In a fast evolving business world where technologies are cropping up every second, companies need to constantly equip their employees with the necessary knowledge and technical know-hows, providing opportunities to help them enhance their skill set and advance their careers.
Studies by Gallup reveal that only 30% of employees in the USA feel engaged with their companies, a situation which may end up negatively affecting productivity.
One effective way to counter this is to employ high-impact employee learning and development (L&D) programmes designed to retain talents and improve productivity. These development programmes can also help re-engage employees, helping them feel that they are being valued as contributors working together towards a common goal.
Designing an effective Learning and Development (L&D) programme requires careful planning. Here are some tips to help you get started with drafting a L&D programme :
Analyse Skill Gaps
Consider business goals and how employee behaviors are helping to achieve (or defeat) them. Once you have clearly identified the gaps between the ideal skills and the current skill set of employees, coming up with specific learning objectives that will yield stronger results will become easier.
Categorise learning objectives into three areas:
I. Skill mastery – the skills and expertise learners need, to improve the performance of their jobs.
II. Motivation – employees have to understand why they need to change behaviors.
III. Critical thinking – what learners must know to execute their duties. Note the difference between nice to know details and essential knowledge to know the optimal resources to use for the course.
Never assume that you know the skill levels and career aspirations of people working for your organisation. Where possible, have face to face conversations to get input on their career goals and how best they think they can achieve them. Discuss challenges in their current positions and let them help you identify the areas where they would benefit most from additional mentoring and training. The information gathered from these sessions will be immensely useful when drafting the learning and development plan.
Draft An Action Plan
After collecting the right details, you can go ahead and develop an action plan. The course can include a combination of formal activities like reading, group training, mentoring, one-on-one coaching and site visits. Think of what it will take to put the workers into the plan of action. Get all the prep work done and come up with a timetable to help learners plan their work and personal schedules early on.
Apply The New Skills
At successful completion of the programme, be sure to set up and provide ample opportunities for these employees to apply what they have just learnt. This is best done as soon as possible while the learning is still fresh. To get the most benefits out of the L&D courses, consider providing additional ongoing support to help employees systematically integrate their new found skills and knowledge in their areas of work.