Nowadays, job candidates – whether looking for a place of employment for the first time or changing an existing one – place a great deal of emphasis on getting into a company that not only allows them to use the skills and experience they have but also provides growth opportunities. This approach is welcomed by companies in various industries, as it enables them to design their training programs in a way that is consistent with the company’s strategy and goals. The Chief Learning Officer, who works closely with the HR department daily, is responsible for taking care of this situation. What exactly is the role of such a person in the organization?
Chief Learning Officer – table of contents:
- Why do companies need CLOs?
- The Chief Learning Officer – responsibilities
- Chief Learning Officer – practices in daily work
- Chief Learning Officer – increasingly vital in organizations
Why do companies need CLOs?
Today’s business reality is changing at a pace never seen before – such a situation is the result of the dynamic development of technology, which forces constant changes in implemented activities. Companies that care about maintaining their position in the market are betting on staying ahead of these changes by implementing organizational learning programs. They believe that such an approach (along with good skills in the area of corporate change management) will enable them to build a competitive advantage in the market – because the more people know, the better they can work for the ultimate success of the organization. These are the reasons behind hiring business-experienced people for the position of chief learning manager.
The Chief Learning Officer – responsibilities
The Chief Learning Officer supervises education – in line with the belief that employees (regardless of their tenure at the company or seniority in the job market) should never stop learning and developing, including in previously unfamiliar areas. Thus, the person in this position is in charge of creating long-term training strategies and programs within the company’s functions, which is done in terms of an in-depth study of the company’s needs, an analysis of future demand in the area of employee skills, and a thorough understanding of the roles of individuals in teams.
People holding this position are also responsible for putting the developed programs into practice – within the limits of their capabilities (time, money, etc.). They are assisted in this by HR staff who organize individual training courses. In terms of training strategies, employees may receive guidance, for example, to obtain an industry certificate, study at a university (e.g., postgraduate) or complete a course that ensures the acquisition of a professional code (and the ability to perform certain duties), as well as other activities that the company believes appropriate by the company.
In some organizations, learning officers also design promotion paths or help discover individuals who will prove themselves in the future as leaders of teams or entire departments.
Chief Learning Officer – practices in daily work
Since the activities of a learning manager are of great importance in terms of shaping the future of the organization, one should possess a wide range of skills (especially interpersonal skills) and knowledge (practical experience in various companies and industries) in such areas as learning theory, performance consulting, business analytics, organizational change management or effective leadership, among others. It is also essential that he or she is well acquainted with the company’s environment and knows precisely what training a person at each level may need. This is necessary to prepare a comprehensive training plan for the entire organization.
The Chief Learning Officer usually carries out duties within the framework of the 4 practices applied to people employed by the company:
- Coaching – understood as support in the acquisition of new hard or soft skills by the employee,
- Inducing commitment – making sure that employees want to train, rather than just complete courses ordered by the manager,
- Mentoring – passing on one’s knowledge and experience as part of the process to support a less experienced employee,
- Providing management training – for those in management positions.
Chief Learning Officer – increasingly vital in organizations
Encouraging people who have already completed their education to continue to grow and learn (especially in unfamiliar areas) is undoubtedly not a simple task, but it can bring positive results in terms of the organization’s drive for success. A place that prioritizes the development of the people employed therein will certainly also be more competitive in the eyes of candidates.
For this reason, it is worth betting on hiring a Chief Learning Officer to provide a space for continuous learning in the organization, thus building an organizational culture based on this approach. However, the implementation of appropriate training programs requires that employees thoroughly understand the purpose of such an activity and are aware of the benefits they will derive from it.
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