Responsible for an L&D Budget?

Are you responsible for an L & D Budget? Here are five things you need to consider…

Being charged with the learning and development needs of staff within your organisation is no simple task. There are many considerations to be mindful of; the learning needs of the individual; the needs of the department they are working in and how these relate to the overarching strategic needs of your organisation. Securing the budget is no mean feat, but now that you have it, how are you going to spend it and how are you going to measure the ROI? With so many options out there, how can you be sure you’re using the right provider for you? I recently listened to Dr. Monica Murphy speak on this subject at an industry-focused event following the completion of her 4 year doctorate thesis.

Here are five top tips to ensure you maximise your L&D spend:

1. Make a plan for now and for the future

Create a broad L&D strategy linked to your companies overarching objectives. This will help keep you focused and ensure even adhoc requests are aligned. Know what training you want and why you want to buy it ever before speaking to a provider.

2. Decide on your learning outcomes

So what will success look like? What are the knowledge gaps within your organisation and decide on the outcomes based on these. What must someone be able to do on completion of the training? Decide on these and share with your training provider before developing a programme.

3. Agree how learning will be measured

A good learning provider will want to measure the success of the learning intervention. Work with your provider on deciding on both quantitative and qualitative measures and agreeing on KPIs which are relevant to your organisation. Ensure the level and ability of the learners is assessed first and systems are put in place to measure both knowledge transfer and behavioural change. A good way of doing this is to ensure you and/or your training provider engages with the managers of participants both prior and post learning and sets questions and timeframes to measure this.

4. Experience the training for yourself first

So how do you know if something is really good if you don’t experience it for yourself?  Training providers often offer public courses as well as bespoke in-company programmes. Ask to attend a course or module in advance of rolling out your programme. See if the trainer and the programme content are a fit for your needs.

5. Follow-up

A good training provider will have a post-evaluation process. This should measure both the effectiveness of the training as well as how engaged the participants were. It’s not a day out of the office – ask staff what they learned! Questions should assess how good the training intervention was, but also work with department mangers to also measure behavioural change. Set up a review meeting with your training provider and analyse the post evaluation reports. Revise programme content if necessary and repeat the process!

Imelda Rey, 20 September 2017

Check out Irish Times Training’s four-step approach to tailoring training solutions for individual organisations.

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Tel: 01 472 7101
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