Demonstrating Value from Lunch and Learns

How do we get demonstrable value out of Lunch and Learns?

Lunch and Learns tend to be a feature of scale-ups and startups when they look to increase this skill base of people, by leveraging the amazing skills of the people they’ve already got, through informal learning.

They can be a great tool for informal learning, but they can also be a waste of resources and tire out already overwrought colleagues. Sometimes people need lunch to be just lunch.

It’s a great way of using the skills that you’ve already got. The piece that’s missing (especially when you’re talking to People Team leaders or Founders) is demonstrating the value of L&Ls.

If you’re going to ask people to give up their lunchtime then what value are the people attending getting and how does this help the business?

Your role here is to show that value by measuring the output.

How do you do that? Well, you could follow this process…

  1. Ask the question. What will people be able to do at the end of the session that they couldn’t do at the start? That’s not going to be much. You can’t really learn anything in an hour, but you may be able to introduce them to using a feature of a tool or your own products.
  2. Pick a tool.  Look at the tools people commonly use across the business (think communication tools) and ask: Are people using these as effectively as they could?  What features would people benefit from knowing about?  If using your own products get a sandbed/test environment set up so people can play.
  3. Invite a guest speaker. Get an expert on the subject to come and deliver the session. Though not a usual feature of L&L’s if you’ve got some funding get an external partner to deliver the session.  This can help drive attendance and engagement in the session.
  4. Make the session interactive.  Get people to use the features in the session and plan to encourage practical use after the session
  5. Measure the output.  Are more people using the tool, in the way you want and how is that affecting the overall performance of those teams?  If you’re looking at your own products how does this new knowledge help your people when working with customers?

You can make Lunch and Learns engaging, valuable sessions that help people develop skills that help with their day-to-day work, that can be measured.  Or you can just let people have lunch.

It’s up to you!

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