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Is The L&D Team The Only One Focusing On Enterprise Learning - Role Of CEOs In Learning And Development

What Role Do CEOs Play in Enterprise Learning And Development?

Most CEOs are interested in employees’ growth and skill development. However, very few invest time in employee learning and development. The bitter truth is that the CEO and the L&D teams are not aligned when it comes to enterprise learning, leading to skill shortages and unsatisfactory employee performance. Enterprise learning is incomplete without the contribution of the CEO. 

In an insightful article by Inc., the CEO of Sodexo Corporate Services Worldwide, quoted –


Is the L&D budget the end of the road for CEOs? 

Some CEOs have a misconception that by agreeing to an L&D budget, they are supporting employee learning. Budget is without a doubt critical for creating a learning culture. However, direct support and attention to enterprise learning from CEOs can help foster long-term success.

The organization’s workforce feels valued when they see the CEO taking a genuine interest in their overall development. Employees are motivated to put their best foot forward and expand their capabilities when the CEOs are involved in the L&D process. A people-first company always reaps fruitful results; Starbucks is a great example of it. 


CEOs stepping in to foster learning and development 

Enterprise learning can be taken to a whole new level with CEO stepping in and leading by example. Instead of focusing on the result of an L&D journey, they need to show how to successfully complete the journey and improve the performance of the employees.

CEOs are often veterans in their field. So, their rich experience can be used to provide regular inputs for enhancing the learning and development programs. They might have had many tweaks and turns in their professional journey that can be used as examples to tackle various challenging situations. Use cases help in making learning programs interesting and engaging. 

Moreover, with the increase in digital learning, the CEO’s views, guidance, and involvement can make a big difference in employee capability building. 

The CEO and Co-Founder of disprz, Subramanian Viswanathan, shared eight tenets to make any digital learning successful. The very first tenet is “Ensure the buy-in of the CEO.” He adds-


When CEOs walk the talk, the organization’s entire workforce is encouraged to follow in their footsteps and excel. 

Driving a learning culture and combating the great attrition – the CEO’s role 

Steady, long-term competitiveness requires continuous learning. Learning and development shouldn’t be confined to the employees. Whether it’s the L&D head or the CEO, continuous learning and upskilling should be on everybody’s agenda. Create a positive learning culture where there is a free flow of knowledge between the CE0, L&D, and the employees. quoted Taso Du Val, CEO Toptal – 


The CEO of any company can play an active role in retaining the best talent by being committed to employee development at the deepest level. It is critical to set the tone right from the beginning for professional development. When a CEO shows interest in the employee’s career advancement, the employees are motivated to reciprocate by contributing to the company’s goal with exceptional performance. 

So from supporting the L&D team in picking the right Learning Experience Platform (LXP) for creating personalized learning pathways to monitoring learning data to ensure employees are equipped with the right skills, a CEO needs to be actively engaged in L&D activities to promote a learning culture in the organization. By playing an active role in employee learning, a CEO not only elevates employee performance but also reduces attrition. 

93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 


CEOs getting involved in enterprise learning is a forward-thinking approach that can help address L&D challenges and boost employee engagement. When the CEO and the L&D team are on the same page, it becomes easier to adopt new learning approaches and accelerate digital learning to make employees more agile to address unforeseen circumstances confidently.  

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