I have the awesome responsibility to share and evangelize how to integrate technology into training and learning experiences, using an outcomes focused approach to ensure there is an opportunity for business impact. Because I get to work across clients and teams, I tend to present and talk a lot (sometimes longer than most probably want!). But, I share what sometimes feels like the same message over and over again: the landscape is changing, learners expect on demand performance support, training is moving from classroom “events” to broader and blended experiences, etc. I post on our internal collaboration site, email the decks on innovative solutions out to the business units, host monthly learning sessions, respond to requests, lead a book club, etc. Yet, I am continually surprised at how our teammates still feel they are in the dark on what is going on. Or they don’t feel empowered. They often complain about the monotony of their projects or feel stuck by the conditions in the Statement of Work and ask why they are not being developed more. They are often missing these “educational” sessions because of their project responsibilities. Then, on the other hand, when the opportunity for creative freedom arises, I get feedback that there isn’t enough direction.
What is the miss here? Why do so many feel like they are maxed out on contribution but are lacking in satisfaction? Why do I feel like a broken record? Building, sharing, linking, and posting is not working. Is it me? Or is this them? Maybe it is both.
I think of the “Critical Mindshifts” that are happening and what is likely going on is that even though we are telling our business partners and clients to shift to the “On the Job Mentality”, many of us in L&D are actually stuck in the “Course Mentality.” Our teams are WAITING – waiting for their organization and their leaders to GIVE them employee development and training. They feel they do not have time (which is true to an extent), but they aren’t self-initiating either.
Also, leaders are probably failing on 2 fronts – they aren’t sending their people to training but aren’t facilitating the process to ensure their people are getting the development they need either. How can leaders foster a conversation with team members, encouraging them to go to the book club, take the course on the next learning technology, or join a stretch assignment team. And then, what’s most challenging – provide the time and space to do those things.
So now what? Speak up! Raise your hand! Stand up for what you want, instead of waiting for development to happen to you. Propose ideas. Present at the next conference (yes, you are a SME and have something to say!). In order to maximize satisfaction, we have to practice what we preach and shift how we approach our own development.