Management Buy-in for Successful Employee Skilling

Nikeeta Shrivastava
Nikeeta Shrivastava July 01, 2020

According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn Learning on employee training, employees don’t seem to take their training seriously unless their managers do too. When the workforce of any organization looks to the leadership for guidance and support, there is no reason to think they wouldn’t do the same when it comes to training.

While many organizations might feel the need to enforce mandatory training, (as opposed to offering training and hoping employees take it seriously), leadership buy-in is one of the first steps towards getting employees onboard. Having support from the organizational leadership will help drive the importance of training, improve accountability in addition to establishing the right expectations.

Leadership including, the C-suite, higher management and team managers play an active role in talent development to further the organization’s goals. So it only makes sense for them to be completely engaged with employee training and why it matters.

Management, in one way or another, is in charge of developing the workforce. And, when done right, employee training offers many benefits, including increased engagement, improved performance and productivity, reduced turnover and higher profitability. However, in order to encourage employees to take part in learning and development programs, management must first show their willingness to do the same.

Management can also further encourage employees to take voluntary training by making learning simpler and giving access to online LMS-led learning that can be taken anytime-anywhere and on any device. This is a sure fire way to get employees to learn amid their busy work schedules.

Rachel Lefkowitz, Content Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, says, "The pace of modern business doesn't allow employees to wait for an instructor-led class. They need help when and where the problem arises — whether that's in the office, on their commute, or when they get a panicked email at 2 am. There are many ways to do this whether you incorporate growth mindset into your performance management system, get executives to talk about the importance of learning or provide incentives for learning.”

However, the success of L&D programs in any organization depends on the culture of the organization, one that is propagated by the leadership. If learning is at the core of the organization, that drives the culture, then it becomes a part of the organization’s daily activities, just like other business-critical tasks.  

I got a chance to speak in our latest episode of TTalks with Pranjalee, where we discussed all things employee training and just how critical management buy-in can be to the success of L&D programs. Some of the major points we discussed are the key pillars of employee skilling programs.

Key Pillars of Employee Skilling Programs

1. Learning Culture

Learning culture is the often unseen and unwritten guide that shows how employee see learning in their organization, and how open and willing they are to adopt learning in their daily routine.

2. Employer Brand

Brand is what the employees perceive of the organization. And a key part of this employer brand is learning and development, because employees will always have a positive outlook towards an organization that is invested in their development.

3. Learning Technology & Content

Learning technology, like the Learning Management System (LMS) and learning content are must-haves to lead successful employee training programs as online training becomes the new normal, taking over traditional classroom training.

4. Management Buy-in

Lastly and most importantly, management buy-in is what makes or breaks a training program. Managers are the ones that know their teams’ strengths and weaknesses, and are in the best position to suggest and encourage training interventions to their employees.

For more insights and useful tips, check out the full TTalks video below.