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04: Engagement for L&D

June 24, 2023

Part Four: How to design an award worthy leadership development programme

For your leadership programme to be truly award-worthy investing in a good marketing and comms strategy is essential. If you're lucky enough to have an internal comms team get them onboard early!

There is nothing more frustrating than designing a truly transformational programme if no one signs up to it. For this part you need to think like a marketeer.

Most programmes have shitty learner experience design.

Don't make yours one of them.

When was the last time you made a rather indulgent purchase? I want to you to think about the whole experience: from mooching round the shop, the care and attention you received, the product wrapping and then unboxing and enjoying it. It felt premium. Exciting. Sexy.

Whilst you're probably not taking your team to Harrods for an indulgent shopping experience you do want to create the same emotions and excitement with your leadership development programme.

Learner experience design involves thinking about their whole experience, beyond just live workshops

Complete a learner journey map

Borrowing some principles from user experience design, start by mapping out your learner experience from start to finish, considering each touch point including any opportunities you have to create real wow moments. Equally, consider what are the touch points that - if managed the wrong way - can risk disengagement from your programme. Your journey map should start from the very moment you start speaking about your programme and continue through off-boarding.

Build out your communication milestones

  • Pre-onboarding: Your aim here is to pique interest. Involve senior leaders - the real influencers and sponsors - to start the storytelling and getting buy-in for the programme.
  • Launch: Consider a multichannel approach to reach as many team members as possible, focusing on they engage with your internal comms.
  • Enrolment: If your programme is optional, consider how people apply and how you manage expectations with those who aren't successful.
  • Onboarding: How do you want to onboard learners onto your programme? Make sure you build in space for contracting. We should probably right a whole piece on it; most people don't do enough of it and then find people start to de-prioritise their commitment to the programme.
  • During: Say goodbye to poorly designed (and rarely read!) post-session emails. Invest in designing email comms that surprise and delight - and encourage them to take action!
  • Off-boarding: Don't forget their off-boarding experience!

Like we said, for this one you have to think like a marketeer and plan your comms journey from the perspective of the learner and the stakeholders. Keeping everyone excited and engaged is tough and it's not a once and done kind of job. Keep sharing the news, getting people excited and find ways to integrate the programme into your other internal comms so it's embedded and people start to know your programme brand.

In the final part of this series we'll be exploring a Q&A of typical questions we get asked.

Got to the final post >

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