I’ve talked on this site many times about SMEs—the subject matter experts that L&D teams often rely on for content. I’ve also discussed how SMEs, due to their topical expertise, frequently are absorbed by L&D departments, becoming key players or team members. These folks provide rich wells of content that benefit learners, so the progression from SME to L&D makes sense. While this integration may be a good fit, it’s wise to follow best practices and heed a few truisms as you integrate SMEs into L&D roles. [Read more…]
L&D leaders and their teams have been on a roller-coaster ride since (at least) 2008 and the Great Recession. When the economy pulls back, training and development are often the first casualties. L&D budgets and staff get cut when short-sighted companies believe learning to be a luxury.
However, just like a roller coaster, once an economy experiences a steep dive there’s a slower, creaking rise to the next peak. The employment outlook is cresting that next peak. As of January 2019, the U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.0 percent. In fact, unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 30 years. A tight labor market is good news for workers, but it can complicate day-to-day operations for employers. During a tight labor market, employers recall the true value of the learning and development function. There are four major reasons why a tight labor market gives L&D team a chance to showcase their business value. [Read more…]
Learning professionals are essential to organizational success because they build employee capability that drives business results. They create programs that generate employee skills, change performance, and lead to improved business outcomes. [Read more…]
Generic vs. Specific
Reactive vs. Strategic
Unmeasured vs. Measured
Order-Taker vs. Business Partner
Where do you land on the scale of learning team efficacy and maturity? [Read more…]
I like to keep my eye on industry and business trends. There is a foundation of knowledge that all skilled L&D teams need, but trends do affect our profession. They often impact how we approach our own jobs and practices.
Let’s examine some common business trends having an impact on the L&D profession. [Read more…]
The learning profession is running on a streak of optimism. In the annual survey of the Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board, 57% of executives surveyed say that their spending plans for the next 12 to 18 months will increase, while another 28% say spending plans will stay the same. An article about the survey results notes that since 2015, most learning leaders have reported positive feelings about their spending plans. That’s always good to see. I hope your L&D operation is among those feeling optimistic, especially as you consider your L&D budget planning for the new year. [Read more…]
The article, No Status Quo for the CLO, on the Chief Learning Officer magazine website describes what those of us in this profession have known for quite some time: There’s no single path to the learning leader role. Learning leaders are a diverse bunch and the story of how we all arrived in this profession varies from person to person. [Read more…]
Improvement. For learning professionals, that’s our goal, both for ourselves and for the employees in our learning programs. We’re always on the hunt for effective and efficient ways to deliver that improvement. That was one motivation behind our development of Business Impact 2.0, a first-of-its-kind cloud-based software that is purpose built to link instructional design with business outcomes. Impact 2.0 allows you to design, measure, and report on learning program results for data-driven performance improvement. [Read more…]
I often wonder why measuring learning has not always been required in our professional practice. Honestly, how do you know if your programs are any good if you do not measure them? Measuring learning is not that difficult. You simply determine the outcomes you expect from your learning program and measure against those outcomes. This should be a basic standard of professionalism in our field.
In fact, measuring learning is only difficult if: 1) you cannot determine what your outcomes should look like or, 2) you do not know what you did to make learning happen.
In my experience, both challenges are linked and addressed in learning design. It is in learning design that you clarify the outcomes you are looking for. It is in design that you create a plan to achieve the outcomes. Therefore, our professional practice of measurement is all about verifying design decisions. [Read more…]
It never fails to surprise me how many of my colleagues hold on to the nonsense belief that measuring ROI is just too difficult. Far too many in our profession hold onto that notion that we simply cannot accurately determine the value of the product we provide.
So let me say again: Measuring ROI is a straightforward task. It’s not only clear, it’s an essential skill that you need to master. You need to know it for the sake of your profession and for the overall health of the organization that you support. [Read more…]