Before an organisation starts on the design and delivery of an L&D intervention or process, there are a number of critical questions to be asked and answered by the organisation. The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list but to act as a framework or catalyst to remind the organisation of some important considerations.
Learning and Development Foundations
- Are the learning implications of interventions ignored or are opportunities to promote and embed learning sought continually?
- Is the organisation’s learning and development initiatives best described as training initiatives or initiatives to promote learning?
- Is there discussion with key stakeholders (i.e. executives, managers, supervisors/team leaders, employees, customers)?
- Learning and development requires a commitment and buy-in from the major stakeholders who can influence and manage the support, acceleration and direction of learning.
- Does the organisation have a formal, articulated strategy for learning as opposed to a list of training opportunities?
- What systems and processes, if any, are in place to promote learning individually and team learning (as opposed to the promotion of training events)?
- How does the organisation use these systems and processes?
- How does the organisation evaluate their effectiveness?
Assessing the Current Learning and Development Position
Identification and Alignment of Learning with Business Priorities
- What are the key priorities for the business?
- I.e. critical drivers in the fulfilment of business objectives or service delivery targets.
- How can these drivers be promoted by actions to support and promote individual and team learning?
- Is there a culture of continuous improvement (i.e. the rate of learning must be greater than the rate of change (L>C))?
- Are there any organisational change initiatives taking place or planned?
- What opportunities will these change initiatives create for enhanced individual and team learning, and improved learning practice throughout the organisation?
- What current or additional resources (e.g. time, money and/or skills) will be required to implement any actions?
Learner Preparedness and Motivation
- Will all learners have the basic capability to take advantage of the opportunities available?
- Does this apply at all levels and in all parts of the organisation?
- Are all learners keen to learn and to acquire new skills and knowledge?
- Are there issues of learner motivation to be addressed at some levels and in some parts of the organisation?
- How will the organisation ensure that learners have access to opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge?
- How will this be achieved?
- How does the organisation know that this has been effective?
- Learning needs to be continuous, timely and relevant for the people whose roles will present new challenges as the business grows.
- In general, are learners ready to learn?
Creating a Supportive Environment for Learning
- Will time pressures act as a barrier to effective learning?
- What arrangements can, or should, be created for protected time for learning?
- Should targets be set for the amount of learning time to learn?
- Would creating learning sets to encourage team and individual development be useful for the organisation?
- Should the organisation introduce other methods for peer group learning?
- E.g. immediate feedback and personal reinforcement with support from managers and peers.
- Are line managers aware of the importance of their role in supporting learning opportunities for their staff?
- Are line managers capable of giving effective coaching support to individuals and teams?
- Has the organisation positioned the learning and development function effectively to develop the opportunities?
- Does it have the requisite skills?
- It is essential that the learning and development function operates in areas which add greatest value to the business.
A Framework for Implementation
- Create and communicate a strategy for learning.
- How will the organisation communicate its intentions to other stakeholders internally/externally to the organisation?
- Agree the priority areas for action.
- It is important that these are shared and communicated with other stakeholders in the organisation.
- How this is achieved will depend on the culture and practice of the organisation.
- There must be:
- Shared understanding (of the purpose and role of any learning and development);
- Appropriate milestones (for individual, group and/or organisational learning); and
- Control procedures put in place (i.e. ensuring learning is taking place and the effective transfer of learning into the workplace).
Evaluation of Learning
- Visible behaviour, i.e. what does it look like when it happens on the shop floor?
- How will the organisation measure the effectiveness of any learning and demonstrate it has achieved its targets?
- Through the merit of the provision itself (i.e. the input, for example the quality of course content and presentation); and/or
- By monitoring its impact (the outcomes, for example improved skills/qualifications or enhanced productivity/profitability).
- Will the evaluation involve formal or informal assessments of quality and effectiveness?
- Creating a Learning Culture (organisationallearninganddevelopment.wordpress.com)