How To Align Learning And Development With Corporate Goals

How To Align Learning And Development With Corporate Goals
Summary: Organizations must build an attractive learning culture that will help them achieve their goals. Yet, too often HR and L&D professionals are occupied with putting in point solutions and filling vacant posts. It's time for strategic alignment of Learning and Development activities with the business.

Why We Need To Align Learning And Development With Corporate Goals

Just 8% of L&D professionals believe their vision and mission are fully aligned to and actively contribute to long-term company strategy. And almost a third (27%) of HR professionals concede that there is only a small connection between HR KPIs and business goals. This is according to the latest Speexx Exchange survey findings.

On the plus side, 8% of HR professionals believe their organization’s operational planning takes account of Learning and Development goals and a third (33%) do believe that their goals are mostly derived directly from company strategy. Clearly, it is vital that HR and L&D underpin their organization’s strategic objectives – but most organizations are failing to make the connection. Speexx believes Learning and Development professionals must prioritize employee engagement and experience if they are to even begin to align themselves with corporate goals. A team-based model helps to foster engagement as well as improving productivity, creativity, knowledge-sharing and flexibility. All of this makes the organization a more appealing place to work.

Increasingly, organizations are adopting new corporate hierarchies – particularly when they are competing internationally. Rather than setting up traditional geographical territories, there is a move towards matrix working. This way, organizations can build virtual teams as needed, comprising individuals with the right skillsets wherever they are in the world. This allows businesses to be far more responsive to market changes and to get new products and services to market much more quickly.

Deloitte analysts found that 88% of respondents to their survey believe that building the organization of the future is an important or very important issue but only 11% feel they know how to do that: “Companies are focused on redesigning the organization itself, with nearly half actively studying and developing new models. And many organizations are not only designing but also building this new organization. As networks and ecosystems replace organizational hierarchies, the traditional question 'For whom do you work?' has been replaced by 'With whom do you work?'.

Optimizing Global Virtual Teams

Against this backdrop, it is key to have a workforce with the right skillset if organizations are to meet their objectives for growth and change. While technical or sector-specific skills are important, HR KPIs must encompass language and communication skills, in order to enable staff to collaborate globally and work more easily with suppliers, partners and customers throughout the world. Cloud-based technology is a major driver for this, not only supporting global collaboration, but also acting as a platform for consistent language and communications development across borders.

There is a race for talent going on throughout the world. Companies who can offer the most flexible and appealing workplace will perform best when it comes to retaining the key staff they need to deliver on their goals. They will also maximize talent while minimizing costs. Speexx is a global company, with seven offices, in locations from China to Brazil, from Europe to the US. Our 1500 trainers work across the world using cloud-based technology to collaborate and communicate with each other as well as to deliver learning. That way we can tap into our people's talent no matter where they are located.


Typically, many organizations have put in place HR KPIs that do include language proficiency. However, these KPIs tend to be inconsistent across different territories. In some cases they may rely on local management assessing staff competency in a language that may be a second or third language for everyone involved. At the same time, not every single member of staff across the world needs the same level of proficiency in a language. And in some cases, language proficiency may not be the issue. Communication skills and cultural awareness skills may need development if employees are going to be able to work with new suppliers or customers and deliver on corporate goals.

The first step to aligning Learning and Development with corporate goals is to set some HR KPIs that support these goals more specifically. These may be for a certain number or group of employees to achieve proficiency in the language of a new target territory. They may be to improve employee retention statistics in certain areas of the business so that there is a stable core of staff in place to support major business change.

If the main corporate goal is to create an agile, adaptive organization, then L&D and HR need to be equally responsive. It is vital to revisit HR KPIs frequently to make sure that they are being met. If progress towards HR KPIs is slow – or going backwards with more people leaving than ever or customer services indices plummeting – it is vital to change what you are doing. If training delivery is not supporting corporate goals then it is time to do something new.

Speexx offers a free whitepaper that can help organizations align learning and development with their corporate goals for maximum effect.