High Impact: Improving the Impact of Corporate Education Programmes

Lindsay Ryan

Dr Lindsay Ryan is Director of Corporate Education Advisers, an Australia-based corporate learning consultancy. He is the author of Corporate Education: A Practical Guide to Effective Corporate Learning published by Grif n Press, Australia, 2010; ISBN 978-0-646-52812-0. Dr Ryan is also Visiting Fellow in Corporate Education with Birmingham City Business School in Britain.

Employee training and development is essential. But how can companies ensure it is effective and worthwhile? Lindsay Ryan provides some guidelines.

Most organisations realise they need to spend money on employee training and development but few of them optimise their programmes and return on training expenditure.

Even organisations among those highly regarded for investing in their employees admit privately there is more they could do to make their employee learning and development programmes more effective.

As with most things, the better the upfront planning and preparation, the greater the impact and outcomes from a corporate education programme.

With appropriate planning, an effective corporate education programme can play an integral role in helping an organisation achieve its strategic goals as well as

  • retain existing employees
  • attract new employees
  • develop the skills and capabilities of employees as well as the organisation as a whole
  • develop and facilitate succession planning
  • facilitate innovation and ideas for new products, services, customers and processes.

Rather than being reactive in delivering corporate education and training programmes, a more measurable and effective outcome will be achieved by being strategic during the planning stage.

A strategic approach to corporate education

When approaching corporate education and employee training from a strategic perspective, the starting point is to determine an organisation’s strategic direction and goals over the forthcoming three years.

From these goals, the organisation needs to explore scenarios of possible future requirements and issues the organisation may have to contend with and the range of knowledge, skills and capabilities it needs to succeed in these different scenarios.

With most advanced economies experiencing an ageing workforce organisations need increasingly to develop their future leaders and capabilities from within. As such, organisations need to step up their preparation and implement succession plans for key leadership and operational roles with an emphasis on developing the skills and capabilities of people within the organisation.

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