Gone are the days when learning and development programs were about corporate training in response to an “ask” by a business. Today, the learning and development department is about data, strategy, and big-picture thinking. How will you address those elements if you start building a learning and development team?
4 tips to build a learning and development team successfully
- Consider important internal and external factors
- Create your L&D deparrmet objectives
- Look for help from your partnerships
- Maximize the impacts of L&D team
Preparation Checklist to Power your Digital Transformation
Wondering if you miss anything in your preparation to digitize your training? This is just what you need.
1. Consider important internal and external factors
First and foremost, make sure you have a clear understanding of your organizational objectives. Often, when your company approves to build a learning and development team, it already has a clear goal in mind for that team. Therefore, failing to understand how your L&D team is expected to contribute to those objectives can raise concerns about the necessity of your team.
Speaking of your team personnel, below are some questions to consider:
- Who will be on your team before, during, and after the launch of a learning and development program?
- Will you “borrow” a staff from another organizational department to help your team build the foundation?
- Will it make sense to use freelancers as you build your own department’s skills?
- What skill sets will you need in the first place?
- Will your team do a lot of e-learning programs and need strong instructional design, and microlearning skills; or will your team be expected to conduct in-person courses for which you will need many facilitators?
- Will you need a data specialist to collect and convey the impact of learning?
Apart from personnel, before you build a learning and development team, consider the resources you may already have at your fingertips.
- Is there a repository of knowledge and information already in place? This is nearly the case even if it is nothing formal.
- Look for job aids, documents, and websites—anything that may be practical to train staff.
- Some of the resources might come from outside the organization: material and training that you may be able to obtain via vendors.
Speaking of job aids, you can consider some of the top learning and development tools that enhance learning experiences such as:
- Stream LXP: a learning suite that provides multiple features needed for eLearning. Employees can look for appropriate online learning content using the sophisticated search tool, and gamification features motivate them to learn more. Stream LXP also offers writing tools for developing basic online courses.
- EdApp: a unique platform with features needed to achieve objectives such as increasing employee engagement, assisting your workmates in locating suitable material at the right moment.
2. Create Your L&D Department Objectives
The 2nd tip to build a learning and development team is to create department objectives. Look to your organization’s strategic objectives as a guide before developing the L&D team’s objectives and goals.
Prioritize long-range, medium-range, and short-range goals with its long-term objectives most closely tied to your overall vision for your department. Your analysis of internal and external factors will help point you in the right direction of your learning and development strategy.
As you work your way through this process of defining department objectives, bear in mind these questions:
- Why do you develop these goals?
- What do you want to achieve from each of these goals?
- Why does it matter?
- How will you accomplish each objective?
Based on your objectives, formulate an action plan that includes benchmarks and milestones. Bear in mind that your organizational strategy and vision may change, so you need to be somewhat flexible in your objectives and prioritization.
3. Look for help from your partnerships
Internal and external partners will be critical to your journey of building a learning and department team.
Internal partners include:
- Cultivate relationships and listen to employees and frontline managers as well as supervisors and senior leaders. These individuals often have far different perspectives, with the former likely to have a better sense of the challenges that are facing employees on the ground and whether those challenges may be aided by training programs.
- Listen to employees and stakeholders’ opinions who appear to be contrarians. This may help you solve a difficulty before you move it too far along, potentially saving you time and money..
External partners may include:
- Logistics companies
- Other learning and development professionals can provide insights or put in a rush order in a pinch. You may not need them immediately, but you surely will need them at some point.
4. Maximize The Impact of Your L&D Team
No matter how big or small your L&D team is, it is crucial to find a way to save, whether in your budget or on time. Some simple ways to do so include reusing content, creating templates, and delegating whenever possible.
Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to developing standard nomenclature when saving files. Make sure that you make note of your terms while developing them. It may seem like an extra step when you’re doing this work, but as your team grows, it will be an invaluable asset for others.
As your team grows during your journey to build a learning and development team, take time to reassess the landscape. Continually evaluating your work and adapting to changes will keep you and your team on the right track.
It definitely takes time to build a learning and development team. Now all you need to do is bear in mind these tips and start jotting down some ideas for building your own L&D team.