Why Hiring a Chief Learning Officer is Key to Success

April 10, 2017

Does Your Organization Need a Chief Learning Officer?

 

There’s No Question the War for Talent is Here

We’ve all heard a lot about the war for talent, but here are some stats to note:

As an employer, you do have options in the battle to attract and retain top talent and many of those opportunities begin with learning and development. For that reason, many organizations are looking to make a shift in their talent management strategy, and appointing a Chief Learning Officer is seen by many as a key strategic play to keep valued talent engaged, develop leadership skills needed for succession planning, and maximize the skills of available workers.

Driving Engagement and Boosting Retention

Learning and development opportunities are highly valued by employees and have been shown to increase loyalty and retention. Placing a CLO at the helm of talent development shows an organizational commitment to training the modern workforce. Today’s L&D opportunities need to be tailored to a workforce that needs and expects mobile access to every aspect of their human resource management experience from the recruitment process to performance management and training opportunities. 76% of Millennials surveyed believe that professional development opportunities are one of the most important elements of a company culture. In addition to mobile learning opportunities, employees appreciate hands-on projects that can be documented. These types of learning opportunities are equally beneficial to employers as they help build skills that directly relate to what is needed in their organization and help identify the most talented candidates for future leadership roles. In its 2016 report on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, SHRM found that 86% percent of employees rated an organization’s commitment to professional development as important or very important to their overall satisfaction and engagement in their jobs.

Leadership Skills and Succession Planning

With millions of leadership positions up for a changing of the guard this year and in upcoming years as more Baby Boomers leave the workforce, many organizations are facing the potential for a critical loss of leadership. Committing to performance management, professional development and leadership training at a strategic level means establishing a CLO who can take a seat at the table with other key stakeholders. Organizations that train and promote leaders from within experience a 31% higher success rate than those who look outside. The responsible approach to succession planning must include an investment in younger employees that ensures they will develop both the skills to lead and also the functional expertise needed to be a leader in the relevant department or practice area.

Learning Contributions Extend Beyond Engagement to Improve Overall Productivity and Profitability

It is undisputed that employees in general, and millennials in particular, value learning and development opportunities and will be more loyal and engaged as a result, and that engagement is a key driver of productivity. Beyond those facts, there is a logical correlation between an increase in employees skills and the impact of that on their general ability to do their jobs better and solve problems more creatively, increasing the quality of their work and sometimes the volume of work they can produce. These factors can be highly impactful to an organization’s bottom line and are a strong reason to place a CLO in charge of guiding opportunities for employees at all levels of an organization.