Why L&D should be a day in the business

Learning & development initiatives should be so closely aligned to a business strategy and outcomes that line managers seen training opportunities for employees as “a day in the business”, according to the head of HR for business analytics software and services provider SAS

There is often reluctance on the part of some managers in many companies that they can’t afford to have people out of the business and in training – partly because training is often seen as disconnected from a business and its outcomes, said Brendan Gregor, human resources director, ANZ for SAS.

“Time is always an issue,” said Gregor, who recounted conversations with the business’ senior learning development manager about the fact that Ricky Ponting didn’t just go out and make centuries playing for Australia.

“He spent a lot of time in the nets being better and better,” said Gregor.

“We say it’s not a day out of the business but it’s a day in the business, of looking at the business differently”

“You can’t just keep being out there on the playing field performing; you’ve got to train, you’ve got to keep developing and honing your skills, so all people should take that time out to develop and hone their skills.”

In SAS, Gregor said it’s important that training and development interventions are practical and can be related back to the business.

“So you might start with a business problem and then you apply the learning to the business problem, so when you come back into the workplace you’ve actually got some practical application immediately,” he said.

“That’s how we try to get around the time issue – we say it’s not a day out of the business but it’s a day in the business, of looking at the business differently and giving people new skills and methodologies to solve business problems.”

For the full interview with Gregor see the current issue of Inside HR magazine.