iTOL Questions – Can you tell me a way to grow the L&D department in my organisation?

ITOL - Growing L&D and professional development
iTOL Questions is a series of mini-blog posts that aim to answer common L&D related questions and provide help and support for L&D professionals.

When you assume a managerial role within an organisation, you generally find that companies are always cutting, changing and rearranging things. Bosses and investors are concerned with profits, and as long as there is potential to generate more revenue they will continue to change the way their organisation works.

It is safe to say that there is no harm in getting involved with these processes early on, you have to think about your department and how you fit into the continual changes.  Assuming an active role early within these processes can ensure that learning and development gets the attention that it deserves. This gives you a heads up to any changes that are going to occur, which is a key priority for you as a trainer as you are concerned with the staff and how they function. If you believe that staff will not work well under these changes then you can put a plan into place to combat this, and increase productivity.

If these changes involve new equipment or software, getting in there early is another good way to prepare for employee reaction, perhaps you can bridge any potential skills gaps early on when the workload isn’t so heavy- this would mean that managers are more likely to give you the time to train their staff and you can maximise productivity.

You should also consider your budget; predicting employee reaction is just the first step, you must then allocate time and money to managing them properly. Getting involved in these changes early on gives you an opportunity to do so, causing less confusion later on.

If you can be proactive in making staff development a key part of any changes that the organisation are making, you can plan to increase productivity and develop the employees. This will in turn allow you to plan better for managing your ROI which will have a direct impact on the perceptions of the role of L&D within the organisation. If you can use this to express the value of your profession to the business then you will hold the appropriate leverage to help your department grow.

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