We're inundated with messages about how to automate, boost efficiency, and streamline processes—often by using emerging tools powered by AI (artificial intelligence). In these days of shrinking budgets and headcounts, as more employees need re- and upskilling, efficiency is indeed prized.

The good news is, there are many ways to improve your L&D team's effectiveness while working within the constraints of a small or under-funded team. Some, but not all, of these rely on AI. The Learning Guild's upcoming Work Smarter, Not Harder Online Conference, on April 10–11, introduces several options and ideas.

Start strategically

Your learning and team management strategies might need adjusting as your resources become stretched. Prioritizing projects and initiatives is essential. An often-overlooked element of a successful strategy is measuring impact and success. Rosa Espinal of CareerSource Central Florida opens the online conference with a session on developing your strategic training plan.

Later in the conference, explore ways to leverage technology and drive engagement through your strategic plan. Healthpoint's David Jackson III focuses on maximizing limited resources and shares best practices. in his session on optimizing L&D in small teams.

Call in reinforcements

Learning leaders who are strapped for time and whose teams are stretched might not instinctively think about expanding their network as a solution. But Monique St. Paul, of Community Health Center, and Nicole Thomas, of Goal Achievers, will spark some new thinking on that. Their session on Mastering Connections shares authentic ways to forge mutually beneficial connections, both within and outside of your organization.

Gain the confidence to take risks, and learn how leveraging your new relationships can move you—and your team—toward greater effectiveness and success.

Strategic relationships within your organization might include your SMEs—subject-matter experts. Partnering with them can expand the capacity of your team while capturing essential institutional knowledge. Join Osa Edebiri and Tracy Prentiss as they share their experience of integrating SMEs into onboarding at Quickbase.

Reduced resources? Try reusable content

Rebecca Wyatt and Emily Crockett, both from Enterprise Knowledge, have cracked the code on personalizing learning while also creating learning resources more efficiently. In a highly interactive micro master class session, they share their model for creating reusable content. You'll also learn about multi-channel publishing that allows you to share content in relevant contexts while avoiding the redundancy that can alienate learners.

Automate to boost efficiency

While there's a lot you can do to extend your team's capacity and improve efficiency without technology, AI-powered tools are an increasingly powerful way to accomplish more with less. Two of our online conference sessions share strategies for using AI-powered tools to augment your team's resources: One more strategic, and one quite practical.

Team leaders often find that the day-to-day tasks of managing projects and people eat up enormous amounts of time. Jeff Batt, founder of Learning Dojo, will help you claw back some of that elusive resource with his tips and tactics for automating project management tasks. His hands-on session uses Zapier, a free, no-code tool.

Management is not the only area where AI can shoulder some of the more repetitive tasks. While you need to be mindful of their limitations, Large Language Models (LLMs) are an invaluable assistant in developing or refining content. Cascade Learning's Christina Nilsen will walk you through several innovative ways to automate content development in her hands-on session.

Set boundaries to avoid burnout

A burned-out team leader—or sole L&D practitioner—is not going to function anywhere near peak performance. Avoid burnout and learn to set the boundaries that will keep you, and your team, motivated and productive. Join Mimi Phung, a Thirty Under 30 Alumna and instructional designer at the University of California, and learn how to reframe and redirect your energy in support of your values and goals, ensuring that you focus on what matters most—and improving outcomes for yourself and your team.

Register today!

Overwhelmed or swimming against a current of growing needs and diminishing resources? Invest the time to learn strategies for addressing these challenges, boost your efficiency, and improve your team's results. Register today for the  Work Smarter, Not Harder online conference, on April 10–11, 2024.