Establishing Employee Development Programmes in the “New Normal”

Self-organising team works together to plan work.

Employee development amongst business people working in board room

Many employee development programmes have been reduced, altered or sidelined since the pandemic. Overcoming business issues such as supply chain disturbances, cost increases, loss of sales and more meant training programme budgets were slashed.

As we emerge from the pandemic fall-out and hit our stride in the “new normal,” training managers and human resources professionals are reimagining employee development programmes. How can training be designed to meet workforce needs and organisational demands in an unsteady marketplace? What about in-person versus online learning?

The short answer is that training programmes must be flexible and aligned with how people work. Think of smaller, bite-sized learning sessions that fit into an employee’s workflow, allowing them to easily digest information and minimise their time offline.

Maximise employee learning and meet your training ROI expectations by employing these three training tips for establishing employee development programmes in this new era.

1. Personalised Training

It has long been understood that not everyone learns the same way. Historically, employee development programmes took this into account to a degree. Learning tracks incorporated the three recognised learning styles – visual, auditory and kinesthetic – and instructed a group of people concurrently, with everyone following the programme at the same time.

Today’s training programmes infuse differences in learning into their design. Employees are not taught the same concepts in identical fashion and timing. Rather, training is personalised for each worker based on established learning goals.

In this model, employees collaborate with supervisors and mentors to establish training objectives that reflect their current roles and skills, as well as their aptitudes and envisioned career paths.

While this approach can be time intensive, it is offset with the time savings of employees not undergoing training on skills they already have or do not need for their jobs. Maintaining and nurturing talent through a personalised training programme is another major compensation for the resource investment in such a programme.

Pro Tip: Save time on personalised training programmes by relying on technological automation wherever possible.

2. Anticipate and Close Skills Gaps

With technological innovations precipitating ongoing transformations to the labour force and skills requirements for specific positions, it is little wonder that half of all human resources professionals report a widening skills gap in their organisations. Business leaders are looking at their workforce with concern, wondering – do my workers have the skills required to execute our proposed business strategies?

The answer to these looming questions is upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling gives workers the tools to adapt to on-the-job changes, typically related to the adoption of new technologies, the automation of work, or shifts in organisational structure and direction. On the other hand, reskilling prepares employees for a lateral move or promotion, giving them the abilities to take on new challenges.

To stay competitive as an organisation with a capable workforce, business leaders must anticipate the skills employees need for success. Stay ahead of skills gaps before they turn into major breaches by monitoring the intersection of business trends, emerging technologies and staffing needs. Keep an eye on all skill types, from industry-specific and safety-related, to generalised business aptitudes and soft skills. Our Working Sm@rt with Outlook workshop delivers personal productivity best practices integrated with the technology already on your desktop.

3. Brief Learning Sessions Compatible with Workflows

Employees appreciate training that is targeted to them and gets to the point. Your workers are busily juggling competing deadlines and priorities with their training requirements. So make employee development programmes fit into their tight schedules.

Microlearning is one such tool. This approach is defined by focused learning events that are broken down into sessions as short as a few minutes. The content is value-add and meaningful. It can also be accessed in the moment of need. Images, videos and infographics are typically used in microlearning models. Because it is condensed, microlearning is best suited for less complex concepts and skills. Employee onboarding and compliance training work well in microlearning formats, for example.

For more comprehensive coursework, longer training formats are more appropriate than microlearning, which can become too fragmented in elongated tracks. That said, microlearning can supplement or reinforce concepts introduced in other employee development programmes, such as online or hybrid training.

Creating a Winning Employee Development Programme

Smart learning and development leaders are exploring ways to create adaptive training experiences that are responsive to organisational requirements and employees’ needs. Such employee development programmes in the “new normal” promote superior information retention and productivity, while closing skills gaps.

You can develop a more successful training programme today by assessing your workforce and incorporating these tips into your plans. With so many upheavals to training employee development programmes in the last few years, many training managers will find they have a lot of work cut out for them. Priority Management is here to help.

Priority Management has four decades of experience in personalising training programmes for teams around the world in all matters of skills development. From optimising your team’s use of Microsoft Suite to enhancing core business abilities – such as project management and communications, Priority Management is your turnkey training partner. Regardless of the topic or the audience we have one main focus: driving real-world benefits and measurable outcomes. You can read the original article here on our corporate website.

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