Learning impacts on all business functions

For any business to run effectively all the functions within that organisation have to interact through good communication, clearly defined procedures and good management.

In discussion with a group of ‘baby’ trainers recently it became apparent how important the function of learning and development is to all businesses whatever their size and complexity.  For example a business may be developing a new product or service which once tested and customer ready has to be sold.  Therefore the developers need to train the sales & marketing people in how this product works, what are its features & benefits, why it will be a great purchase for the customer. Other functions, such as customer service, distribution, IT and administration also have to be trained on the new product so that can assist the customer with any queries they may have, ensure that the processes are compatible and so on.

So it is quite interesting how in some organisations they treat Learning & Development as a separate entity, a part of HR or just outsource training delivery and yet I make the case for the fact that if you get your Learning & Development right in your business, as part of every function within your business, you will reap many rewards.  These will not only be from your customers who are getting great service & products but also from the people who are running your business….your staff!

To make this real one of the key roles of any manager should be that of ‘developing your team’ whether that is through formal training or more informal coaching or a combination of both. Learning & Development should not just consist of ‘going on a course’ every now and then but should be part of everyone’s job but especially in the role of manager.

Every manager should have ‘developing your team through learning & development’ written into their job description and be measured on how effective they are in delivering on this.  This will enable your people to learn & grow in your business, this will give you an engaged workforce who feel valued and will therefore be more loyal and productive and you will ‘grow your own people’ which can also be a cost saving benefit in the longer term.

So my question to you is how effective are your line managers? How effective are you at growing and developing the talent that you have in your team?  Are you brave enough to move the poor performers out or are you just coasting along hoping that it will all work out in the end?  You have to be a model to your people, you need to realise that you need to grow & develop in your role….so maybe you need coaching as well?

Thanks for your time, Suzanne Unsworth


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