1. Becoming a performance consultant
Traditionally, L&D has been seen as the friendly shopkeeper – you receive a training request and create and deliver as required. To truly make a difference, you need to delve deeper into the reasons behind the request – what’s the problem or issue? What data or evidence is available and what does it tell you? Is learning alone the answer, or is a medley required, looking at processes and communication for example? Or is a different avenue entirely needed instead?
To answer these types of questions, you’ll need to foster a collaborative, consultancy approach. This type of conversation takes practice, especially if it’s new approach. It requires curiosity, patience and a desire to get to the root of the issue on both sides.
The advantages of approaching training requests in this manner are numerous:
- You’re saving time and money by ensuring efforts are targeted
- You’re more likely to design a smart, successful initiative
- You can build L&Ds credibility by illustrating your tangible impact on your organisation’s goals.
Tip: Download The little book of Performance Consulting to find out how to work in this way.
2 Aligning learning to organisational strategy
How prepared is your organisation to adapt to future challenges, be they sector, environmental or otherwise? And how can L&D help to future-proof? For example, soft skills – such as agility and resilience – are vital to organisational success in our increasingly VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. Whatever your charity’s long-term goals are, it’s useful to assess your readiness to meet them. And then align your L&D strategy.
It’s vital that L&D is in-sync with where your organisation wants to go, so that you can plan for instilling the skills, knowledge and behaviours to support those goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean sitting through every board meeting, but it’s definitely an asset to have a channel to the top, to understand shifting priorities and aspirations.
L&D is especially valuable when it’s proactive and future-focused but it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of dealing with day-to-day needs.
Tip: Download The little book of Learning Strategy to find out how to work in this way.
3. Creating effective induction and onboarding
There are several aspects to a great induction/onboarding experience. You’ll probably want to give an overview of your organisation’s culture and values, alongside health and safety training and tech set-up.
From an organisational perspective, bringing new starters up to speed – as efficiently and effectively as possible – is the typical priority. The sooner they’re an engaged, contributing member of the organisation, the better (for them, their team and the organisation).
This doesn’t mean a rushed process, just a smart one. All components should stem from your goal and work together effectively. As with most things that deliver, this starts with planning. For example:
- What is it essential for them to know or do, and within what timeframe?
- What resources support this?
- How can you ensure access to these documents/people/systems is quick and easy at the time of need?
- How can L&D enable this individual to hit the ground running, and understand the value of their efforts from the very beginning?
Making sure your employees understand the part they have to play in organisational success will help drive your business performance.
Tip: Download The little book of Induction to find out how to work in this way.
By putting in the work to demonstrate the real value of L&D, that connects to your business priorities, you will gradually earn the trust and credibility you deserve. Now’s the time to put L&D firmly on the map and take your seat at the board table.
About Gemma Glover
Gemma Glover is the L&D Manager for iAM. She acts as the face and voice of the brand, sharing best practice between customers and iAM’s community. As a previous Head of Operations in Cyber Security, with a real passion for workplace culture, her brain is a melting pot of solving business problems, effective performance management and learner-centric initiatives. She regularly blogs on key L&D issues, challenges and theories, with a desire to make them accessible to all.