Our Thinking

Building a Learning Brand in Your Organization

Jennifer Kerwin

What is the perception of your training department? Another way to ask this question… do employees see your courses and resources as a benefit or just an inconvenience? The way the various parts of your organization view training and development is closely related to the success of your programs. This may seem obvious, but training that is not viewed as a benefit or something created to help the employee may not help anyone. Building your learning brand can help shape and direct this perception.

The first step in branding your Training and Development Department is having a clear understanding of the products and services you offer. You must be prepared to identify the value of your courses (and even your team’s individual contributions) as they relate to the mission, vision and goals of the overall organization and the employees you serve. To evaluate courses, review things like course content, course length, frequency of course offerings, and any existing participant feedback. Try to collect ROI information if possible. Next, you can learn more by surveying or interviewing people within the company about their perception of your training group. Once you start evaluating this type of information, you’ll start to see the strengths and weaknesses of your group through the eyes of the participants and stakeholders.

To shape your brand, build on your strengths and work to eliminate your weaknesses. Create your brand by writing a brand promise, developing a mission and choosing a name that makes sense for your company, courses, and team strategy. Also create a visual identity for your brand and tie it to the organization’s brand platform and standards; this will make your brand more identifiable. Then establish consistency throughout your training programs by using tools like a branded Learning Management System, branded eLearning templates, branded training manuals, and consistent course structure. Consider your brand when you work with stakeholders to develop new courses, as well as when you send out communications about new and existing course offerings, and measure and share ROI information. Ask yourself: Is this course, communication, or message consistent with our brand promise?

Building your learning brand is a way to connect employees to your training organization. Perceptions are powerful, and the effect of a learning brand can be as well. If built on a strong foundation that includes effective courses and services, the brand can help employees embrace training and view it as a benefit. Contact us if you are looking for help with building your learning brand.

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