​Why ‘top-deck’ companies align their managers to L&D

18th July 2017


line manager alignmentAfter conducting benchmark research recently, our partners at Towards Maturity found that, on average, only 14% of organisations collect information from managers about how learning is applied. Conversely, the figure stands at 49% for ‘top-deck’ companies.

This statistic underlines an issue plaguing L&D across different industries – namely that too many managers are not aligned with their team’s learning and fail to follow up on any meaningful implementation.

In another finding, the research revealed that only 55% of managers analyse a business problem fully before recommending a solution, as opposed to 92% from the ‘top deck’. This suggests a large number of companies are going about learning and development entirely the wrong way.

When managers are fully aligned with and monitor their team’s development, there’s an increased chance that training will have a tangible impact on workplace performance. Training only has real value when it is tailored to real business problems. But, more importantly, individuals will be more motivated to learn when there is someone else involved, rather than simply being left to their own devices.


So, how can managers best align themselves with their team’s L&D, and what are the benefits of  line manager alignment in training?

Benefits of line manager alignment in training

1. Personal visioning

Before deciding on a training programme, individuals should ask themselves some very simple questions, such as ‘where am I now?’, ‘where do I want to be?’ and ‘how do I get there?’. Managers can make this part of a dialogue at the outset, helping their team member set out achievable learning goals and measures of achievement.

2. Progress checks

Another question the individual must ask throughout the training process is ‘how am I doing?’. And it’s a question the manager can ask of them as well. Regular progress checks help to maintain motivation, as well as pinpoint any problems and allow necessary tweaks to be made to the training programme. Opportunities for self-assessment can be explored, but it’s also useful to have face-to-face meetings to discuss progress and, in particular, how the training is being implemented in the workplace.

3. 70:20:10

Making sure training is translated into improved performance is one of the most crucial elements in the development process, but is too often overlooked. Many organisations follow the 70:20:10 learning and development model, which holds that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events. Yet Towards Maturity found that only 50% of companies – compared to 80% from the ‘top-deck’ – are using such a model. The rest are therefore missing out on some crucial ROI, by creating the opportunity for training but not allowing their people to implement it in any meaningful way. As part of the conversation and support programme, managers should discuss opportunities that will allow colleagues to put learning into practice. This will happen naturally to an extent. But to have the manager involved in creating those opportunities will make a real difference.

The benefits of line manager alignment in training does not simply extend to the colleague undergoing development. The manager benefits, too. They get a much better idea of how their team is performing and are closer to the action.

In many cases, they may even learn something themselves.

Cegos work with managers to create personalised programmes for their teams and ensure strong ROI. Get in touch to find out more.