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5 ways to align corporate strategy with training

Sometimes an organisation will resort to a training & development solution to meet a short-term need – for example, a temporary skills gap created by an unplanned absence, or a need to add workforce skills in order to meet a one-time goal. Most of the time though, training & development should be closely aligned with an organisation’s strategy through the long-term. While this can appear self-evident when you think about – it is, after all, simply linking where the organisation wants to go with the skills it needs to get there – many organisations fail to make the link.


Assess your current training offering against your long-term plans


An obvious place to begin, but organisations often fail to look at their established training routines when thinking about strategy. With every course offered – whether it is aimed at new starters or executive development – ask yourself how the solution links with your strategic priorities. If you struggle to explain how it does, then it might be time to revise your training approach.


Train while working


An effective way to link strategy and training is to make it part of the every-day. Employees’ daily work is, of course, intrinsically connected with strategy, so training that happens on-the-job can help instil the idea that the two are deeply connected. Employees see that as they improve their skills, the company is advancing towards its goals.


Personalise training to different roles


Training is most effective when it’s customised to a particular role or department, and this is especially true when attempting to align such training with a broader organisational strategy. Adding specific skills – perhaps in a specialist technical field, or advancing customer service to a world-class standard – are likely to produce more measurable and impactful advances towards specific parts of your strategy.


Don’t overcomplicate things


Keeping both strategy and training plans as simple as possible ensures that there is the greatest opportunity to align the two. Overly complicated training programmes, developed over time and delivered over years, can lack responsiveness to the demands of corporate strategy, and can become vastly mis-aligned with the aims of your organisation.


Think hard about ROI


Ultimately, the ROI of a training programme is likely to be used as a major measure of the alignment with organisational strategy. You will need to look at whether organisational objectives, learning outcomes, and measures for success are clearly understood and accurately measured.

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