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Why every Organization Needs a Learning Strategy

2/19/20 3:14 PM

An effective learning strategy will unlock sustainable, long-term success for your teams. 

What is a learning strategy?  

A learning strategy is an outlined plan and series of actions that are recommended to achieve a specific goal.

Often, a learning strategy requires students— or learners—to enhance their business skills and knowledge in order to be successful in their roles. This strategy drives results by putting people at the forefront of a business. Learning strategies are composed of learning modalities, like instructor-led trainings, videos, and user-guides, that facilitate learning and support specific measurable goals and objectives.

Why does my organization need a learning strategy?  

A learning strategy enables an organization to be proactive and intentional with their resources in order to support and grow their businesses. Being strategic about your organization’s learning strategy creates consistency across departments that can be measured against your goals.

Research shows that with modern technology, 80% of learning is done “informally” (by observing others, asking colleagues, trial-and-error or individual search). However, informal learning creates inconsistencies and inaccuracies, and causes fractured systems and chaos among teams.

There are also financial implications for lacking a documented employee development plan.  Studies show that over 70% of organizations have a negative impact to their bottom line due to employee turnover, especially because of the high costs associated with recruitment and attrition. In an effort to retain employees, organizations are adopting learning strategies to develop workers and close existing skills gaps. A study by IBM states that employees who feel they aren’t being professionally developed are twelve times more likely to leave the company; this number increases to about 30 times for new employees.

Custom learning strategies also offer a competitive advantage: organizations that provide learning solutions and professional development are significantly outperforming their industry peers.

How to develop an effective learning strategy

The greatest asset an organization has is its employees. Finding and retaining talented teams is no small task, and there’s no denying that training plays a crucial part in this success. When building a learning strategy, your organization should focus on its unique, competitive advantage and realistic, measurable goals. The strategy should:  

  • Meet the needs of your organization’s workforces, technology and audiences with different learning preferences
  • Tie directly back to your organization’s business goals/objectives
  • Leverage innovation 
  • Be design-centric and focused on the learner experience
  • Be measurable and yield a positive ROI 

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