Learning Strategy Skills

How To Thrive As A Solo L&D Pro With This 4-step Framework

Being a one-person L&D team is not easy.

I know how hard this is. I’ve been here many times.

Here’s 4 tips from what I’ve learnt that you can use to get going from day one:

1/ Get to know people

Before talking about strategies, requirements or learning technology. You should go out and talk to key people in the business.

Learn their view on the L&D department today. What’s their understanding of a modern L&D function? What culture exists today?

Before you can do anything you need to build relationships and understand the game you’re currently playing.

2/ Get clear on your company’s strategy and goals

To effectively support a business one must understand it at a core level.

You won’t get far in building a performance function if you don’t understand how the business works and what it wants to achieve.

If you want your L&D function to truly deliver value, it must be connected to business goals.

A common reason workplace L&D is an afterthought is when it does not align with what a business is trying to achieve. Get this right from day one.

3/ Build partnerships

Being a one-person team means being strict with what you can actually do.

People will have a thousand requests and you can’t do this alone. Building key relationships across these teams will help you do more with less:

> People Team

> Internal Comms/Employee Experience

> Marketing – particularly brand and copywriting

> Infrastructure – the team that controls all the workplace tech.

> Product

Prioritisation of requests will be your most important skill. With support from these partnerships, you’ll be able to deliver more impact.

I’ll break down my approach to building better learning strategies in a soon-to-be-released podcast episode and in this newsletter.

4/ Learn what the department is doing today

This will apply if you’re inheriting an established function. 

For those who are building from scratch, don’t worry, I got you. I’m building a step by step guide on that as I type (in my head of course. I can’t multitask).

Like our first point, you cannot make an assessment on what to do unless you know what’s here today. This means spending time talking with customers of L&D services and a full review of current products.

Don’t break stuff if it’s working just because. 

That’s not a good way to start. Review, reflect and decide what needs work.

Of course, more detail exists beneath these points. 

Before you go… 👋

If you like my writing and think “Hey, I’d like to hear more of what this guy has to say” then you’re in luck.

You can join me every Tuesday morning for more tools, templates and insights for the modern L&D pro in my weekly newsletter.

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