This informal CPD article, ‘Why L&D Managers Should be Planning for Q1 Now?’, was provided by iAM Learning, who are transforming the way your workforce trains and retains, using high-end animation, lovable characters and captivating stories to make even the most serious subjects appealing and unforgettable.
As a Learning & Development manager, planning for the year's first quarter may seem straightforward enough. Like Christmas shopping, you always intend to do it with time to spare, don’t you? However, last-minute requests and internal changes often derail even the best-laid plans. We know what you’re thinking - You’re probably too snowed under at the moment to even consider it, right? Getting overrun with ‘reactive’ work makes it difficult to focus on being proactive. But there are some great reasons why you should put that stuff aside for a while and focus. Let’s explore them.
Helps Budget Planning
By sinking some time into your L&D planning early, you can better forecast the budgets and resources you need for Q1 learning initiatives. Rather than scrambling to find a budget at the last minute, thoughtful, advanced planning allows you to submit budget requests with plenty of lead time for approvals. You'll also have clarity on expected expenses for leadership development programs, eLearning modules, and other Q1 priorities.
Supports Awareness Initiatives
Planning ahead makes promoting and communicating upcoming Q1 training offerings and important events easier. This lead time allows you to research key awareness dates, coordinate marketing campaigns, update training calendars, and work with managers to get sign-off. It also gives your team time to develop promotional materials and plan schedules. Result? Greater awareness and engagement.
Generates Engagement from Stakeholders
Early Q1 planning opens the door for useful conversations with stakeholders about goals, pain points, and opportunities to collaborate. Making early connections with leaders, SMEs, and learners not only offers valuable insights to inform your efforts, but also gets key players invested in and, ultimately, excited about the learning coming up in Q1. This stakeholder engagement leads to better outcomes for everyone.
Supports Staff Wellbeing
Being reactive and overwhelmed is stressful for L&D teams. Planning ahead alleviates last-minute urgencies that lead to long hours, stress from overwork and burnout. This preparation lets your team work at a reasonable, sustainable pace. This promotes work-life balance and supports their mental health. And you already know that empowered, engaged employees do their best work. It’s a no-brainer.
In short, taking time now to plan for Q1 learning initiatives sets your team and organisation up for success. We get it, of course. It means saying "no" to some reactive work. Or finding a happy medium between current work and future planning, which may be a challenge in itself. Discuss the issue with your team and managers to find a workaround, which may mean blocking off set time for planning. Do this, and the benefits are plentiful and clear to see. Thoughtful planning enables budgeting, awareness building, stakeholder engagement, and well-being for yourself and your team. Don't let yourself get overrun - stop and plan for Q1 today. It’s critical.
We hope this article was helpful. For more information from iAM Learning, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.