5 killer ways to smash your L&D initiatives out of the park!

2. istock_000026313850_mediumMany of us have experienced it. A new L&D strategy announced eLearning introduced or a new training process that will ‘ensure’ employees get the training they need to better do their jobs. And how many times have we seen things go terribly wrong?The take up-rate for that new webinar series you fought so hard to introduce is low or following your ‘launch’ it seems no one is talking about your project (let alone showing an interest in it!) and that large investment you made and worked so tirelessly to get approved by management, is slipping right through your fingers.So often we blame the learner. We’ve done what we’ve needed to. We’ve introduced the new project and now we can sit back and watch as the enrolments stream in. Right? OH SO WRONG.As a training company, we see this problem all too frequently. We talk with companies every day about this exact issue, one that has been around for years (and certainly isn’t going away!); that age old question, “how do I truly get my employees on board?”As HR / L&OD professionals, have we stopped to think long and hard about whether we have done enough to not only combat the problem ourselves but to prevent it in the first place? In my experience, it seems we can be quick to blame others; the vendor (and rightfully so where it is just!), upper management, middle management and mainly, the learners themselves. And yes, they all have a role to play in successful implementation, but what can we do as the HR / L&OD professional? How can WE maximise our efforts and confidently say, ‘I have hand on my heart, done everything possible to make this implementation a success!’We agree. It’s a fine line between doing everything for the learner and getting the learner to truly take ownership of their development. So where can you as the HR / L&OD professional make the realdifference and ensure the right balance?We’ve just released our white paper research on blended learning which explored some of these very themes - ‘Blended Learning 2.0’ (you can download a copy and listen to the webinar by clicking on the link).So here are the top five strategic areas we feel will help HR / L&OD professionals to address this critical problem.
  1. Get support from the top. Top management needs to not only support your L&D initiatives (and overall strategy!) but advocate it. They shouldn’t just be talking about it because it makes them look good but because they have a genuine, vested interest in its success and the impact it has on the organisation and most importantly, the learners (your people!).
  2.  You are the glue! Business is demanding a shift of our roles from HR / L&OD practitioners to consultants / trusted advisors - the glue between all learning / learner points and truly driving ownership through the business whilst also pushing others to own it. Is that how you see your role?
  3.  Ensure you are offering the right curriculum that employees not only need, but want. Make sure you have taken the time to do the ground work in terms of reviewing job profiles and discussing business needs with your business partners who should be working closely with business managers to identify capability gaps and development needs.
  4.  Don’t be scared of technology. Technology brings some wonderful benefits to your L&D strategy including reduction in costs and time. And we’re not just talking about delivery mode here. The L&D team will benefit from a stable LMS where reporting is streamlined and well organised. Embrace technology and fight for it where you can see true value.
  5.  Marketing/Communications. If you are launching a new L&D initiative, the communication needs to be ongoing. A ‘Lunch and Learn’ session at launch time alone, is not going to cut it. Employees need to see that L&D are taking the initiative seriously. You may wish to have a message from your CEO on the learner portal welcome page for example. Why not build the initiative into manager / employee coaching conversations?
There is no reason why your L&D initiatives can’t be a success. They just require careful planning whilst keeping in mind some of the key areas covered above, which can often be forgotten in the heat of introducing a new idea.If we as the profession stay close to our strategy and constantly review and evolve it (in conjunction with our managers and learners), we can strike that balance that will help us to provide the learning needed to increase productivity and develop our people for the workplace 2020.Cegos 2020 LearningFuture which will focus on the challenges of the evolving workforce of the future and the practical ways to help you lead and manage in this environment.Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article – ‘The 5 operational ‘must-dos’ to make your L&D efforts a success!’.