Posted in:Training & Development
More and more, employers are recognizing the value of creating an environment that fosters ongoing learning and innovation. Training and development provide significant benefits in terms of retention and engagement, not to mention the benefits associated with the new and/or enhanced skills an employee can bring back to an organization. All that said, there are a few factors to consider when building an employee learning program.
One of the key considerations that affects whether or not a training and development program is a success is employee readiness. Adult education is very different from the sort of learning that happens in elementary through secondary school. If an employee is not motivated, or struggles to see the value in the training, sending him or her to any learning event, course, or program is a poor use of company resources. Conversely, if the employee is interested in the development opportunity and looks forward to it, it is much more likely that the endeavor will be beneficial to both employer and employee alike because they will be invested in the learning too.
Another important consideration is individual learning styles. Some people learn best through independent study and would do best with one-on-one learning materials like books or webinars; others may be visual learners who retain information best rhrough drawings or diagrams. Still, others learn best through experiential learning methods (role play, asking questions, experimentation).
Where possible, consider the type(s) of development opportunities that are best suited to each individual employee. This endeavor can become quite complex with a diverse workforce that may be segmented by learning styles, geography, and work schedules that impact their available learning time. Keep in mind that you will need to consider both demographic, physical, and psychological variations when crafting a learning program. To ensure everyone is meeting and exceeding performance expectations, management must be clear on their expectations and provide the best support, coaching, and training possible – in a way that matches the most common learning styles.
Finally, it is also important to ensure your organization is in a position to encourage and foster ongoing learning opportunities. A company struggling through some tough times would be ill-equipped to provide a conducive learning environment. Whereas, a company that is stable will have more options available to continue to strengthen their workforce to create a cyclical feedback loop of learning, knowledge sharing, and innovation to propel company performance.
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