How to secure buy-in for your L&D programs

by Brett Henebery01 Sep 2017
Most L&D professionals already know what the ideal learning culture looks like for their organisation, but there may be a few obstacles in their way.

According to a recent LinkedIn survey, one of the top pain points for professionals responsible for L&D programs is getting managers to encourage learning with their teams.

This is because employees are much more likely to engage in learning if the directive, and the continued support, comes from their managers.

Studies show that today’s employee wants to continuously learn and grow. In fact, LinkedIn found that 94% of employees say they'd be more likely to stay with a company if they invest in their learning and development.

So what are some of the ways that L&D professionals can demonstrate value to achieve managerial buy-in for their programs?

Vanessa Blewitt is the learning effectiveness lead for corporate training and learning at Nestlé.
In her role, she has led the development of a learning effectiveness strategy and framework. This includes process and tools for learning design and delivery for business impact, and evaluation measures and reporting.

Blewitt told L&D Professional about the positive impact this strategy has had at Nestle, and what other L&D professionals can learn from its key points.

“Our senior leaders wanted to know the value of learning investments. We could tell them how many and how much…but not the value,” she said.

“We researched industry accepted standards, such as Philips ROI and Kirkpatrick, and listened to our business and the questions they were asking – especially the ones we couldn’t answer.”

Through this approach, Blewitt and her people created a strategy and framework that fit Nestle’s business and which was designed to support both design and delivery.

“It also needed to be adaptable to different types of learning. ROI is not really a key focus as such and even the ROI Institute recommends this for a very small percentage of learning experiences,” she said, adding it involved too many variables, too much time and was “a lagging measure” anyway.

“Our focus is on demonstrating value in a way that is tangible and/or measurable. We recognise that the definition of ‘value’ changes depending on context: learner, business and courses.”

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How to get buy-in for organisational change
Why investing in L&D is vital