Ensuring tighter alignment of training and business strategy to drive ROI

With corporate budgets under strain in South Africa, human resources (HR) departments are coming under pressure to show returns on their investments in employee learning and development. According to LinkedIn’s 2017 Workplace Learning Report, one of L&D practitioners’ top five challenges is aligning training to their organizations’ overall strategy. 

Developing employees remains important to executives—as evidenced by the fact that 81% of South African respondents in the Deloitte 2017 Human Capital Trends Report for South Africa say careers and learning is important or very important.

However, the Deloitte research also shows that many South African organisations are treating learning and development as a compliance issue rather than an opportunity to accelerate organisational performance. Against this backdrop, the challenge for training and development professionals in corporate South Africa is to closely align learning with business strategy and ensure that they have the right tactics and metrics to show the business impact of their programmes. This is the key to driving better productivity, employee engagement and an organisation-wide learning culture.

Amanda Amory, Head of People@IRESS

Personal Development Plans form a crucial part of our Check-in Process at IRESS.


When our People Leaders have their one-on-one conversation with each person in their team, there are three elements to that conversation which should result in a clear training plan.


The first is a discussion on the person’s performance and an identification of areas of strength that should be sustained and areas of performance that need improvement. If areas for improvement are identified there should be a discussion around how to address development gaps, be they behavioural or technical.


The second element is around the person’s priority goals where an agreement is reached on what needs to be achieved in the coming months. During this discussion consideration should be given as to what skills or knowledge the person will require in order to successfully meet those goals.


The final part of the check-in conversation is to prepare a personal development plan where the skills and knowledge gaps identified in the previous two elements will determine the type of training the individual requires in order to either improve their performance or achieve important business goals.

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