3 BIG questions to kickstart your L&D transformation

A new year offers up fresh opportunities for transformation, but the big question is always: where do we start?

It’s a question that’s highly relevant when it comes to reimagining the role learning and development (L&D) can play in a modern business. There’s already so much you’re responsible for…compliance training, onboarding, leadership training…the list goes on and on.

But what if you aren’t getting results? What if your stakeholders are getting frustrated and starting to look elsewhere for help? What if you’re tired of chasing the business and you just know it’s time for a change?

The start of a new year provides a fresh opportunity to assess the status of your L&D function and kickstart a conversation about how you can evolve to meet modern business needs. But the answer to “where do we start” is actually more questions: 3 specific, powerful questions for your L&D team that can get you headed in the right direction in 2019.

With all of the work you already have in motion, you likely can’t stop everything you’re doing to reimagine your role. Rather, you have to make small-but-meaningful changes to incrementally shift your workload as well as how you are perceived within your business. But this change needs to start within your L&D team. After all, many of your people have been doing things the same way for years. They place their value in how they do their jobs today. If you don’t help them refocus this value, you won’t be successful when trying to do the same thing with the rest of your organization.

So here are the 3 BIG questions you need to ask your L&D team to kickstart your modern learning transformation.

#1 – Are we supporting the company’s biggest priorities?

L&D exists to help the organization achieve its goals through its people. That’s it! That’s what L&D does. Therefore, you should be using every resource available to support the goals your organization is trying to achieve right now. If your resources aren’t aligned to the priorities of your business, you can’t be successful.

#2 – How does our support fit into an employee’s day?

People don’t have enough time, regardless of their jobs. Employees are always being asked to stretch what little time they have to include more and more tasks. This is a big reason for why it’s so hard to get people to complete traditional training, whether it be eLearning or a classroom session. It just doesn’t fit into their day. When was the last time you took a hard look at how the people you support do their work? How do they use their time? What time do they actually have available within the workflow? Any reimagination of L&D must take into consideration the changing realities of everyday work.

#3 – How are we measuring our impact?

How do you know if what you are doing is making a difference? The answer is not level 1 surveys or hours of training completed. If you can’t measure the impact of your L&D solutions, what’s the point of building them at all? I’m not saying you have to measure the impact of every single thing you do. But you need to consistently connect business results to your training interventions to make sure you are doing the right things for your company and for your people.

Transforming the role of L&D in your organization is a big conversation. But it starts with challenging the mindsets of the people you work with every day. These 3 questions can help everyone start thinking differently about the role you play in supporting your company’s success. And this shift in mindset is essential before you start digging into things like content or technology that will also evolve to meet the changing needs of your workforce.

Continue to visit the Axonify blog throughout 2019 as we explore practical ways you can transform your L&D function and improve the impact you have on your organization’s results. You can also subscribe to our Take 5 Newsletter to receive monthly professional development resources straight to your inbox.

JD is one of the most prolific authors and speakers in workplace learning today. His practical approach integrates science, technology, storytelling and pure common sense to enable employees, improve performance and drive business results. For 20 years, JD has executed strategies for global organizations, including The Walt Disney Company.

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