Could You Be Replaced By an App? – #2: Learn How to Engage in L&D Activities That Cannot Be Automated

July 29, 2015

Last week, we kicked off our Could You Be Replaced By an App? quick tip series by explaining that training professionals need to do more than just design and deliver training. This week, we provide tactics for building a bridge to the business so that you can engage in meaningful dialogue and understand their needs.

Read on to learn how to get involved with learning and performance activities that cannot easily be automated.

As a training professional, you need to give your internal or external customers the tools they need to contribute to the bottom line or organizational mission. Your role starts with building a “bridge” to the business or organization to create an understanding of their needs, and then engaging in ongoing, meaningful dialogue. This creates a relationship with two-way communication and avoids one-way training requests. Instead, the training professional acts as a strategic business partner who is a member of the team that plans for and maximizes business results.

The business partner relationship prevents the training department from developing or delivering training that is disconnected from business needs or unsupported by the business units. When the training professional becomes part of the business team, the entire dynamic is different and more effective.

Here are some tactics for building the bridge to your business or organizational units:

  • Obtain copies of annual reports, strategy documents, team meeting minutes or notes, and any other documents that can give you a sense of what is important to the business.
  • Find out if you can get invited to team or strategic meetings.
  • Ask line managers or supervisors to join you for breakfast or lunch.
  • Show an interest in the business and their challenges. Learn to ask questions and to understand and speak their language.
  • Walk around the floor of the areas your training serves and informally chat with people who have taken or would take your programs to find out their priorities.

The key to building bridges is to discuss what is important to the business and avoid training jargon. Find out their priorities and what they need to accomplish. Discuss any missing tools or skills to meet performance and business goals, and then you will know what training, if any, is required.

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Bringing Business Partnership to Life

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