7 Critical Strategies for Learning Leaders

These seven key strategies, based on Brandon Hall’s extensive learning research, can help learning leaders prioritize their efforts and highlight the breadth of activities required to deliver great learning results for your business.

  • Put Yourself First. Learning leaders are accustomed to ensuring the development of others within the organization, but like they say at the beginning of every flight, it’s important to put your own oxygen mask on first. Learning leaders need to take time to focus on their own development as well. Aligning with the business, developing new learning strategies, and conducting analysis of learning and development needs are the top priorities identified in Brandon Hall Group’s latest Learning and Development study, so learning leaders need to make sure they are developing business acumen, strategic thinking, and analytical skills.
  • Put me in Coach. 68% of organizations rate coaching and mentoring as a highly effective learning methodology, but only 27% say it’s widely used within organizations. Learning leaders need to focus on building coaching capabilities among their organizational leaders. Ongoing feedback and support for managers ranked at the top of the list for influencers of employee engagement, so teaching these skills to leaders will have a significant organizational impact when it comes to engagement and retention.
  • Walk the Line. True employee engagement is about the alignment of individual goals and priorities with those of the business. Drawing this line of sight is critical, but only 36% of organizations rate themselves “good” at providing regular and timely and informal feedback for managers, and just 33% think that their managers are highly skilled performance coaches. Creating and reinforcing this line of sight is critical to ongoing performance.
  • Projects Rule. As organizations are flattened, organizations need to find new ways to provide leadership development opportunities, stretch assignments, and growth opportunities. By creating a clear strategy to use teams and projects for development, organizations can accelerate the development of their successor pool, and encourage organizational mobility.
  • Let’s All Measure Together. It’s important to make sure everyone is using the same scale when it comes to measuring the impact of learning. Today 72% of organizations use individual performance as a measure of learning effectiveness, and 61% use employee engagement. But just 32% look at revenue growth, and 31% look at profitability, as measures of learning impact. Developing a business-focused measurement strategy will help learning organization communicate with the business.
  • Power to the People. Collaborative learning is at the heart of many organizations’ learning strategies. And for good reason. 62% of organizations rated on-the-job learning as highly effective, and 55% said the same of peer-to-peer learning. In addition, organizations using collaborative learning tools improved employee engagement as well as their ability to achieve overall business goals versus those that didn’t.
  • The Voice of a New Generation. Don’t forget about the multi-generational nature of your learners, and, in particular, the needs of millennials. 39% of organizations expect turnover to increase among this group in the coming year. One key strategy for keeping them with your organization is helping them see how they have opportunities to learn and grow their careers with you.

Mollie Lombardi, Vice President and Principal Analyst,
Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

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