10 actions to make your L&D 10 times bolder
By Nicki Spencer the 1 March 2018
2018 promises to be a year of change and challenge. Many people find the prospect of change scary and hold back, preferring to do things the traditional way in the hope of staying afloat.
But the days of sticking to the status quo are over. Professionals demand more dynamic ways of learning and developing their skills, whilst managers keep a close eye on budgets. Now is the time to shake off those shackles of timidity and take braver, bolder steps towards creating L&D programmes that really hit home.
She then challenged the audience of L&D professionals to be ten times bolder in their organisational ambitions. What would they do, she asked? How would they apply this new-found zeal and turn it into action?
‘Fortune favours the bold’ as they say, so here are ten of the most popular responses, along with Laura’s advice on how to make it happen.
1. Experiment more
Management inevitably prefer comfort over risk, so are reluctant to sanction any experimental initiatives. It’s best to experiment under the radar and ask for forgiveness afterwards if your initiative doesn’t work out so well.
2. Fight for management recognition
The trick here is to get C-suite. If you can somehow involve management in your training programmes – including line managers – then they will have a closer insight into what you do and are more likely to value it.
3. Make your communications fizz
Interact with your learners and try to understand more about what they need. You’ll find a healthy dialogue not only improves your offering, but also increases enthusiasm and commitment to training initiatives.
4. Ask every person who demands training to define how it will address key business performance targets
Corporate learning should never be a ‘tick-box’ affair. The best learning happens when people are invested in it because it fulfils a specific objective with a clear set of outcomes. If the person requesting the training cannot identify their objectives then the training is likely to fail, resulting in a waste of time and money.
5. Don’t accept the excuse your organisation is unreceptive to change
Most people will accept change, and even be enthusiastic about it, if you pitch the reason for change and paint a seductive vision of the outcomes. You should also allocate time and resources to manage change.
6. Persuade stakeholders that, without learning and development, we cannot achieve success
The status of L&D within your organisation will depend on how well you promote it. If you do mediocre work, that status will be diminished. Laura says you should be ten times bolder in your ambitions for your team. If your function has an element of excitement about it, then you can expect the status to skyrocket.
7. Align L&D closely with the core the business and broaden the HR function
L&D is as integral to business operations as any other department. To guarantee this, you should get HR business partners and L&D personnel to share insights about different work contexts, the diverse learning landscape and professional needs of the business.
8. Persuade the board that L&D influences key drivers in the business
When management connect L&D initiatives with actual results, you’re more likely to get buy-in. Go to a meeting armed with a clear set of data that demonstrates return on investment. And keep at it until the message gets through.
9. Find out what tools your people need to do their jobs faster and better
Talk to your people and ask them what kind of topics/areas of expertise they need training for, as well as the tools they need to make it happen.
10. Become experts on how people learn
Having a clear understanding of how learners learn is integral to the L&D function. Gather as much data as you can and share it with colleagues to back up the rationale behind your initiatives. In turn, this improves motivation.