Learning & Development professionals are consistently challenged with a number of obstacles. They deal with limited budgets, small teams, and a gap in demonstrating return on investment (commonly known as ROI). To tackle these challenges L&D pros must focus on demonstrating business impact to really communicate their value to employers and business leadership. To do that they must start with the project.
Here are 5 challenges that L&D professionals face when it comes to delivering excellent training and development projects, and a few tips to help work through those challenges.
Challenge 1: Having a limited budget
Working with a limited budget can be a challenge and a blessing if you look at it the right way. When you have a limited budget, obviously your resources are also limited. Sometimes you need to make hard decisions based on the value of the trainings you would like to implement. But having a set budget to work within also provides some clearly defined boundaries of what you can and can’t achieve with an L&D program. To work well with a limited budget, do your planning homework early and gather resources so you can avoid as many budget surprises or cost overruns as you can.
Challenge 2: Aligning to the company’s overall strategy
Corporate strategy can be difficult to align to from an L&D perspective, whether that’s due to conflicting priorities or poor communication. Either way, it’s something many L&D pros deal with on a regular basis. They key to working within these parameters is to get clarity from corporate leadership and maintain consistent and quality communication throughout the planning process.
Challenge 3: Lacking data and insights to understand which solutions are effective
Key performance indicators (or KPIs) are an L&D pro’s best friend. You need to know what you are measuring against and how you are going to collect that data early on in the process. Build surveys to gather feedback. Measure employee retention and career growth over time. Learn from the information you are provided to make a positive impact that you can communicate to leadership with confidence and the data to back you up.
Challenge 4: Having old or outdated content
Industry trends and standards are changing all the time. So too should your content. Regular updates to old or outdated content should be a common-sense part of your L&D program. If it’s not, then you know it’s time for an update.
Challenge 5: Having L&D decentralized within the company
L&D can often feel like an organization in and of itself within the larger environment of a company. While many different stakeholders may be involved in the L&D process, your L&D team might be feeling the strain of being isolated from the environments that would help them perform their jobs better. Make sure your business doesn’t suffer from the chimney effect, where everyone works within the confines of their own org chart. Get messy. Encourage cross functional collaboration. Only then will L&D have the information and access to stakeholders they need to get the job done right.
Are you looking for more tips on how to overcome key L&D challenges?
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