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What CHROs need to know

At the end of the day, the primary goal for any CHRO is to ensure organizations remain high-functioning, productive, and efficient. L&D departments vary in size and scope across industries; however, many share several successful practices in common. By interviewing and surveying organizations that have demonstrated innovative and effective practices in the leadership and development field, we can draw strong correlations between success indicators, the insight of which can inspire other organizations of any size to improve their own practices.

If they aren’t already, CHRO’s can, for example, embrace new technologies, promote a culture of learning, and improve reporting processes for the best ROI. A vast majority of executives are willing to invest and make the changes necessary to drive their organizations forward. Thus, with the right ideas and the research to support them, CHRO’s can lead company growth and success.

Understand the Challenges

Aside from limited budget, many organizations reported that small team sizes, illustrating ROI on talent development initiatives, getting employees engaged in L&D, and getting executives involved in the organization’s professional development rounded off the top-five challenges facing their L&D departments. Before CHRO’s can determine the best way to lead organizational development, they need to understand the challenges they are up against.

Although intimidating, once an organization has an idea of their most pressing challenges, they can begin to prioritize where they would like to make the most improvement and craft a strategy to put the changes in effect.

Measurement is Key

Over half (55%) of the companies surveyed who reported that they do not measure L&D success also noted that they perform at a lower or much lower level than competitor organizations that do. In effect, when the metrics related to L&D are not collected and analyzed, companies do not have the necessary information to make vital decisions concerning organizational development.

Consequently, budgets to fund such initiatives are also negatively impacted. Many CHRO’s report that their L&D budget will either decrease or remain the same, despite the need for more resources to develop their organizations. On the other hand, 100% of companies who plan to increase the budget are also the ones who indicate they measure the impact of L&D.

Therefore, the take-away is that if they aren’t already, CHRO’s should ensure that their initiatives are being measured in order to demonstrate the full impact of their efforts.

Learning is Fundamental

Retention rate is a measurement that nearly all companies collect, analyze, and often worry about. It’s common knowledge that low employee retention has a large impact on monetary and personnel resources. Organizations struggle to come up with ideas to increase retention; yet, the numbers suggest that companies can benefit from funding learning initiatives for employees that increase not only employee engagement but also employee competency.

Thus, it’s a win-win for CHRO’s who are concerned about their organization’s retention rate and employee training. Companies without staff engaged in learning are twice as likely to lose staff before three years. On the other hand, nearly half (42%) of L&D professionals indicate that employees were noticeably more engaged in the overall operations of the organization when they were being engaged in professional development and training.

So, for CHRO’s looking to increase their organization’s employee satisfaction rating, consider requesting funding be dedicated to training employees on all levels across the company.

Embrace Technology

For CHRO’s with limited budget or small team sizes, technology is your best friend. In the past few years, the popularity of virtual learning has dramatically increased. E-learning and virtual classrooms still lead the list of popular forms of virtual learning, but as technology becomes more innovative, so do organizations in the way they use such technology.

Companies are now reporting that they use online game-based learning, mobile learning, and virtual reality to get their employees engaged in professional development. Oftentimes, these are cost-efficient alternatives to sending employees to training providers or large conferences. It also allows for flexibility when it comes to time management and productivity, as employees can login and do their training whenever time allows.

It also provides a great way for CHRO’s without a big L&D budget to kickstart their training initiatives and begin tracking ROI.

Get Executives On-board

Support from top management is integral for any organizational decision. A CHRO’s best chance at initiating leadership and development success is to, therefore, get the executives behind their ideas. With upper-management support also comes the funding and time necessary to get the best ROI. Unfortunately, over 30% of professionals surveyed reported that top management could value L&D initiatives more or didn’t value them at all.

By comparison, 90% of companies with strong learning cultures also said that senior executives were actively engaged in L&D. This suggests that employees across the organization from entry- to senior-level are more likely to get involved and take their professional development seriously when they see executives are supporting and encouraging them.

Assess the Impact

Measuring ROI is the most efficient practice to monitor the impact of L&D training, and for good reason. Of the companies who had grown in the last financial year, 100% reported that they tracked the ROI of training. However, for CHRO’s there’s other indicators of success that should be taken into consideration.

Most important is the feedback from the employees themselves. Feedback regarding their professional development training allows CHRO’s to see what’s working and make changes where things are not. The result is a more effective training program that capitalizes on both time and money. In a similar vein, CHRO’s can also ask employees who directly manage teams to assess how they think training initiatives have positively impacted their work flow and how they can still be improved.

Another good indicator is to keep track of which employees who have completed training are also promoted internally. The higher the correlation, the more likely the training being invested in is having a positive influence.

The Key Takeaway

Leadership and development is a priority for top-performing organizations.

Companies who have figured out that training initiatives at every level within their organization are key to employee engagement, revenue growth, and innovation are reaping the benefits and ready to share.

Therefore, it’s a great time for CHRO’s to get invested in L&D and promote organizational growth. With the right information, CHRO’s will have no problem convincing top-management to buy into their ideas and support initiatives that have proven successful for competitors.

To see all the statistics and learn more, check out the full 2018 L&D Report.

Andrea Nellestyn

Candidate Marketing Specialist at Peak Sales Recruiting
Andrea spent her first few years at Peak as one of the firm's top headhunters before being selected to initiate and run the firm's candidate marketing division. A graduate of Carleton University, Andrea is a regular contributor to the Peak Sales blog.
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