Revised September 2009
This factsheet gives introductory guidance. It:
* outlines an approach to identifying the learning culture and strategy that will support organisational success * discusses the questions that need to be asked to ensure that policies and learning activities appropriate to that culture are applied consistently and effectively * includes the CIPD viewpoint.
Recent CIPD research has emphasised the importance of strategic human resource management strategy being closely aligned to the overall business strategy. See our factsheet on strategic HRM for more information on that topic. * Go to our strategic human resource management factsheet Within the HRM strategy, that for learning and talent development (LTD) needs to articulate the capabilities required by the organisation to sustain competitive advantage and ensure organisational survival. The LTD strategy also covers the means of developing these capabilities to underpin organisational effectiveness.
The question for the HRD professional is to understand the overall strategic goals and to translate into day to day actions and processes. In this way learning will be seen to be supporting strategic aims and the LTD function will be aligned and a valued business partner. Overall learning and talent development strategy
Each organisation needs to understand their particular situation and develop a LTD strategy that aligns with business imperatives. The starting point for this is to understand the industry, look at the business’ aims and background and the rationale that drives organisational strategy. The factors governing this are many, but some examples might be: * the business’ unique offer and what gives it competitive advantage * the changes predicted in the environment – the rate of growth or decline, the competition and the degree of technological change * the need to change and adapt to economic circumstances * the level of knowledge and professional capability of staff now and that needed in the future * the importance of customer service – what sort of customers are served and the nature of their expectations * the need to reflect the community served.
Some examples of the answers that may come from this thinking might be: * We need to stay at the leading edge of our knowledge and technical expertise, and therefore invest in those staff who will constantly keep ahead of the current state of the art. * We need our staff to be agile and flexible in learning new skills to keep up with the pace of change. * Our customers will be best served by robust processes, staff who understand their needs, attend to detail and follow through. * In the international market in which we compete, we need people who can work across cultures and stay aware of how those markets are evolving. The answers that significant stakeholders give to these questions will produce a statement of what learning is intended to achieve. This, to whatever level of detail you choose, will be an overall strategy, ideally signed off at senior levels and publicised to staff. It should clearly stated that the organisation sees the development of its people as important. Such a statement provides a vision of learning and investment in development that can increase the level of employee engagement. This overall strategy also forms a benchmark against which to measure the value of learning and ensure that it leads to valued business improvements. Where the LTD strategy is visibly aligned to organisational goals in this way, the LTD function is positioned as a fundamental contributor to organisational performance. Our practical tool for CIPD members Value of learning: assessing and reporting on the value of learning to your organisation give more detail on how to assess the alignment of learning to strategic priorities. It covers ways to identify your organisation’s strategic...