How PwC’s L&D team manages complex demands in 4 key steps
So, how does Theresa deal with these significant L&D challenges? How can her busy team manage a complex range of employee training demands?
As she explains, it takes four key steps.
Step 1: Triage competing requests
“We have to constantly triage the competing requests coming to us, because we have to decide what we can delay,” says Theresa. “To do this effectively, my team needs to move within the business and understand the nature of our client engagements. We need to know exactly what’s coming down the line, and how it’s going to impact our business.”
Related: The Right Way to Do a Training Needs Analysis
Step 2: Develop subject-matter expertise within the L&D team
Developing the right training strategy also requires a deep understanding of the business. “Our L&D team works closely with other parts of the firm, because this kind of business acumen is more important than ever,” says Theresa. “We need to understand project methodologies, processes, and the tools and apps our clients are using. This way, we can be responsive.”
“For example, we had a team working with a client based in China, which gave us a set of technical constraints with our project delivery. We had to understand what these constraints meant in terms of providing the learning support. It’s helpful to think of our L&D team as dedicated training consultants, but working within the firm. That’s the mindset we need.”
Step 3: Hire people who can adapt quickly
For Theresa, this responsive approach to L&D also takes the right people with the right mentality. “When I’m hiring, or when I’m coaching or developing my team, one of the things I’m looking for is the ability to pivot quickly,” she says, “More than anything, I need people who can respond with energy and enthusiasm without despairing whenever there’s a change.”
Step 4: Always think about the ‘what-if’ scenarios
“We look at a lot of ‘what-if’ scenarios with our L&D strategy,” says Theresa. “For example, what if we centralized certain training? What would happen if we produced content internally but offered it to clients too? What if we pivoted solely to just-in-time videos and online content? It’s a helpful exercise for deciding where to put our time and energy.”
Even more helpful? Inviting people across the business to participate in this planning. “We have design thinking workshops to establish what the actual learning experience would look like, and a pool of people representing a cross-section of the business come and work with us. Then, we match these scenarios against our five-year business strategy and see how things line up.”