Learning & Development – Defining Stakeholders & Clarifying Roles

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The aim of learning and development is to improve an individuals’ performance by increasing and enhancing their skills and knowledge. Learning and development is linked to an organisation’s talent management strategy and is designed to align the individuals’ goals and performance with the organisation’s overall vision and goals. On a practical level, individuals responsible for learning and development must identify skills gaps among groups and teams (often through SMART objectives, one-to-one interviews and performance appraisals) and then finding suitable training to fill these gaps.

Learning and development has many stakeholders and they have various roles and responsibilities. The stakeholders are the leaner, trainer, manager, financial manager executives and directors. The learners’ responsibility in this regard is to learn, have strong sense of ownership and responsibility in the learning process. The trainer is responsible for ensuring that the skills of their learners are being developed by helping learners’ reach their potential. Trainers help to build client satisfaction, making it easier for companies to attract and retain a quality workforce.

The employee’s manager also has a stake in the learning and development of his subordinate. The main role of the manager is to provide support and get regular feedback from both the trainer and employee. The manager has to ensure that the training will be beneficial to the employee and add value to his job role in the organisation. The financial manager of the organisation has a key role in presenting a return on investment of the training. The training provided should increase the performance of the employee and in turn increase production. The financial manager has to ensure that he/she anticipates potential budget overruns.

Executives’ and directors have a role in learning and development is their commitment to the development of the employees at the deepest level. This means addressing their needs through increased flexibility in corporate learning and development policies, caring for the employees’ personal and professional development, as well as investing in their future by prioritizing promotions from within.

Other stakeholders include the training vendor whose role is to provide effective facilitators that can ensure the effectiveness of the training in workplaces. This increases the vendor’s credibility.

Shareholders have a stake because the results of the learning and development should demonstrate short-term profits through the increased profits and reduced costs resulting from more efficient employees.

The importance of training your employees – both new and experienced – really cannot be overemphasized.

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