L&D organizations need to change their mindset from training being the end, to being one of the means to delivering real value and business results. For true value creation, learning and training organizations need to deliver quantifiable value for their investments.
This quantifiable value has to be a series of measures that are aligned to the business. These can include but should not be limited to:
Value creation has to be in the eyes of the customer. In terms of L&D, these are:
The employees who receive the training, build the skills and capabilities required to do whatever it is they have to do to deliver and support the business or function they are in
The leaders (managers, line supervisors, and managers of those employees) who ensure their employees have the skills and capabilities to do the work that’s required and they are meeting their objectives collectively and individually
The senior executives that provide all the funding
Value creation is the delivery of those results that move the needle on business value and need as defined by the three customer bases. Measures like productivity, sales revenue, employee satisfaction, and employee retention are therefore critical.
This process involves understanding the needs of the business, the challenges of the business and the people issues are that are associated with those challenges. Once we have understood these, we must determine whether training can make a difference. It also means enabling the business by developing skills and capabilities that don’t exist today as well as understanding the key business metrics your customer is trying to enable with training.
Design and develop a solution
The next step is designing and developing a solution—identifying the solution or the solution options that meet the requirements as understood in the business linkage process—and making certain that:
We are bringing options to our customers
The options are, in fact, targeted at the needs specifically identified in the business linkage process
The customers then have the ability to make choices based on the level of value or cost or both, the level of effort, timing, etc.
The third step of value creation is measurement. L&D organizations must continue to measure and demonstrate value and quantify it. In doing so, they can build confidence in their customers that they will get substantial value in return when they invest in training.