Why does so much leadership and talent development fail? Why do people spend so much on training and not get the results they’d hoped for? I think there are at least 7 steps to having an effective training or talent development project that actually gets the results you’re hoping for.
7 Steps to Effective Training and Development
- Aligned with your strategy. It’s gotta enhance what you actually want to accomplish.
- Championed by senior leaders. If the senior leaders are not behind the training, the development, the project, people can tell and it will lose steam.
- Reinforced consistently. I’ve said it before, atrophy is guaranteed without intentional action. If you aren’t intentionally putting the right vitamins and the right vegetables, the right proteins, into your body, we lose, we atrophy, and it’s the same with an organization. You gotta keep putting the right things in so that the language changes, so that thoughts change, so that behavior changes. You’ve got to have a plan and a process so that it doesn’t just become flavor of the month and what you said today is gone tomorrow. You’ve gotta have a way to reinforce that thinking, that behavior, consistently.
- Create a safe environment. If people don’t feel safe, they don’t learn. If they feel safe, they learn.
- Live component. You know, people are still people. This is a human business and a human world. And with all this move toward online training and online development and online education, it works best when there’s a live component. I’m on the board of a university, and we are studying this. And what we know is, if there’s no live component, it does not stick as well.
- Must be actionable. You can’t stay in theory forever. I love research. We put out one of the biggest studies in our domain every single year. But you’ve gotta take that research and be able to apply it to your situation. The question we wanna ask is, “What does this mean to me now, “and what does it mean to me here?” If it’s not actionable in some way today or tomorrow, people don’t tend to start using it. So you’ve gotta simplify it down. Don’t stay up in theory. Don’t overcomplexify. Whenever we overcomplexify something beyond what is needed, we lose trust and it just doesn’t take hold.
- Help the organization and the individual. In last year’s study, our Trust Outlook, we found people want training. They’ll trust their organization way more if they get training and development. But, they want leadership and personal development three to one over tactical development. I need to know how to do that specific job, that specific tactile project, but people really want personal and talent development. So it has to help them personally, but it also has to help the organization. At the end of each of our modules, we are always asking, “How can we use this to drive our strategic priority, “aligned with number one, the vision?” We’re also asking, “How can this help me be better personally or as a leader?” It must affect the organization and the individual.
At the end of each of our modules, we are always asking, “How can we use this to drive our strategic priority, “aligned with number one, the vision?” We’re also asking, “How can this help me be better personally or as a leader?” It must affect the organization and the individual. Consider these seven ideas if you would like to have training, education, or development that actually works.