My 'sure-fire' five ways to improve an L&D programme
One of the key concerns that I, and I imagine most other HR & L&D professionals have, is the need to continually improve the L&D programmes we design & deliver. With that in mind, and using both my own and my networks personal experiences, I’ve developed my top five ‘sure fire’ ways to improve your programme. Of course, these are very topline but, hopefully, give the general gist!
1) Ensure managers are accountable for coaching their employees
Starting here with, in my opinion, the most important point, you can have the best L&D strategy in the world but if the level of coaching carried out by your managers is of poor quality or non-existent all of your hard work will be undone. In the past, this was very much a core part of a manager’s role - but as manager responsibilities become ever busier, it is increasingly important to incentivise them to carry out coaching. One of my previous organisations formed part of a manager’s bonus on employee feedback on the quality of the coaching, for example, that was hugely successful.
2) Develop L&D initiatives for each stage of an employee’s time in the company
There was a time where skills that were learned would see you over a period of years (this is still the case with some skills of course). However, with the business environment evolving quicker than at any other point in history we have more responsibility than ever to ensure we develop our people.
3) Ensure employees take ownership of their development
The phrase you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink is appropriate for this one. If you conduct an L&D activity and the employee has not invested themselves in it, it’s almost pointless. This is, of course, not just the responsibility of L&D but of Managers and Directors also.
For this very reason it is so important (and blindingly obvious) that we must tailor our L&D programmes to suit the needs and styles of the individual. Believe me, the ROI when tailoring your programme for individuals is well worth the effort. At RSG I‘ve tailored the content of our Academy Training programme and, since doing so, our employee turnover in this area went from 14% to below 6% very quickly.
4) Develop confidence in the leadership of the organisation
If employees cannot see the development journey that the leaders within the organisation have been on how can they visualise moving up through the organisation? This is one often overlooked element to developing an effective development programme.
5) Align L&D to your culture
Famed management consultant and 'social ecologist' Peter Drucker is famous for saying ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, with this in mind it is essential that you align your L&D programmes to the culture of the business. However, aligning it to culture alone will almost certainly destroy your ROI. Of course, the psychics amongst us will of course know that aligning culture and strategy will result in genuine and intentional learning with a significant positive affect on ROI!
Do you agree with the points above, have you even practised any of these in your own organisations? Would you add any further points? Or you disagree? (you would of course be mad if you do). I'd love to hear from you!
Posted on: Monday 25th Jul 2016