Magazine article Workforce Management

The Value of Learning and Performance Integration

Magazine article Workforce Management

The Value of Learning and Performance Integration

Article excerpt

SILKROAD TECHNOLOGY INC.

Traditionally, learning has been pushed into its own corner of the office. If you have a learning management system, that too may be functioning in a stand-alone fashion. Currently, one of the biggest trends in the talent management market is the tight integration between learning, training and development with one's overall strategy, a key part of which is performance. In Aberdeen Group's 2008 report, "Achieving Real Business Value with Learning and Development" Aberdeen states that one action an organization must take to achieve Best-in-Class status in the area of performance is to, "integrate learning with performance management, make it readily available and aligned with development phns. " It's safe to say that learning has inched its way to the very core of talent management.

Most learning programs and LMS systems were designed to centralize learning, maintain compliance (especially if you're in a regulated industry), and reduce the extensive administrative and financial burden of these programs. While such benefits are still immensely valuable, organizations must take steps to integrate learning with employee development planning and performance, as well as overall business strategy, in order to stay ahead in today's market.

Define Competency Models

One of the first steps to getting started after a firm understanding of your company's talent strategy has been established (more on this below!), is making sure you have a solid and accurate competency framework in place. One example of this can be found in the Bersin & Associates Talent Management Framework, which identifies 4 critical tiers of competencies: core, career path, functional, and leadership. Incorporating a similarly efficient competency framework into your performance management process is necessary in order to ensure you've got the right people in the right positions now for current and future training.

Align Learning with Individual Skills Gaps

Identifying skills gaps will allow you to align learning activities and development plans targeted at bridging these gaps and allowing employees to take responsibility for their own success. Knowing where the gaps are in your talent base is critical to understanding where your organization should focus its training efforts. Having identified skills gaps and aligned training accordingly, you can more successfully lead employees down their designated or desired career path. In addition to improvement in the performance of your talent, you'll realize cost savings by ensuring the training programs you use are the ones that yield the most benefit.

Align Learning with Corporate Strategy

For lasting success, organizations need to offer long-term, blended training programs that are tied to overall corporate and talent strategy. …

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