Skillsoft Blog

Gaining managers support for learning and development

By Ivonne Smith

In order to identify objectives and ensure manager engagement, there should be strong interaction with the leaders within your L&D function and the business. Who has a talent development need? What business initiatives are stakeholders responsible for executing? Collaborating closely to answer these questions is the lynchpin to engagement which ultimately sets the stage for the alignment, adoption and business value pieces.

In a recent webinar, I spoke with Skillsoft customers Irene Cajas from Telus International Central American in Guatemala and Stephanie Linde from Mercy Technology Services who shared how they have successfully gained leader/manager buy-in and support for Skillsoft learning resources

The highlights: Icon_EngageAlignSeeImpact_rgb

What’s your best advice for someone starting the process of proactively gaining manager buy-in?

IRENE: Have lots of conversations with your managers/leaders to really understand what their needs are and what you as a learning professional can do to support them. A crucial element of that conversation has to be the partnership you will establish with them, where you will gain their support and buy in as you roll out your learning programs. For us at TELUS International, putting them front and center in key learning initiatives such as INsession has proven extremely valuable; this has allowed them to understand firsthand the impact of learning in their team member’s performance and engagement.

STEPHANIE: Lots of conversations are important, and meet them where they are. Go to department meetings and make sure you highlight assets that are valuable to their group.

What would you say are your best practices for increasing manager support around learning?

IRENE: Make leaders integral in your learning strategies not only by making them accountable for their team performance and adoption rates but also by giving them tools for their own development and by letting them be a catalyst for learning.

STEPHANIE: While we require co-workers to complete 40 hours of development, we are still working on the accountability piece. We have been asking our managers to provide support and most are supportive of our efforts to improve our co-worker skill sets.

Many learning and development teams are small in size, but mighty in reach. This is only possible when solid and fruitful relationships are in place with key executives and managers across the organization. Think about your own business? Are you working in an L&D silo or do you have strategic relationships in place with key stakeholders to ensure you have engaged leaders, aligned learning, high adoption and at the end of the day, are adding value to the organization’s bottom line?

View the full webinar to learn more!

Ivonne Smith is Global Manager, Client Engagement at Skillsoft.

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