Learning and Development Strategy: Your Life Raft in Organizational Change

Learning and Development Strategy: Your Life Raft in Organizational Change


Stephanie Vozza


As you take the leap to transform your organization, it can often feel like diving into the unknown. However, you'll be in good company. A study by Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) found that 86% of organizations had recent experience with transformation and 54% were currently undergoing one.

To prepare for your organizational overhaul, first secure the key to success: a strong learning and development strategy. L&D has the power to unite employees and avoid obstacles that delay adjusting to your new normal. That makes now the perfect time to update your learning management system and overall L&D strategy to be transformation-ready.

Find the areas of your LMS that need improvement

In the midst of an organizational change—whether it's a merger or new product rollout—your L&D strategy will likely need a reboot. Your LMS should be adaptable enough to support new skills that your existing or changing workforce must possess. For instance, if your company has a new product, equip your LMS program to train employees and channel partners. If channel partners are selling different products, target messaging and training to their specific needs. Integrations with extensive, continually updated content libraries are critical to keeping training fresh, so don't forget to evaluate your content needs. You should also consider how productivity is affected when your organization is in transition. Ensure your LMS has a comprehensive reporting tool capable of tracking progress. You'll be able to quickly address any performance dips as employees take on new duties. When upgrading your L&D strategy, show the C-suite the return on their investment. Present a road map that outlines the changes and their resulting efficiencies. Then, translate how those efficiencies will result in a competitive advantage.

Roll out the new learning and development strategy

Once you know what needs to be addressed and have established a learning strategy to guide you through change, make sure you have the correct implementation team in place. Select a team leader who understands how best to work with the LMS vendor on updates to the current system, a project manager to hold everyone accountable for meeting deadlines and an L&D administrator to keep organizational goals top of mind throughout the process. When you roll out the updated solution, be careful that you're not overwhelming your employees. "Too much organizational change" was identified as one of the greatest barriers to success by 32% of HBP's respondents. Your learning strategy needs to be an organizational priority, but the steps within it must also be prioritized. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

Measure the success of the solution and get feedback

Once you've found and implemented a learning plan for your organizational transformation, use reporting data to measure success. Investigate if and how your top employees are using the revamped online environment in your LMS, and the time they're investing in it. Some indicators of bottom-line success will be obvious after a few weeks, such as improved new product sales directly tied to training. But you'll also want to measure factors such as employee and customer retention. Finally, employee feedback will keep you fully informed about their growth and career development needs, bolstering both worker satisfaction and employee value. In an age of transformation, organizations that focus on learning and development are better positioned to weather the waves of change. By finding the right LMS partner, you'll ensure your organization keeps up with—or even surpasses—the competition.

Learning technology provides instant gratification: You don't have to fly everyone in, house them, feed them and send them home for every training.

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