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7 Ways to Improve Employee Development Programs

Learning and development programs are not only effective ways to better your employees, but they help to keep them engaged and invested in the company. Organizations invest $164.2 billion on these programs, but executives are still struggling to make them worthwhile. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Keith Ferrazzi elaborates on the seven challenges organizations face in the creation of development plans that add value:

  1. Inspire managers to coach their employees.
  2. Handle the short shelf life of learning and development needs.
  3. Teach employees to take responsibility of their career development.
  4. Allow for flexible learning.
  5. Remember virtual teams.
  6. Build trust in leadership.
  7. Account for different learning styles.

Tapping the Power of People

In the past, managers would spend a great deal of time coaching and mentoring employees; unfortunately, this is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Managers now have such vast responsibilities that they let coaching fall by the wayside. They need to revert their manner of thinking.

The world is constantly evolving, and this means that the knowledge and skills learned yesterday may not be applicable tomorrow. This makes it evermore necessary for organizations to make learning continuous, rather than a one-time affair. Granted, learning and development programs will not work the same for every employee. Individuals must learn how to take charge of their careers and be self-motivated enough to better themselves. Asking employees to take on more learning and development with an already heavy workload might only leave them frustrated and overworked. Having mobile options allows for even the busiest employee to learn.

Most organizations have many employees that work remotely, which means that learning and development programs need to account for this learning curve. This is especially important for virtual teams. Furthermore, everyone learns a little bit differently, which means there need to be learning options so that everyone can learn all they need to.

When employees see transparency, openness, and honesty from their leaders, they are more trusting of the organization. When leaders are not upfront about their own learning, employees will be less inclined to take their own initiative.

You can read the original article here: https://hbr.org/2015/07/7-ways-to-improve-employee-development-programs

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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