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For far too long, L&D has operated in isolation or as an afterthought relative to other parts of the business. However, to work effectively, L&D must work closely with the C-suite to align with corporate strategies to help meet the overall company goals.
Enhanced collaboration between IT, L&D, and the C-suite is a critical success factor in the contemporary business landscape to help the company improve productivity, customer service and revenue.
How IT and L&D can support the C-suite’s goals
IT can deliver technology solutions that simplify operations and boost efficiency and productivity, but they need the proper training to do that. L&D teams can ensure they get that training only by getting buy-in from the C-suite.
But before even asking for their support, L&D should be able to show how their proposed training will meet the company goals. One persuasive way to do that is by using the same words that the C-suite has used. For example, if one of the executive team’s goals is to develop four new applications in a month, you should state the importance of adopting DevOps, cloud native architectures, microservices and Kubernetes to be able to increase the software development cycle to develop four new applications a month.
L&D should also present an IT requirements document that outlays the company’s goals and ways these technologies and proposed training courses will help. Then explain that you need their help in getting the rest of the company on board with giving you what you need to accomplish your goals. Without cooperation from other managers and staff, you can’t discover what skills are needed to arrange that the right people take the right courses.
By presenting recent relevant external and internal statistics that show the correlation between learning and job performance, L&D teams can enhance their business case. By sharing IT training key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals that the IT team has achieved since its previous training, L&D can better persuade the C-suite to trust their suggestions and provide assistance where needed.
How the C-suite can support IT and L&D
Consistency and commitment are the most important values that the C-suite should pursue in the quest to support the IT and L&D departments. It’s essential that executives create a culture of continual learning by fostering continuous improvement of skills and personal growth. This helps to guarantee that the company has a trained and adaptive IT staff that is well-equipped to address the difficulties posed by technologies that are always changing. Researchers who conducted a study that measured how different levels of job training satisfaction are linked to employee perceptions of knowledge-sharing (KS) practices at work reported in Job training satisfaction and knowledge sharing in IT company: a case study (July 2022) that when employees are satisfied with their job training experiences, they are more likely to value and recognize those practices.
In addition to supporting training and approving budgeting for it, the C-suite can support IT by obtaining buy-in and support from workers at all levels. Everyone’s busy—too busy to help people in their own departments, much less other departments. But once an edict rolls down from the C-suite, all of a sudden everyone’s onboard as jobs could be at stake.
Best practices for collaboration between IT, L&D, and the C-suite
Below is a list of various ways IT, L&D, and the C-suite can work together:
- Establish clear objectives: L&D should set clear objectives for each department and link them to the broader company plan. The C-suite can ensure everyone is working toward the same goals by outlining what each department is accountable for and how their efforts will contribute to the organization's overarching objectives.
- Encourage regular communication and collaboration: To ensure fluidity of operations, L&D can provide reports and meet with the C-suite intermittently to exchange ideas and get feedback. If no one in L&D has a seat at the executive table or has a tie-in with someone who sits there, an L&D manager can still stay in contact with them by providing other information of value, such as an article providing insights that could benefit L&D, IT and the C-suite. L&D and IT can also volunteer to get involved in company meetings and learning activities that support the organization’s business goals. Making connections and a name for yourself will elevate your visibility throughout the organization, and those relationships could help you attain your goals and those of the company.
- Pursue cross-work and collaborative initiatives: Building a sense of shared ownership and accountability for the company's success may be facilitated by providing chances for IT, L&D, and the C-suite to collaborate on projects and initiatives that align with the overall business plan. Collaborating, idea sharing, and issue solving in real-time are facilitated when IT, L&D, and the C-suite work together on projects, leading to a more thorough grasp of the organization's threats and possibilities. In addition, when employees work on projects together, they can see the outcomes of their efforts and take pleasure in their roles in the company's success.
When all units of an enterprise are operating in tandem, together they can help the company reach its goals. In this pursuit, the C-suite defines the overall corporate strategy, IT provides the required technological infrastructure and tools, and L&D ensures that workers have the knowledge and abilities to make the most of those resources.
When IT, L&D, and the C-suite collaborate, the company is better equipped to foresee and react to market shifts, adopt novel technologies and procedures, and maintain a technological edge over its rivals. This collaboration fosters an environment where knowledge is constantly shared and improved upon.
Communication represents the central element at the crossroads of these efforts. ExitCertified’s course Communicating for Clarity supports the pursuit of those enterprises seeking to align their IT, L&D and C-suite efforts.