Aligning L&D with Business Goals [RECAP]

Creating L&D programs that build employees’ knowledge and help them meet their goals is important. And it’s just as important that your programs align with your organization’s overall objectives. In this post, we'll recap our business goal alignment series and offer a few words of L&D wisdom.

Do your homework.

In this business goal alignment series, we shared practical examples of aligning your L&D programs with your organization's evolving goals—including several industry-specific scenarios and how L&D program alignment applies in each example. From there, we explored the world of office politics to gain support and buy-in for creating learning programs that complement business priorities and objectives.

Words of L&D Wisdom

We’d like to conclude this series by thanking our guest contributors and sharing a few last words of wisdom.

What advice would you give fellow L&D practitioners who want to align their learning programs with organizational goals?

Working months out is important. If you don’t have a seat in the conference room when company goals are being established, get one!

When organizations work towards their goals, gaps tend to open and widen. Training gets all the stuff that created the gap in the first place (lagging indicators), and now must craft countermeasures to address the need.

Analytics helped us to change the narrative with alignment and use leading indicators. Now that we know so much more about our learners, we can match trends in sales data and customer feedback to trends in training content and consumption.

We can offer predictive solutions based on prior success and failures. Executives set the organizational goals for the company, if training can offer them data backed solutions to close the gaps just as they begin to open, alignment happens organically.

Brian Floyd, director of sales training development

How do you demonstrate L&D success internally?

The strongest voice when communicating the success of a program is not from a leader or stakeholder, but from an actual learner. Additionally, unsolicited and candid feedback from a learner tends to resonate well. This is because there is authenticity and honesty to the message that does not come across in PowerPoint decks or communications.

Of course, data is a part of demonstrating success, but charts and tables only go so far. Storytelling and anecdotes around these metrics are what tend to spread organically via word of mouth. These are the tales that eventually bubble up to leadership and attract their positive attention.

Lori Niles-Hofmann, senior learning strategist

What’s a common challenge to gaining executive buy-in for L&D initiatives, and how can you prevent or overcome it?

There is always a cost associated with implementing new learning initiatives. It’s not uncommon for executives to buy into the idea, but they may not put their money where their mouth is.

Getting funding for needed learning programs can be accomplished through a business case that clearly shows the ROI for the project, data, and use cases supporting the initiative, as well as any existing benchmarking against other companies.

Amy S. Rouse, senior learning technologist at Learning without Limits

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