessment of current state can start you towards a path of evidence-based, strategic decisions in managing your talent.
Dr. Carla Thomas is a scholar-practitioner and President of The Realize Leadership Group. If you are interested in learning more about this and other areas of her work, please contact her here.