In my first couple of posts, I talked to you about my views on L&D (Learning and Development) and how we’re making a big shift here at Reward Gateway. And I promise, very soon, you’ll find out what happens next.
But before we get to that, I’ve had to do some education myself to some of my colleagues on what exactly L&D is, and I thought it would be helpful to give you a template to explain, too. So here’s what I’ve come up with:
Why L&D matters
Learning and development is critical to any organization. The person or people that make up your L&D department have one of the toughest jobs within the organization due to the fact that they are responsible for taking concepts, thoughts and ideas from the dreamers and visionaries and translate them so that everyone else can understand, relate and put those dreams into action. Beyond that, L&D is also responsible for equipping staff with the right skills and tools for any given job. L&D managers are truly a “jack of all trades.”
Defining your L&D team
Your L&D team ensures that all the proper resources for employees are at their disposal. This includes creating the content, fact-checking the content, proofing it (we all hate typos!) and essentially validating the high quality content that you’re putting out there for employees to absorb. With fast-moving companies, this can sometimes mean that a core function of the L&D team is making sure that everything is up to date.
One tip I have is to put together your inventory of content and highlight bits that you know will need an update, such as training that has guidelines or documents that are updated annually. That way you can factor in the timing around updating these into your team’s overall workload.
Other things to think about are videos of ongoing themes (for instance at Reward Gateway, that’d be The Engagement Bridge™ talk that Glenn gives) that you can continually update with new, fresh ones. You don’t want a video from 2012 lagging on your LMS or whatever you may be using to share training content.
Like my colleague Debra Corey, our Group Reward Director, it’s smart to develop principles as a guiding light to keep your content relevant and to stay focused so you can deliver the best learning materials as possible. For me, that means making our training:
Every piece of content I develop has to follow these principles. To make it dynamic and engaging, I make sure to use a variety of media such as videos, infographics and even gamification. I always keep our audience in mind as well — what are relatable stories, analogies or even anecdotes that I could tell that they’d relate to? That helps make it more engaging and gives them something tangible to connect with. The content will impact them more, if they can relate it to everyday life.
That falls to me.
The way we’re using our L&D tools helps make learning rewarding, as we’re using our tools to create an entire experience instead of just a single course with a one-off exam. (More on that later.)
Let me wrap this part up with a chat that Glenn (our CEO) and I had a while back. He’s just as passionate about L&D as I am and he had these simple words to tell me,
When it comes to our new style of L&D which is accreditation based, the reward is, 'I’m better at my job!' How can you measure this with traditional learning?
Zachery is the Boston-based Learning and Development Manager at Reward Gateway. He has over 10 years of experience in L&D and also enjoys spending time with his family, being out in the wilderness, loves fine whiskey and is also an endorsed musician with Outlaw Drums and Sovereign Cymbals.