Demonstrate learning impact to get executive buy-in
As Shermaine notes, getting executive buy-in can be even trickier when you’re dealing with a mixture of hired and elected officials.
“We have officials who are hired into a position, and officials who are elected. For elected individuals, the chain of responsibility is different, and it can be challenging trying to suggest changes in knowledge development. This can be a real tightrope.”
“I think L&D has a bit more support in the private sector,” she says. “In government, it’s a little bit different, because our services become the forefront of our strategy. L&D is important, but it isn’t seen as the top priority. You have to argue for your seat at the table.”
One unexpected development to come out of the current global pandemic? L&D has become a higher priority for executive team members.
“With COVID-19, there’s a greater demand for L&D, because we all have to switch to virtual alternatives to the status quo, or you become obsolete. The delivery mechanism has changed. This capability is now valued a lot more.”
Above all else, Shermaine says, the key to achieving executive buy-in to L&D is to show the impact of learning activities across the organization’s objectives.
“L&D teams need to demonstrate their value as a strategic partner and to document their learning impact. That way, you can convince managers that you can help them achieve business goals and that you’re worth listening to. It’s about what we can do collectively to demonstrate our impact.”
Related: 3 Data-Based Ways to Prove Training ROI
For L&D managers looking for new ways to secure training budgets or executive buy-in for learning strategies and priorities, tips like this are incredibly helpful.
Thanks again to Shermaine for sharing her expertise and experience!
Want more insights to #GetReady for what's next? Check out our series of interviews with L&D experts on how learning and development should change and strategies to train teams given the current climate.