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Business Case for Learning and Development

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Do you know that staff training & continuous development is as powerful a strategic business tool, as finance, marketing and the other more visible functions? According to the British Chartered Bankers Institute (CBI) “”Failing to invest in training is a false economy because staff that are not proficient at their jobs could have a detrimental effect on the business”

Investment in employee training does not only ensure proficiency but also staff motivation and even retention. According to Mr. Marcelo Borges, head of Learning and development at Nandos, while talking with the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), “If you look after your people, your people are going to look after your customers and everything else is going to take care of itself.” Learning and development is a massive part of looking after your people, if you want them to feel motivated and happy in their jobs, you’ve got to provide them with appropriate skills and development so that they can do their job brilliantly. 

 In 2006, while the general restaurant industry in England turned over 40-50% of its managers, Nandos had less than 22% manager turnover. Nandos claim that their learning & development (L&D) strategy makes a great difference to performance “People come in and want to stay in Nandos”

However to guarantee maximum return on investment and return on expectation from employee training and development, organisational training plan must be relevant to key business objectives, and urgent individual/team skill gaps. Each training intervention must move the organisation closer to achieving its overall goal.

Training and development should not just be  about surveys of attendees or counting how many employees complete courses but measuring its impact by assessing whether those employees learned anything that improved business performance.

There is therefore a need to design a frame work for understanding the training/learning needs of the organisation as a whole, a particular team or individuals. This is called a gap analysis or training/learning need analysis. This information can be gathered through several methods which can be coordinated by a learning and development professional.

Garcia Williamson, director of talent development for Hilton in UK and Ireland, also in a CIPD interview, explained that Hilton uses a balance score card system to define the one-five years business plan. The balanced scorecard focuses on the customer,  people, quality and the profit elements, and ensures that every training feeds into one of these areas therefore they can measure results using  these metrics to ascertain return on investment/expectation.

It is important to note that this principle of aligning training to overall organizational strategy should apply to both the charity and commercial sector as they are both driving towards corporate objectives, regardless of what they are.

Daleep Mukarji, head of the Christian Aid charity says, “Our L&D strategy is clearly imbedded in our corporate strategy and the other goals because it is incredibly important for us that we have an organization that is fit for purpose… ensuring that we have the people, in the right place, doing the right thing in order to deliver the asks of our organization.”

In conclusion, people will commit to work if they believe there is something in it for them, and this includes developing skills. To get exemplary performance from employees, they should be helped to excel. Organizations that find time and money to maintain learning at times like these, when these resources are scarce, will thrive when better times return.

Peak People Developers

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Blessed Uwatt, Uyo, Nigeria  |  December 25, 2011