So, your company doesn’t think a dedicated L&D department is worth the money? It’s a common problem, especially when budget cuts start slashing through what the C-suite deems unnecessary. But although execs look like the villains in this scenario, it might be those who oversee L&D who are the real offenders. Supposedly the heroes of the tale, misaligned training initiatives and out-of-date training can make the L&D department look like the bad guys.
What’s an embattled L&D department to do to gain back their good names? It’s all about what’s next. By taking the right steps, it’s possible to become the hero that saves training once and for all.
Hit the Stop Button
Before training initiatives or the department get the axe altogether, you need to hit the stop button to figure out where you’re going wrong. Continuing to push learners through the same, ineffective and expensive training (even when you know it’s a pain point for the C-suite) could prove that L&D is unnecessary according to organization goals. When something isn’t working, it’s better to stop and regroup instead of forging ahead with the same old mistakes.
Your next step is to figure out exactly what’s wrong with your initiatives, programs, and results. Go where you have the best chance at getting clear answers: The executive floor. The people that will make the decisions about the future of your team or department are the best resources for explaining what’s wrong, what’s right, and where you should look to improve.
Ask for specifics: Where is L&D failing and what would management like to have happen? With clear answers in mind, you can create new programs that satisfy the C-suite and cut the fat of ineffective measures.
Get on the Same Page
Ask someone outside of your department if they can name your organization’s overall mission. Do they stammer or can they rattle off three to five company-wide goals? Chances are that it’s the former. If you’re in charge of training and development, you’re also in charge of getting everyone on the same page as far as goals are concerned. The only way to make sure your team is truly indispensable is to be the top contributor to those goals; therefore proving that you’re a valuable asset.
It’s not just about aligning the C-suite, L&D team, and employees on the same page. If your organization has specific goals–improve sales by 30 percent or improve customer satisfaction, for instance–then everyone from your team to your vendors should understand the significance of those goals.
As you align all of the working parts, you’ll find that it’s easier to create an L&D-based action plan to help fulfill those goals. Whether it’s retooling your current efforts or creating new programs and modules, when everyone is aligned, the purpose of L&D becomes clearer–and more sure-footed.
It’s scary to hear through the grapevine that your team isn’t meeting expectations. But just because your team’s mission is misaligned now doesn’t mean you can right your course. By finding clarity and looking toward improvement, the tragedy can find storybook success.