Note: This post is a supporting reading piece/summary of my session titled “Great eLearning team – a force to be reckoned with” that is part of an asynchronous conference organized by Professional Development 4 Instructional Designers. The event is accessible between June 15 and 19, 2020; you can still register here: https://freepd4ids.wixsite.com/index/events-1
There is this famous saying: teamwork makes the dream work. And, I do believe this is true if you play your cards right. There are multiple ways how you can set up a successful team, and I will say this upfront: my findings might not work for your company situation, my tips and tricks might be impossible to perform. But as we’re all different, our work conditions are different. But I do encourage you to redesign your way of looking at how teams are organized, how they work in general, and how you can make your team better.
Without further ado, here are my five steps to set up a successful and powerful eLearning team!
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR POSITION
As eLearning is still widely unrecognized for its value, it’s key to advertise it. Before you can do it, however, plan it. Be strategic. Find out what your company, your bosses, other teams know about eLearning. Do they know your team exists? Find out what their initial understanding is.
If the decision to expand the team wasn’t yours, find out what the reasons were. Do your bosses just want more content, or do they want better content? Or maybe it’s depended on time sensitivity, not on the quality of the content at all?
Figure out how your team matched the company vision.
Try to connect your team with other departments.
Note your findings and analyze them, so you can match your strategy and your future conversations with the level of initial knowledge, understanding, and importance.
And then, start this conversation! Mention your team, say what you’re working on. Point out how you can help the company or other teams. Make sure you pull people towards the benefits that eLearning can offer!
STEP 2: HAVE A VISION
Following the vision of your company, analyze how you can help to achieve these goals. Then talk with your team, and see what ideas they have. What values they want to follow and what vision for the team they have. Taking both accounts into consideration is key in establishing a sense of identity and responsibility between your team members and the tasks you will be performing. Instead of cascading the vision on them and giving them “orders,” you can offer them a chance to create the vision and be the change they want to see!
STEP 3: FIND YOUR TEAM
Find good people. Don’t look for people like you. Look for the renegades, the pioneers, rebels and mutineers, those who go forth and have no fear, who come close when the end is near.” Here is what I think about the current HR strategies, versus what I believe should be searched for:
STEP 4: ADVERTISE YOUR TEAM
Now that you’re aware of what your company knows about your team, and eLearning in general, you know what you’re striving to achieve and how your team will help your company, and you have people who will do it with you – let others know about it! Make some ruckus, advertise what you’re doing, and how you can help.
I usually see three steps that help in this:
+ Praise and appreciate your team, especially outside your team.
+ Advertise your team within your organization.
+ Ask other managers how your team can help them.
This will bring pride to your team, it will make it recognized and appreciated, and will make others aware of what a stand-up job your doing!
STEP 5: FOSTER FUTURE LEADERS
Put faith into your team, let them know you value their development and you want them to go forward, not only work and work. You should do it twofold: you should take into consideration the team dynamics, the current situation, and ho you can support your team members in their current endeavors; but you should look into the future and support them for their future roles and for the future challenges. Here are some tips:
Below you can find a handy guide, feel free to print it, keep it as a memorandum, send it to your boss… However it will help you!