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Achieving Excellence: How to Strategically Plan L&D for Success

Posted by iAM Learning
Achieving Excellence In L&D

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Are you ready for a new year of learning? As we enter 2024, it’s time for L&D managers to start planning – that is, if they haven’t already. We know many of you will have been too busy squaring off last year’s plans or just naturally thinking ‘That sounds like something for the new year’. We get it. Easy to do when you’re surrounded by tubs of chocolates and packs of mince pies in the office. But it’s here now, and although the new year brings fresh enthusiasm, without a solid learning and development strategy, it can be tough to meet all the training and development goals that emerge from appraisals and one-on-ones. And, just like you, employees are likely bursting with ideas of what they want to achieve in the new year – it could even be a part of their New Year’s resolutions.

Compulsory certified learning courses with tight deadlines also hang over your heads as you seek to ensure and prove full compliance, ready for potential inspections and appraisals. That’s why it pays to dedicate time upfront to craft a thoughtful learning and development strategic plan. Without it, it can be tricky to stay on track. Let’s look at some key tips to get you started.

First, carefully review key awareness dates and special events on the horizon. These can provide a helpful framework for internal campaigns to promote important topics and drive engagement in certified learning courses. For example, highlight Women's History Month in March by rolling out an expansive new leadership training program for high-potential women across the organisation. Or perhaps link quality assurance and compliance courses to World Quality Day in November for a focused campaign.

Next, work closely with people managers early in the year to reinforce compulsory learning and development needs for their teams based on the growth areas that they will have identified, both for their team and the individuals in it. Keep managers regularly informed on critical deadlines for required training and certification completion so they can be filtered to their teams. Encourage them to proactively factor these priorities into their own team strategic planning and one-on-ones.

Be sure to block off dedicated hours each week for thoughtful learning and development strategic planning. This will enable you to steer the narrative and agenda around learning priorities as above, and explain this agenda to stakeholders within the business easily. Which brings us nicely to our next point:

For those not looking at the day-to-day of L&D but are keen to understand learning plans, tools like a dynamic Miro board provide a visual framework, and can help outline quarterly training focuses and key campaign timeframes across the year. They can either see the plan at a glance, or you can provide a key overview easily at their preference.

It's also important to ask for input from those key stakeholders through brainstorming sessions or focus groups. This fosters greater buy-in and engagement with the learning and development strategy you ultimately define. But as the L&D leader, you should continue to steer the conversation and agenda, and guard against scope creep – none of us need unnecessary extra work on our plates at this time of the year.

In summary, dedicating time to do your key planning upfront pays huge dividends for L&D managers over the course of the year. Thoughtfully considering key dates, compulsory certified training requirements, stakeholder needs, and team bandwidth enable you to craft an optimised learning and development strategic plan. One that can realistically be executed within the constraints of your organisation. We hope you have a great year - with some concerted effort and priority on planning, you’ll be well-equipped to make this year your best one yet. 

Get a head start on your planning by downloading our FREE L&D Roadmap resource! It’s there to support you when getting the most out of 2024 for your team. Get in touch with us today or sign up for a FREE 7 day trial to try iAM Learning for yourself.

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