by Jason Richmond, CEO and Chief Culture Officer at Ideal Outcomes, Inc.
Today’s workers are clear about what they want, and a big paycheck isn’t at the top of the list. Job fulfillment now includes other intangible factors, such as the desire to achieve a sense of belonging in the workplace, empathetic leadership, and more focus on health and well-being. And when it comes to growth and development, employees are looking to their companies to help them build the skills they need to thrive both in and out of the workplace.
Ongoing Skills and Development Training is Crucial
Fostering a growth mindset and culture of lifelong learning is a sound strategy for ensuring your workforce is resilient and future ready. It positions your business to keep pace with new developments, technologies, and best practices. It also helps you adapt to changing market demands, ultimately bolstering your chances of long-term viability.
By investing in your employees’ growth, you’re sending them a clear signal that you value them and are invested in their futures.
Encourage a Continuous Learning Culture
One of the most common mistakes companies make is adopting a “push” rather than “pull” mentality when implementing learning and development initiatives. Your efforts will only succeed if your employees are inspired to learn because your offering aligns with their interests and desires.
Get this right, and you’ll find your people actively seeking out learning on topics or areas that interest them. They’ll take ownership of their learning.
Here are some training and development ideas for encouraging your employees to explore their potential and embrace a life of learning:
Self-Awareness and Positive Thinking
When your employees deeply understand their strengths and areas for improvement, they’ll have the confidence to take on challenges and seek growth opportunities. Self-awareness training can include style assessments, self-reflection exercises, and goal-setting workshops.
Another vital aspect of fostering a growth mindset is cultivating an optimistic outlook and mental resilience. Positive thinking programs that include mindfulness exercises can help employees develop strategies to overcome obstacles, manage stress, and maintain a positive attitude even in difficult situations.
Upskilling and Reskilling
Employees may be concerned about their roles being replaced by technology. Help your people future-proof their careers and nurture their underlying potential with upskilling and reskilling initiatives. For example, a regional manager could be upskilled with public speaking training to become an influential thought leader, representing your company at industry events. You could send a marketing assistant to a course on using advanced analytical tools to track the growth of social media channels and the success of campaigns.
Sensitivity and Social Awareness
Sensitivity and social awareness are essential to building rapport and trust with others inside and outside the workplace. Employees who engage in political and social conversations at work say the upsides include a better understanding of colleagues, a more open and inclusive work environment, and increased empathy. However, only 30% of employees say their company provides support to help them work effectively with people who share different views.
Invest in sensitivity and social awareness programs that help your employees:
- Become more culturally aware and adept at dealing with people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds
- Understand respectful behaviors that promote harmony with others in the organization
- Develop skills to resolve conflicts that may arise and get results that are in the best interest of all parties
Build a Robust Learning and Development Program
Once you’ve identified your learning and development programs, you need to ensure your employees get the most out of them. Everyone has their own learning style, so using different forms of learning content to promote engagement is vital. Ideally, in addition to traditional certification programs, you should include less formal training formats such as:
- Guest speakers
- Role play and challenges
Your training content should be memorable and engaging to boost learner retention. Here are some ideas to achieve this:
Make it interactive: Kinesthetic learning, or “learning by doing,” is one of the most effective learning styles. Build in “gamified” elements like badges, scorecards, and quizzes into your training.
Get social: Encourage team members to share what they’re learning with their peers. This might be in face-to-face settings or via Slack or Teams.
Reinforce and refresh: Provide regular refresher training sessions and create opportunities to test your employees’ knowledge and retention.Also, keep your learning content updated with industry shifts, technological innovations, and policy changes.
Deploy a learning platform: This will allow you to create engaging training content and organize your materials in a central location so employees can access resources on demand.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Learning and Development Initiatives
To ensure the effectiveness of your continuous learning efforts, consider the following:
- Periodically survey employees to gauge their satisfaction with your company’s learning and development opportunities and gather suggestions for improvement.
- Track relevant KPIs to measure the impact of your initiatives on your employees’ well-being, engagement, and performance.
- Be open to change, continually refine your approach, and embrace new strategies and technologies that can improve your employees’ overall experience and outcomes.
Growth Opportunities that Go Beyond the Basics
As the labor landscape shifts and evolves, ongoing skills and development training shouldn’t be neglected. Invest in ways to support and encourage your employees. Stay curious about their personal and professional interests, priorities, and challenges. You might also consider partnering with corporate learning and development specialists with the knowledge and skills to design, implement, and evaluate ongoing learning initiatives.
Unlocking your people’s potential for continuous learning, development, and long-term success isn’t just the right thing to do; you’re also paving the way for a thriving and innovative corporate culture that propels your business forward.
Contact us to learn more about revamping your Learning and Development initiatives.