How to make an L&D program successful

Initiatives are a waste of time and effort if employees aren’t engaged – here’s how to get them on board.

How to make an L&D program successful
In terms of best practice for making an L&D program successful, there is a simple methodology that’s wise to follow around engagement, alignment, adoption and value, said Kath Greenhough, manager consulting services at Skillsoft.

“If any L&D professionals are struggling with a particular program that they know they have to do or want to do - whether it’s about compliance, women in leadership, professional effectiveness, etc - if they can stop and think about what they need to do under each of those four steps, that can put them on the path to success,” Greenhough told HRM.

Firstly, it’s important engage stakeholders to understand what they need and expect.

When we can comprehend the vision and expectations, we can be more effective in engaging employees, said Greenhough.

Secondly, it’s important to align your L&D programs so they match your stakeholders’ needs.

“It’s important to make sure that the L&D charter or the strategy is aligned to the business goals and work out what the L&D program is setting out to achieve,” said Greenhough.

“If we can make the alignment back to those goals very clear then the engagement of all stakeholders including the users is normally fit for success.”

The third point, adoption, has two key parts – accessibility and communication.

Employees will only start to use something and keep using it if it is easy to access and navigate. It’s also important to ensure your learning content can be accessed remotely by a tablet, mobile or laptop so employees can learn anywhere and anytime, said Greenhough.

"It is really important that the content is accessible across multiple points," she added.

Communication is significant because if employees don’t know that the learning options exist (or understand the importance of learning for the business and their own career development) they won’t access it.

Finally, you must assess the value or the return on investment that your learning programs are attempting to achieve.

Before the start of any project, it’s important to set the benchmarks you’ll use to measure success.

“While value is on the end it also has to be set upfront in terms of engagement, especially with the stakeholders who have the funding ability to support your programs,” Greenhough added.

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