A company or organisation in the 21st century must, by nature, adapt to the changing needs of society so it may continue to stay relevant, efficient and display both quantitative and qualitative progress.
In a time where competition threatens to drive many companies to the ground, the need for a body of people who associate themselves exclusively to the development and scope of the company’s employees is not just recommended, but essential.
The wider spread of education over the last few decades and the growth of the industry has led to a more hands-on approach when it comes to instructing and orienting employees. The necessity of a position such as the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) cannot be understated in this day and age.
Whether it is further training, or ensuring cohesiveness and quality of the workforce, the CLO must be a supremely skilled, people-oriented individual who isn’t afraid to go beyond the call of duty. They need to think outside the box to ensure harmony and growth of the workforce.
It is one of the most consistently sought-after positions in corporations around the world – trained leaders that are actively interested in keeping a company’s employees (their customers) at the top of its game.
While reaching this position may take years of networking and problem solving, alongside hosting lectures and workshops, the role of the CLO is also evolving, and subject to current trends, the requirements to be CLO are also expanding and adapting. There are a few pre-requisites of chief learning officers that show us how this is an increasingly relevant position-
Formulating a cohesive training enterprise requires a great deal articulation and understanding of both the subject and the workforce. Training enterprises are usually comprehensive programs for training purposes and can last anything between 5-15 years, depending on the situation. These contribute to the employees’ qualitative development.
The other task this tries to accomplish is to align itself with the strategic imperatives of the company – how the plan is directly or indirectly improving the quality/quantity of work and the improvement it has on the bottom line, loyalty and increased employee engagement and feedback.
To be given a position such as CLO, one’s knowledge base must be immense, and even then, the key to remaining well informed is to read and learn new things constantly. Keeping the needs of your CEO in mind, create a learning library for your organisation, consisting of the relevant material for the whole company to use is an integral part of the job. A practice such as this encourages workers to align themselves with the thinking processes and vision of their chief employer as well as equip them for the future tasks at hand.
One of the primary imperatives of a CLO is to formulate learning strategies and how to adhere to them consistently. CLOs must be people who are prepared to update progress at every turn, with comprehensive logs and records, with 30-90 day plans as well. It is a job that requires immense patience and determination.
CLOs must be individuals who pride themselves in making connections both internally and externally and use these connections to the benefit of the company. Joining external organisations that cater to networking and allow increased visibility is necessary because it is vital to be a well-connected person in the industry.
This includes extensive use of communications tools consistently and productively. Once you have formulated and established a training enterprise, it is vital that you communicate its initiation and progress over the next few months. Magazines, newsletters, the intranet, etc. are all part of contributing towards the spread of the progress of your training.