What makes a successful L&D program manager?

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Are your L&D program managers successful? How can you tell? Though it may sound simple, measuring the success of an L&D program manager is a multi-faceted issue. 

Just as school teachers must adapt their curriculums to the specific needs of each class, L&D program managers must adapt their learning strategies for specific employees. Likewise, business leaders must adapt their evaluation processes to match the circumstances of each learning scenario.

Today, we take a look at how to go about measuring the success of an L&D program manager, as well as how to better support program managers with digital tools and solutions. 

What makes an L&D program manager successful?

Before you can adequately evaluate the success of an L&D program manager, you must first define what success looks like in the context of your business.

In general, successful L&D program managers should fit the following criteria:

  • Aligned Objectives: An L&D program manager’s training and learning initiatives should always be aligned with the broader objectives of your business. While program managers certainly hold the responsibility of designing personalized learning experiences, these experiences should ultimately build toward a shared goal within your organization. 
  • Clear Learning Outcomes: It’s hard to make improvements to L&D programs without a clear strategy for measuring learning outcomes. This often involves both the L&D program manager and the business leader, as the program manager must be supplied with the necessary technologies and tools to effectively measure learning outcomes. 
  • Continuous Improvement: Nobody’s perfect — and creating effective learning programs is already a tall order as is. Rather than expecting perfection from L&D program managers, true success is measured by a program manager’s ability to continuously improve their strategies. Successful L&D program managers strive to be proactive in their improvements, using the feedback and data they gather to adapt programs accordingly. 

3 ways to evaluate the success of an L&D program manager

Now that you know what makes a successful L&D program manager, the next step is evaluation.

Evaluating a program manager’s success can be accomplished in numerous ways depending on the type of programs offered and the desired outcomes. In most cases, the key is to take a multi-faceted approach to L&D program manager evaluations to clearly identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Additionally, a dynamic approach to evaluation also helps root out the true cause of a problem. It is essential to discover whether a problem stems from the L&D program manager’s strategy or if an operational challenge is inhibiting the program manager from doing their best work.  

With this in mind, here are three methods for evaluating the success of an L&D program manager:

1. Measuring Employee Skill Development & Progression

One of the best ways to evaluate the success of an L&D program manager is to measure learner progress. 

After completing a learning program, your team should walk away with well-developed skills and clear signs of progress. If employees are continuously encountering the same skill-related challenges in the workplace, this can be a major indicator of something going wrong in your training processes. 

Yet, a lack of progress does not always indicate a fault in the L&D program manager.

In some cases, low levels of skill development and progression can be indicative of operational problems, such as too many learners assigned to a single program manager. This makes it highly important to use progress measurements as a stepping stone to a solution rather than the ultimate diagnostic of an issue. 

Additionally, L&D program managers should be encouraged to proactively measure the skill development and progression of program participants. By doing so, program managers can gain real-time insights into which aspects of a particular program work best versus areas needing improvement. 

2. Assessing employee feedback 

No one in your business team has a closer relationship with L&D program managers than learners.

It’s crucial to ask employees participating in learning programs how they feel about an L&D program manager. When seeking employee feedback that has the potential to be harsh, it can be wise to give employees the option of anonymity so they may express their true feelings freely. 

However, giving employees the option to attach their names to their feedback can be equally useful, especially for tailoring future learning experiences to each participant. 

To obtain the best employee feedback possible, it is vital to make participation and engagement the foundational building blocks of your programs. L&D program managers should feel eager to learn from feedback and apply new techniques, rather than fearful of the consequences of negative feedback. 

3. Tracking program performance metrics

A simple yet effective method for evaluating the success of an L&D program manager is to track performance metrics. Performance metrics can reveal many critical insights into not only the effectiveness of learning programs but of the L&D program manager themselves.

Three of the top performance metrics to track when evaluating L&D program managers include:

  • Time-to-Competency: Time-to-competency is the amount of time it takes for employees to reach a competent skill level within a program. If you track this metric and find the skill development timeline to be relatively slow, then it can be beneficial for L&D program managers to focus on helping employees master skills on a more incremental level. 
  • Participation: Participation refers to the amount of engagement within a program, such as how many learners verbally participate in discussions or how many assignments are fully completed. This can be taken to a deeper level as well, such as assessing not only the frequency but also the thoughtfulness of employee responses. The more engaged an employee is, the more likely they are to provide insightful comments, questions, and feedback during a program. 
  • Attendance: The most basic performance metric to track when evaluating an L&D program manager is program attendance. When attendance is low, this can indicate that either the program is not striking the interests of employees or that the program is not convenient for employees to attend. In many cases, the reality can be a mixture of the two. 

PlusPlus drives success for L&D program managers

To enable L&D program managers to achieve the best possible outcomes, you must first ensure they have access to all the best tools and digital resources.

The PlusPlus Employee Enablement Platform gives you the capabilities necessary to build a robust catalog of internal information. From simplifying discovery processes to automating metric tracking and reporting, the PlusPlus platform has all the features L&D program managers need to succeed.

Find out how PlusPlus can revolutionize your L&D program manager strategies today. 

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