August 2021
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TD Magazine

Make an Indispensable L&D Team

Friday, July 30, 2021

Learn where to start and what to prioritize.

It's time to establish your own L&D department. It's an exciting but daunting prospect. Where do you begin, and how do you ensure your new team meets and exceeds expectations?


In "Successfully Build an Essential L&D Department," David Macon offers guidance on how to get started. He advises to first conduct an assessment.

Consider the types of training your team will be expected to develop. Will it be e-learning? If so, you may want to hire individuals with backgrounds in microlearning or gamification. On the other hand, if you will offer extensive instructor-led training, you may want to hire multiple facilitators. Further, do you have the budget to hire someone with expertise in data analytics? That is growing in importance.

Where will your team fall in the organizational hierarchy? Consider how you will position yourself and the department to positively leverage relationships and influence.

Also consider what existing content and resources you may have access to, such as vendor materials, organizational cheat sheets, quick-reference guides, or other documents or videos.

As you create your vision for the department, ask yourself how the team will address organizational strategic objectives. Develop long-term, midrange, and short-term objectives, but be flexible to address changing company goals and conditions.


If it will just be you and a minimal budget to start, it's critical to create efficiencies. Think templates, re-purposing content, and delegating, for starters.

These tips were adapted from the August 2021 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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