Anticipate specific L&D needs with intake forms
“Our different business units have a lot of different learning needs,” says Dave. “For example, our finance team wanted their people to be better at Excel, and to get more CPE credits. For sales, it’s about ramping-up new hires quickly. Our teams are focusing on a bunch of different things, and cultivating relationships with these teams helped us to identify these priorities.”
Another great technique to anticipate these needs? Use dedicated intake forms. “In the past, when someone came to us with a training need, it was usually last-minute. We’d have just a few days to try and develop some material ahead of a launch the following week. Now, we use intake forms to encourage people to think about their learning needs a lot earlier.”
Using these forms allows the L&D team to ask the right questions. “We ask who the executive sponsor is, who the other stakeholders are, how large the audience is, and what would happen if the training didn’t take place,” says Dave. “This helps us prioritize different demands and match them with a menu of content options.”
This intake form process also teaches the company to think in advance and ahead of time when it comes to training, and drastically lower the number of last minute requests over time.
“For example, if we don’t have the capacity to develop a full training program, we can work with the team to develop a more basic learning strategy that would still offer people what they needed,” says Dave. “This could be a set of simple FAQs or a slide deck, rather than a dedicated program developed by a learning designer.” This also educates the team on the different options available.
As Dave explains, applying design thinking has helped them find the flexibility they need.