Creating the Best Learning and Development Strategy

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

Winning Learning and Development Strategy illustrated with graphics

Are the business objectives you once thought achievable now looking like an unattainable goal? Is burnout and employee turnover impacting productivity? Perhaps client satisfaction levels have plummeted to an all-time low. There’s probably a combination of factors at work here, but threadbare skill sets and knowledge gaps are likely a major cause. 

A company that fails to invest in a robust learning and development strategy is setting itself up for failure. However, it’s never too late to rethink your L&D strategy to improve retention, drive productivity, and repair broken bridges with dissatisfied customers. 

What is a Learning and Development Strategy?

A learning and development (L&D) strategy is one of many ways a business can identify scope for improvement and profitability gains. However, an L&D strategy puts a focus on upskilling and developing employees to achieve these goals. 

This strategy can also be used to deliver short-term gains. By investing in employee training and development, businesses can experience significant productivity boosts. What’s more, investing in your employees can raise morale and can turn an uninspired team into a motivated workforce

A successful L&D strategy should establish existing knowledge gaps and define skill development objectives. Talent assessments can also identify existing skill sets and abilities that can be nurtured further. The ultimate goal is to optimize your workforce so you can easily achieve business goals and ensure organizational success. 

The Importance of L&D in Today’s Business Environment

Today, the job market is saturated with vacant positions, with applicants afforded more choice than ever before. With so many roles now virtual, would-be employees don’t have to factor in variables like commuting times and travel expenses when applying for a role.

Roles that offer scope for learning and development are particularly sought-after, especially with younger demographics. With millennials set to represent half of the US labor market by 2025, it’s clear that companies need to be taking L&D seriously

Bad hires are something every business has to deal with. However, cutting ties with an underperforming employee doesn’t always make sense. Rather than starting the recruitment cycle afresh, it’s more financially viable for companies to use learning and development to bring floundering workers up to scratch. 

What kind of reputation does your business have as an employer? A candidate-friendly application process can help bolster your reputation, but it’s the experience of full-time employees that really counts. Offering learning and development programs will enhance your company culture, raising your reputation above the competition. 

Learning and Development Strategy Pros and Cons 

If employee training initiatives are non-existent in your company, introducing a learning and development strategy is no small undertaking. While businesses can enjoy many benefits, there are significant challenges to overcome. 

L&D Pros

Delivering an effective L&D strategy will help drive employee engagement. The more opportunities you’re providing your workers, the greater the connection they’ll feel with you as an employer. Even a modest investment in L&D can raise morale and employee satisfaction levels, compensating for salaries and benefits that fall short of the industry average. 

Learning and development also introduce employees to the tools they’ll need to perform their work as efficiently as possible. Combined with optimized workflows, an L&D strategy can yield major productivity gains in a relatively short period. Once your workforce is upskilled, you can also look forward to greater consistency and increased customer satisfaction. 

L&D Cons

Unfortunately, there are some drawbacks to consider when implementing a learning and development strategy. It can be a time-intensive process, especially if human resources teams and senior leaders are spread thin. If you’re building training content and learning workflows from the ground up, you’ll have to remove key personnel from their day-to-day tasks for some time. 

Even if you’re making learning and development mandatory, there’s also no guarantee that every employee will engage in training. Some people are independent learners, while others prefer a more structured approach. Virtual businesses have an advantage here, with the nature of remote work lending itself well to self-guided learning. 

The 7 Steps To a Robust L&D Strategy

To achieve the best results, your L&D strategy needs to be ironclad. To make life easier, break the process down into manageable steps. 

1. Connect with Business Goals

As well as upskilling your employees, an L&D strategy should prioritize performance improvement. A generalized approach won’t work here, so you’ll need to ensure your strategy is closely aligned with the needs of your business. 

Start by defining your business goals. Are you focused on international growth? Are you aiming to inch out local competition and become an industry leader on home soil? You’ll need to have a clever idea of where you’re going before you form a plan of action. 

2. Decide Leadership and Accountability

Who’s going to be taking charge of your L&D strategy? Rather than overload a single remit, responsibilities will be typically shared between business leaders, senior stakeholders, and human resources departments. Determine who is responsible for what to avoid any communication and accountability issues down the line. 

3. Establish Learning Goals

It’s great that you’re committed to developing employee skills, but you need to get specific before you can continue. A learning needs assessment will identify skill gaps. You can use a combination of performance reviews, surveys, customer feedback, and more to help with this. Once you have sufficient data, you can study this to decide your learning objectives. 

4. Decide a Learning Format

Different delivery methods can be used to develop your employees. Pre-recorded training content can be useful for remote teams scattered across multiple time zones. You’ll also have a valuable resource you can turn to, time and again. 

5. Make Learning Engaging and Relevant 

If learners aren’t engaged with training material, they’re not going to retain knowledge. You can increase engagement by using interactive elements like polls and surveys. Gamifying training content can also help, while collaborative tools can nurture relationships between remote colleagues who embark on online learning together.

6. Get Started and Monitor Progress

With success metrics, learning formats, and training content you’re finally ready to deploy your learning and development initiatives. Keep a close eye on progress initially. If things aren’t working, you may need to go back to the drawing board. 

7. Keep Checking and Getting Better

Some L&D endeavors will work better than others. Don’t be afraid to refine your processes over time, whether that includes introducing new training material or removing other content entirely. This is a continuous process that may evolve considerably to accommodate the changing needs of your business. 

Who Benefits from Learning and Development Strategies? 

If a learning and development strategy is successful, everybody wins. Employees learn new skills and enjoy greater job satisfaction, with employers benefiting from increased productivity and bolstered bottom lines. Customers also reap the rewards, with an upskilled workforce offering far better service. 

Enhance Your L&D Strategy with Gloww 

Are skill gaps causing your workforce to fall below industry benchmarks? It’s high time to take another look at your L&D strategy. Whatever your objectives are, you’ll need to actually put your plans into action. With top learning and development tools like Gloww, upskilling employees is a lot easier. 

A user-friendly video conferencing platform that’s packed with features, Gloww’s the ideal choice if you’re looking to refine a remote workforce. Accessible from all popular browsers and device times, your teams can join in the fun from anywhere. You can create tailored training sessions in moments, while an extensive template library is on hand if you need some inspiration. Interactive elements, collaboration tools, and a diverse sale of games can all be used to make your training content as engaging as possible. 

Have a look at our other articles on what virtual training is, as well as some cool virtual training ideas.

Get started with Gloww to launch your L&D strategy today. Need more from the platform? Check out our pricing tiers to find out about Gloww’s advanced features. Got a question? Send us your query via the online contact form

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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