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How-To: Make Your Company Succeed With Learning and Development Activities

Companies who invest in training can receive 24% higher profit margins. This is partly due to fewer employees leaving. Are you investing in this?

A line graph shows profits increasing, in front of a blurred image of business people

Carrying out unsustainable learning and development activities for your learners, without knowing if they’re suitable for their needs, can be a waste of time, energy and resources. Therefore, this week’s blog post aims to help learning and development professionals curate L&D activities that will benefit your organisation the most. This is so that these can be more than worth the resources you put into them.


In-House Development Programs

An experienced colleague mentors a learner in software development

Could this be something that suits your company?


Many organisations use formal on-the-job training such as secondments and job rotations. This involves assigning an employee to a new department. It is done in the hopes that they will learn how to carry out the responsibilities of a slightly or completely different role.


However, this technique can sometimes falter due to the many work hours, and stress, involved when learning how to approach their new role with a new skillset. Employees may also have to adapt to a brand new schedule and even behavioural patterns of their new department, so they can obtain and pass on information as quickly and efficiently as possible.


In-house development programmes are broader, more long-term, and typically involve higher-level development activities than the more typical formal training detailed above. These can be much more effective, as they involve one-to-one discussions with the learner to determine how they feel about their development. An assigned supervisor can mentor them and observe how their knowledge and work performance have developed over time, so the employee does not have to worry about their learning pace – if there are any issues, these can be brought up at any time, as the supervisor is keeping an eye on them and giving them extra support.


We recommend curating an in-house development programme like the above. There’s never been a more important time to offer extra support for employees with regular mentoring and one-to-ones, plus, there is a crucial need for employees to feel as though they are being trained effectively. 74% of employees feel as though they are not reaching their full potential, which is problematic because 40% of employees who report having poor training will leave the company within the first year. This is due to feeling dissatisfied and disengaged with the company.


Our top tip here is to make sure that employees feel engaged in the company, by offering them long-term opportunities and mentoring in-house.


Engaging Activities

A group of employees sit and view an engaging training event

Do you hold training courses or classroom-style training for your employees? You need to keep an eye on these, and ask for feedback from employees to ensure that these are effective. After all, there is nothing they’ll find more simultaneously boring and frustrating, than having to spend their valuable working hours in a classroom scenario that they find unproductive.


To make these more enjoyable, learners need to be encouraged to practice new techniques and share ideas in a risk-free setting. Letting them sit passively for too long in such courses may make their minds wander, whereas hands-on activities are best.


Recording These Activities

A professional camera records a conference

In terms of ensuring that these activities are effective, have you considered recording your training sessions? With the consent of your learners, of course. You might worry about the cameras intimidating your employees or making them act differently, but actually the presence of the cameras will fade into the background for them, and they’ll all but forget they’re there.


This can ensure that you can look back on your footage, review it, and pick apart which parts of the session went well and which should be improved upon. We often record training events for our clients so that they can use it as an on-demand training resource, and as we edit them to ensure that only the relevant content is included in the final recording, our review picks up on a lot of interesting aspects. We notice many extraneous parts of the session which perhaps do not need to be there. We also pick up on whether the PowerPoint slides flow well with the information being given, and which parts of the activity are engaged with well.


So, consider getting your employee training sessions recorded to see how you can improve them for maximum effectiveness for your company.


Having such a recording can also allow the session to reach even more people, which is incredibly cost-effective. Instead of holding the same event all over again to train more employees, you can simply refer back to a recording of a previous event that went well. That’s why we can’t recommend this learning and development strategy highly enough.


Video recordings can be a highly effective employee training strategy. We’ve found that video content can seriously improve the knowledge retention of people, compared to training materials that only require them to read e-books, for instance.


Action Learning

A group of employees carry out action learning together by discussing real-work issues.

One trouble with some learning and development strategies, is that learners might feel unmotivated due to being unsure if they’ll need to learn a certain skill. They might not know in what real-world scenario a skill will be required. This is especially the case today, when they have had to complete most work from home and may be out-of-the-loop regarding some real work problems.


Action learning is a very effective CPD technique which involves small groups of colleagues regularly meeting to reflect on real work issues. It’s based on the philosophy that the most effective learning can happen when people are given a real problem that they need to learn to solve. If you want your employees to feel engaged in the organisation, action learning is key for getting them to collaborate and share ideas, which is highly likely to lead to innovation in your company.


Conclusion


The above examples show that, in order to bring your company success with worthwhile, effective CPD, you should allow for curated one-on-one mentoring, and any group training sessions should be recorded. Individuals should also be encouraged to collaborate about real-work issues.


To partner with an organisation that is experienced at producing many learning and development events, and get your events recorded so that you can review them, contact CPD Online here.

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