- How do you get learning buy-in?
- How do you ensure that individuals want to learn, that managers give them the time to learn and that executives give you the budget to make it happen?
Paul's in the middle of some interesting research that I guess leads to this talk. Paul does a whole heap of work, ranging from internal consulting to good old, face to face training. Paul is starting off asking what our biggest concerns are about promoting our L&D departments. Here are some of the responses we saw:
- Balancing quality and value
- Tailoring content to demand
- Getting mangement to understand where we're coming from
- Resistance to change
- Getting management to understand the value of investing in learning
- How can we promote learning and development as a beneficial investment?
- What are the key drivers for different stakeholders?
- How can we articulate the value learning and development adds to the business?
- How do we communicate the benefits to learners?
Paul's work is with his company, Eaga Plc. Eaga is a Newcastle company, partner owned since 2007. They have about 4500 partners and they manage the government's warm front scheme and the BBC digital switchover scheme. Their culture is about empowering people, ensuring they look out for new ideas and to find new ways of delivering services in an innovative fashion. The culture sounds like what most companies claim to be like, and what ThoughtWorks is like!
The Eaga people development team has 22 people and currently invest 2 million GBP in training each year. They have heaps of face to face delivery with the support of their LMS.
They seem to have a strong set of values focussing on embracing change and continuous improvement. That's a win for the L&D team because people are keen to keep improving and they don't have to drag people into initiatives and embracing change helps them to keep turning around soon to respond to the organisation's changing skill needs.
Paul and his team promote L&D by conducting an annual partner engagement survey. Eaga has also has five key divisions with a key L&D partner assigned to work with each division. They support all their partners with additional academic funding options. They fund 50% of any external courses if that is relevant to their business.
They listen to their internal customers and take training evaluation very seriously. They also ensure that each partner has a personal development plan with the support of their line managers, L&D and HR.
Each partner wants skills development and career growth. So if the L&D teams don't invest in training approaches, this pushes the partners back. Paul's showing us several quotes and testimonials from his partners proving his point.
Paul also mentions that his department level stakeholders are looking for ways to make their groups more efficient. Again, he's showing us several testimonials from the managers that show their satisfaction.
Senior level management wants to know their skills base to be able to make effective business decisions on partner allocation. Paul and his team need to keep the senior management informed about this current state of the world so they can use this information to decide how they'll drive the business.
The key that Paul is trying to drive is that we need to go from the value that each individual stakeholder's looking for and communicate in a language that makes sense for them.
I thought Paul's messages were quite simple and very common-sensical though I didn't get heaps out of it. In any case, you are welcome to carry on this discussion with Paul on his email address. It takes heaps to come out and tell your story, so I congratulate Paul on that! And btw, if you wanted to learn about more influence patterns, please do look through Mary Lynn Manns' work in this area.