How L&D can help line managers to support learning

By Duncan Barrett December 09, 2016

website_blog_300x170While many organisations are looking at how best to support a culture of learning and meet the needs of self-directed learners, many are still dealing with the challenge of engaging employees around content that needs to be delivered and understood by its workforce, whether for compliance or operational reasons.

For L&D teams facing this challenge, the most important ally must surely be the line manager.

We explore these themes in our webinar: Learning in the Line: L&D, line managers & the self-directed learner 

Line managers form a silent (or not so silent) army of support that is ready, willing and able to guide their teams in meeting the challenges of uncertainty and complexity that are sweeping through the world of work as we know it … Well – something along those lines!

In truth, line managers are pulled in multiple directions to meet the needs of the organisation as well as their team.

What is often missing is the information that they need to act on, or even to understand, to fulfil the responsibilities they have to those in their team. Where this information is captured it may be buried amongst other data in systems which require special privileges to access. It is no wonder therefore that faced with these barriers energies are often diverted to different challenges.

When we first started thinking about our new manager dashboards feature in our learning management system Learning Gateway, we asked ourselves what is the line manager’s role in support of learning amongst the team. On the one hand the manager needs to be supportive and encouraging of an individual’s need to learn, on the other hand ensuring that their team is meeting the needs of the organisation. Most importantly all of the information that is there needs to be there because it requires attention, or it helps a manager gain a better understanding of what is happening in their team.

In choosing what information to display on any dashboard there is a balance to strike between what you could show and what you need to show. In fact arguably the more you show the less effective a dashboard becomes and many a time I have been faced with a dashboard of data which leaves me uncertain of what I need to do about it. In fact, when you consider the services we use and the sheer volume of data that is being captured by these systems, the problem is far less about the need for data driven decision making, but more about identifying and extracting the most important data and ensuring that is easily accessible to those who need it.

If L&D are to fully utilise the network of line managers in their organisation the need to provide simple actionable information is key to unlocking that potential.

Access the webinar: Learning in the Line: L&D, line managers & the self-directed learner 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *