• Kathy Miles

The Link Between Training & Organisational Strategy


What is Organisational Strategy?

The leadership team of any business should always know where their organisation is headed and understand their role in helping it get there.

With this in mind, most organisations will have some kind of plan that charts the destination (goals and outcomes) that the business is working towards achieving. This is essentially an organisational strategy which identifies where the organisation is placed currently, and where it wants to be by a certain point in time.

Not only does the leadership team need to develop the strategy, but they also need to guide and support others in implementing, following and achieving the plan.

An effective organisational strategy ensures that there is purpose and value in the functions that each employee and business unit performs. It helps employees to identify their role, clarify expected outcomes and time frames and ensures that everyone is aligned towards a common goal. If the outcome is planned, everyone can identify what needs to be done to get there.

Where Organisational Strategy Goes Wrong:

Unfortunately, what can tend to happen more often than not, is that organisations fail to make the connection between strategy and people.

Change is a natural part of any organisational strategy. If outcomes aren’t being achieved, budgets aren’t being met or the situation alters, then changes need to be made to steady the ship.

Trouble starts to happen when the leadership team start forcing these changes upon employees without giving them an understanding of the reason why or what the anticipated outcome will be. This is bound to result in resistance and distrust, which more than likely will impact the success of the change strategy, employee satisfaction and even retention levels.

In reality, behind every change lies a reason for the change. This might not be obvious to all parties, but it does exist.

Why Does Training Need to Be Linked to Organisational Strategy?

The missing link in these situations is learning and development. This is what will tie people into the strategy. They should go hand in hand.

Without employees who are engaged, involved and respected, no organisational strategy will succeed. Likewise, without a good strategy which challenges employees and aims for improvements, your learning and development function will have no direction or purpose.

How can Learning and Development Get Involved?

Ideally the HR and/or Learning & Development Team should be involved in the strategy design from the outset, but if this isn't possible they can still play a pivotal role in achieving the strategy.

One of the first steps would be to complete a gap analysis which looks at where the organisation currently stands, and where it should be by the end of the new strategy (this is often 2 - 5 years time).

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do we currently do well?

  • What areas do we need to improve in?

  • What further knowledge/skills/experience will our employees need to reach the desired outcomes in the strategy?

  • Do we need to further develop our leaders to meet the requirements in the strategy?

  • What support, resources and communication will our employees and leaders need to meet the requirements in the strategy?

  • How will we manage the necessary changes to meet the requirements in the strategy?

  • How will we communicate the necessary changes to meet the requirements in the strategy?

  • How will we keep our employees engaged, motivated and satisfied with their work during these changes?

With these questions answered, you will have a great starting point to enable you to develop a training plan that will go hand in hand with the new strategy.

The aim of any good training plan is to ensure that all training initiatives have a purpose that directly ties back into the organisation strategy, meaning that return on investment for training is high. This in turn means a more profitable and successful business.

About PDI Solutions

PDI Solutions can work with organisations to develop and deliver training solutions tailored to your particular organisation around leadership, team building or any other professional development. Contact us today for a free consultation at info@pdisolutions.com.au or visit our website at pdisolutions.com.au

#TrainingStrategy #TrainingandDevelopment #StrategicPlanning #Strategy #Learning

© 2015 PDI Solutions (Trading as Kathleen J Miles)

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