Human Resources

What is the people leaders role in your companies L&D strategy

December 5, 2023
3 minutes

It goes without saying that as we roll into 2024, learning and development are table stakes. It is a critical business function that ensures employees have the necessary skills to do their jobs successfully. But who’s job is learning and development? Who is responsible for it? This blog post will dive into answering that question – who’s responsible for learning and development? And more specifically, what is the role of people leaders when it comes to contributing to and executing the learning and development strategy.

Even for organizations with full learning and development teams, the buck doesn’t stop there for learning and development. Actually, learning and development is a collective effort that is best socialized across the entire leadership of the organization. And with this, people leaders have a particularly strong and relevant role to play. At the beginning and end of the day, People Leaders are closest to the skills required for the roles in their purview. They are also often the closest to the skills that their employees possess. These are two critical pieces of insight that make People Leaders an indispensable element of delivering the learning and development strategy and programs. 

Understanding the skills for your roles

The unique value add that People Leaders can have in learning and development for their roles is deeply understanding, and making known, the skills that are required for their roles. 

One of the distinct contributions that people leaders bring to the realm of learning and development lies in their deep understanding of the specific skills essential for their team's success. People leaders, as the direct overseers of their teams, possess an intimate knowledge of the day-to-day demands and expectations inherent in their roles. This hands-on experience equips them with a perceptive insight into the skill set that goes beyond what may be outlined in a generic job description. They understand the intangible qualities and specialized proficiencies that can elevate their team's performance from good to exceptional.

Pulse on Industry Trends

Moreover, people leaders could have better insights into the evolving nature of their respective fields. They can anticipate emerging trends, technological advancements, and shifting market demands that may necessitate the acquisition of new skills. By staying ahead of the curve, they ensure that their teams are not only equipped with current competencies but are also prepared for the future landscape of their roles.

In communicating this profound understanding, people leaders serve as conduits between their teams and the broader organizational strategy. Articulating the specific skills required for success not only sets clear expectations but also empowers employees to take ownership of their development. This personalized approach fosters a sense of relevance and purpose in the learning process, as team members can directly connect their skill acquisition to the tangible goals of their roles and the overall success of the team and organization.

Knowing employees skills

Another compelling reason for people leaders to actively engage in learning and development initiatives is their unparalleled knowledge of their own team members' skill sets and work performance. People leaders serve as first hand observers, having continuous insights into the strengths, weaknesses, and evolving capabilities of their team.

This intimate familiarity enables people leaders to tailor learning and development plans that are not only aligned with the overall organizational objectives but are also specifically designed to address the unique needs of individual team members. By leveraging their ongoing insight into work performance, people leaders can pinpoint areas for improvement, identify latent talents, and nurture the development of skills that align with both current roles and future career aspirations.

Furthermore, the relationship between a people leader and their team members often extends beyond professional interactions, encompassing a more holistic understanding of each individual's career goals, learning preferences, and areas of interest. This deeper connection allows people leaders to offer personalized guidance, recommend relevant learning opportunities, and provide the necessary support for their team members' professional development journeys.

Organizational Insights

People Leaders, positioned at the forefront of their teams, play a pivotal role in translating the broader goals and objectives of the organization into actionable strategies at the ground level. People Leaders operate in a unique intersection between upper management and frontline execution. This strategic vantage point affords them a comprehensive understanding of the organizational mission, vision, and key performance indicators. They are not only privy to the overarching goals but also actively contribute to shaping and cascading these objectives to their teams. This proximity to both the macro and micro perspectives enables People Leaders to align individual and team efforts with the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring that every action serves a purpose in achieving overarching success. As conduits of organizational objectives, People Leaders act as vital catalysts, driving cohesion between the vision set by leadership and the day-to-day activities executed by their teams. This proximity positions them as instrumental players in driving organizational success and underscores the critical role they play in shaping the trajectory of the entire enterprise.

Putting the Role and Employees Together

In essence, people leaders act as the linchpin between organizational objectives and individual growth trajectories. Their continuous observation of work performance positions them as valuable mentors who can guide employees toward meaningful learning experiences that not only enhance job performance but also contribute to their overall career advancement.

By actively participating in the learning and development of their teams, people leaders foster a culture of continuous improvement and demonstrate a commitment to the success and well-being of their employees. This proactive involvement not only enhances the effectiveness of L&D initiatives but also strengthens the bond between leaders and their teams, creating a collaborative and supportive environment conducive to sustained professional growth.


In the rapidly evolving landscape of the professional world, learning and development have become not just a corporate buzzword but a strategic imperative. As we step into 2024, the significance of equipping employees with the right skills is more pronounced than ever. The question of who holds the reins of learning and development, however, is multifaceted. This blog has dissected the responsibility, emphasizing the collective effort required across the leadership spectrum. Among these leaders, People Leaders stand out, serving as the linchpin connecting organizational goals with individual growth trajectories. Their unique value lies in their profound understanding of the skills required for their roles, a pulse on industry trends, a firsthand knowledge of their team's capabilities, and an ability to translate organizational objectives into actionable strategies. By actively participating in the learning and development journey, People Leaders become instrumental players in driving organizational success and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

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