Boost Alignment with L&D Strategy

Five tips to help individual contributors align their work with their organization’s learning and development strategy.

The value and need for strategy alignment between the Learning and Development (L&D) function and the overall business is well established. Learning executives create a strategy for the L&D function, which should align with the organization’s overall strategy. Not only does this help establish the L&D function as a legitimate business unit, it ensures that L&D teams are focusing on the right activities.

Once the L&D strategy is created, other Learning leaders in the organization are tasked with communicating it to their teams and managing its execution. L&D leaders obviously play a critical role in both the creation and implementation of the strategy, but what role do individual contributors (ICs) play? How can ICs be more engaged and aligned with their organization’s L&D strategy?


Not only should ICs be heavily involved in the implementation of the L&D strategy, but many want to be more involved. With so much emphasis on the importance of L&D leaders aligning the L&D function with the overall business goals and objectives, the role ICs play in the creation and implementation of the L&D strategy often gets overlooked. As an L&D individual contributor, here are five tips to better align your work with your organization’s L&D strategy:

1. Get your manager involved from the very beginning. Communicate that you want to better align your work with the L&D strategy and create a plan for doing so.

2. Be clear on the strategy of your L&D function. Make sure you understand every component of your organization’s L&D strategy.

3. Use your strengths and interests to consider how you can best contribute to the goals and priorities of your L&D function. You will still need to complete tasks and projects that may not exactly align with your strengths and interests, but the goal is to be more strategic in how you approach your work as an IC.

4. Set goals (with your manager) for the year. Make sure those goals align with the L&D strategy.

5. Bring new ideas, suggestions, and solutions to your manager for better executing the goals and objectives of your L&D function. Explore various outside resources such as articles, Webinars, books, podcasts, networking, LinkedIn, conferences, etc. Doing so allows you to play more of an active, strategic role as an IC.

Alex Bingham
Alex Bingham is an instructional designer at Maverik, a convenience store chain based in Salt Lake City, UT. He has a Master’s in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences from Utah State University and an MBA from Western Governors University. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Idaho studying L&D strategy.