Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was some way you could demonstrate to senior management that L&D is not a group of order takers, but rather a team of analysts and evaluators on the pulse of EVERY learning experience under consideration across the organization?
Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not, and it can successfully be accomplished.
Not only do you need a robust training intake process in place, but you also need to promote it at every turn.
Let’s have a look at why you should encourage more training requests across the organization and how to do so without getting overwhelmed.
1. It helps to jumpstart the course design process
We’ve written before about the need to create a detailed training intake form. Asking the important questions upfront not only takes out the guesswork but it also jumpstarts the course design process, as some of the Analysis phase is already completed for you.
However, designing the form as a challenge has other, hidden benefits. When employees realize that it’s not a simple form with 2 or 3 questions, but rather an in-depth intake form that truly encourages them to think long and hard, those who aren’t serious about seeking training will self-select and decide to not participate.
This is a good thing, of course, as it will protect against an avalanche of requests that may seem frivolous.
Further, those employees who are committed to seeking training will welcome the opportunity to answer however many questions are needed. They will be the most committed and can prove to you and your team that that training request is legitimate.
2. Create training for your training request forms
This might seem like a waste of time, but it isn’t. It can actually not only serve as a How To, but also ignite interest in the training request system.
The short course can include:
- A “Welcome” video from you and the L&D team
- A screencast demonstrating the features of the system, with annotations
- A sample training request, pointing out the depth of explanation
Such attention to the system will invigorate employees to participate. The whole point is to encourage employees to submit valid, complete requests.
Not only will this encourage more training requests, but it’s an opportunity to market yourselves as an internal service provider and build awareness of your overall training program initiatives.
3. Engage managers around the company
While you may not necessarily capture the attention of every employee, seek out managers who can put in a good word for the training request system.
Most employees, when seeking training, first turn to their manager for guidance. These casual interactions are not expected to cease, but having a department or division manager encouraging that employee to submit a formal request helps everyone:
- It releases the responsibility off of that manager to provide training.
- L&D can better track all instances of training requests throughout the organization.
- Even if the training request is rejected, L&D can provide access to external, approved training programs that the employee can utilize, so that there is no financial burden to the department.
4. You’ll collect more useful data
The hidden benefit of a fully-fleshed out training intake system is its ability to capture data every step of the way.
Some of this data can include:
- Completed submissions
- Submissions that were started, but then abandoned (this can tell you whether certain questions or fields may need to be adjusted)
- Automatic rejections (failure of completion of certain fields)
- Rejections that are directed to approved, external learning resources
- Submissions that proceed to consideration for a course, and those that do become a course
- Skills, certifications, assessments that were obtained as a result of a training request
You may not decide which data is important to consider at the onset. Over time, as you spot trends, you may decide to track the performance or interactions of specific questions or fields on the form.
5. Impress senior management
Getting senior leadership on board with your training intake system requires that you demonstrate performance. The collection of data described above is one way to begin those conversations.
The more data, the better. Viewing the results of only a handful of submissions will not produce a compelling story.
However, at scale, with dozens or even hundreds of submissions, senior leadership will be very interested.
Recall that you can slip in management-level questions into your request form, questions such as :
- How do you feel that this training will impact your performance?
- What impact will this training have on the organization as a whole?
Management will be very intrigued and impressed by this. When you have dozens of responses to questions like this, you can open up conversations about how that requested course, once implemented, will have a measurable impact on the bottom line.
Obviously, this could be politically effective for you and your team. When you need additional resources for learning projects, you can call on those senior leaders for assistance.
Further, knowing that there is senior management level interest in the training intake system will help encourage more training requests. When employees discover that their voices are being heard from more than just the L&D department, more engagement will result.
Want to learn more about what Agile can do for your learning organization? Check out this on-demand webinar recording: How Agile Learning Can Power Your Digital Transformation Strategy