5 Tips to Launching an Effective Learning Management & Employee Development Program

Posted by Mark Jackson on Mon, Jul, 31, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

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Are you considering implementing a formalized employee development program? It is an investment that’s likely to pay off. Organizations with a career development program in place enjoy up to 250 percent higher productivity. And the benefits don’t stop there. Reduced turnover, higher employee engagement levels, increased innovation and improved risk management are some of the additional benefits companies realize when they implement a formal training and career development program. Training also serves as a recruiting tool – you’re more likely to attract and keep good employees if you offer them development opportunities. 

If your company doesn’t have a training and development program in place, it may seem daunting to get started. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are five basics to keep in mind as you work to implement an effective and efficient employee training and development solution in your organization. 

1. Consider it an investment

There is a tendency among business owners and executives to view employee training as an optional expense — and that mindset can prove very costly to your organization in the long run. The moment you think of employee development and training as just another expenditure, you’ll neglect it. Instead, think of it as an investment that can prove extremely valuable for the long-term success and growth of your organization.  

2. Remember you’re planning a program, not an event

A training program is more than just a series of unrelated courses or workshops. It should reflect your organization’s goals, as well as the needs of your staff. What's important is that your staff training program has some reason behind its structure. An unrelated series of presentations or activities might have some value, but it will benefit neither the staff nor the organization as much as a training program that forms a coherent whole. Spend the time to outline and flesh-out your course offering, aligning it with your business needs and goals. Document the desired outcomes of each course and determine how you will measure and track those outcomes. 

3. Involve your staff

Make a point to involve staff members in the planning and implementation of your training program. The people who actually do the work are usually in the best position to figure out what their needs are. Ask questions, gather input, and structure training opportunities that meet employees where they are and take them where they want or need to go. Training breeds commitment, and committed employees are happier and more productive. 

4. Incorporate the basics - but don’t stop there

Companies often decide to implement a training program to address compliance matters (think OSHA or Department of Labor), manage risk ((think sexual harassment and diversity training), and/or professional certification or credential tracking (think nurses, teachers or commercial truck drivers) – and these are certainly areas that benefit from a formalized approach to training. Job function training is another common (and worthy) goal of an employee training program.  

As you plan your training program, consider broadening it into a full-fledged employee development program. Think of training as a retention tool, helping to instill loyalty and commitment from employees. One idea would be to offer career development courses, enabling employees to prepare themselves for promotion. Staff will be more likely to stay if you offer them ways to learn and grow while at your company. Don't give them a reason to move on by letting them stagnate once they've mastered initial tasks.  

5. Leverage technology

A training and development initiative won’t succeed if it isn’t easy to maintain. Companies often rely on spreadsheets, Word documents and calendar reminders to track employee training. Usually these programs were initiated when the company was much smaller, or was training fewer individuals. A disjointed system like this requires administrators to enter data in multiple locations, making reporting, analytics and data sharing virtually impossible. While this may work when your training needs are minimal, as you grow this system becomes overly labor intensive. 

Employee training, with the myriad of details to be tracked, is an ideal candidate for automation. Not long ago, learning management software was only within financial reach of the largest companies. But now, there are affordable learning management solutions accessible to small and mid-sized companies. Give your initiative the best chance of succeeding by establishing an easy to manage infrastructure that’s both scalable and accessible. 

Interested in more? Check out our Best Practices Guide - 

3 Steps to Achieve Talent Development that Drives Organizational Success 

 

Tags: training, employee engagement, learning management system, training management, learning & development, employee development

4 Reasons Why You Need to Invest in Employee Development

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 29, 2017 @ 11:06 AM

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According to Training Mag, the average amount a midsize company dedicated to the training budget was $1.5 million.

Companies of every size are shelling out the big bucks to train their new employees. Why? Because new employees are an investment and the future and they need to be molded into the common practices and company culture of the workforce in which they are placed. Communication is key in order to keep those new nuggets of talent and in case you hadn’t heard the cost of replacing an employee is through the roof these days. It costs 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary. 

So why should you revamp your employee development program?

 

1. Engaging with your employees leads to SUCCESS

This one’s a no-brainer, but is often seriously overlooked. Engage with your employees, especially your new ones. The more your employees participate in company culture and are associated with the company’s goals and interests the more they can support all those pieces.

 “Employee development is a way that you can keep your employees engaged at work to prevent that kind of boredom from setting in. Interesting training programs, and future development events that are fun or challenging to look forward to — this removes the plodding daily feel to a job that leads to that dreaded boredom.”

-Chad Halvorson, When I Work

 

Unsurprisingly, 70% of employees who don’t have confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged. Engagement is easy when tackled from a conscious standpoint.

Tweet This: See what happens when employees don't believe in the abilities of senior leadership:

 

2. The fiscal and emotional costs of replacing an employee

The stresses that come with replacing an employee can sometimes outweigh the fiscal costs of replacing said employee. Our advice? Avoid it all together with a streamlined, simple, informative and productive employee development process. For example, companies are re-engineering their talent development and learning management systems. 

In need of some help in this department? Check out Visibility’s learning management resources to help aid in the assistance of employee development.

 

3. HR Professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve their processes

Keep up on your employee development processes. Setting up a good platform in which an employee can learn paves the way for successful training and continual development in the future. 80% of companies believe HR skills are an issue and 39% rate this as an outright issue. 

 “Highly-structured, one-size-fits-all learning programs don’t work anymore. Individuals must own, self-direct, and control their learning futures. Yet they can’t do it alone, nor do you want them to. The development and growth of your talent is vital to your ongoing success, ability to innovate, and overall productivity.”

- Keith Ferrazzi, Entrepreneur

 

4. Informal learning, while great, should not be your main vessel of training

Who doesn’t love inadvertent learning? That special kind of learning sharp witted new employees simply pick up from observing and inferring from other employees? While this type of “off the cuff” training is great, it should NOT be a company’s only means for knowledge sharing. An astounding 87% of companies rate "retention, engagement, and culture" as an important imperative and 50% rate it "urgent."

Leaving too much for an employee to infer can lead to major communication problems in the long run. Misinterpretation is the essence of all workplace issues! Be nothing if not overly clear about what you expect from your employees.

Now you have your reasons, but here comes the real work. Check out the many solutions Visibility Software has to offer to enhance employee development if you don’t know where to start. You might be surprised at just how easy employee development can really be and the postive impact it will have!

For more check out our best practices guide - 

Best Practices Guide - 3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success

 

Tags: learning management system, training management, learning & development, employee development, talent development

6 Benefits of Using a Quality Learning Management System

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Tue, Nov, 22, 2016 @ 08:11 AM

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Some tasks require that you have the right tool for the job. Training management is one of them. The right tool for the job: a quality learning management system.  

Below are six benefits of using a quality LMS that combined work to minimize headaches, maximize engagement and maximize results. 

1. The LMS provides a centralized, on-demand location for corporate learning and training. There’s one place to go, whenever you want, no matter your role.

2. The LMS lessens the burden on all involved in the process (HR, training managers, supervisors, employees). Your HR team won’t have to juggle a dozen spreadsheets in an attempt to manage the process. Also, all parties can see the status of training activities that are relevant to them (e.g. HR can see status for all employees, individual employees can only see their own status).

3. Delays and mistakes in the process are severely reduced. Automated approvals and notifications streamline and provide direction in your learning process, and improve communication between all parties.

4. Compliance is improved. For jobs that require certification, automatic notifications of upcoming certification expirations are sent to employees, supervisors and training managers. These notifications include courses due and accreditation requirements.

5. Superior employee learning/training experience. A well-run process helps keep your employees enthusiastic about talent development—supporting a culture of learning—while a poorly run process irritates and frustrates. 

6. Self-service learning empowers employees. As noted in Deloitte’s 2016 Human Capital Trends report, employees increasingly want to take control of their own learning. A quality LMS includes self-service training that lets your employees develop skills that they believe will help them be successful.

A quality LMS is just one key part of successful talent development. For a comprehensive look, download our article “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.” 

 

Tags: training, LMS, learning management system, Employee Training, learning & development, talent development, HR, scorm compliant, cloud based lms

5 Actions That Set Up Your Talent Development For Success

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Nov, 09, 2016 @ 08:11 AM

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Talent development is an intensive and complex process that is worthwhile, if performed effectively, because of the great results you can achieve— reduced turnover, improved productivity, improved succession planning, etc. 

To accomplish these goals, you need to set up your talent development for success. Otherwise you’re program likely will be saddled with confusion, frustration and a lack of focus. Below are five actions to take. 

1. Define the required competencies for each job (e.g. soft skills, technical skills, level of experience) through a benchmarking process.

This is critical for knowing which training materials to create and/or purchase, and to know which employees should be given which training. 

2. Acquire quality, thorough, and relevant training and learning materials.

Whether created internally or from a service provider (e.g. OpenSesame), the quality of your materials has a direct role on the quality of the training—and on the results you achieve. 

3. Use a quality learning management system (LMS) to help you organize the process.

An effective talent development program requires a smooth, efficient process. The process is complex enough that it’s virtually impossible to run well without the help of technology—a learning management system. A quality LMS allows HR, employees, supervisors and training managers to know the status of training activities that are relevant to them, so everyone knows what to do. For example, HR can see the status for all employees, individual employees can see their own status. 

4. Use assessments to identify the skills and competencies employees have, and areas that need improvement.

Assessments show employees’ strengths and weaknesses in key areas, making them great tools for determining the skill and competency areas individual employees need to develop. In other words, assessments help you guide employees’ training for maximum benefit of both the employees and your organization. 

5. Create specific, reasonable goals for talent development efforts.

While these can and should be adjusted over time, having goals gives you a measuring stick for determining if your results are satisfactory or not—and if significant adjustments are needed. 

As you move forward with your talent development program, it’s important to evaluate your results for each of these actions. Have you determined the right competencies for given jobs? Are you training and learning materials of high quality and aligned with job requirements? Is your LMS working for you? Are your assessments helping guide employees’ training? Are your goals reasonable, or should they be adjusted? 

The great thing is, if you get these five actions right, you’ll be on a path to success. Of course, there’s much more that goes into talent development. For a guide that details the keys for successful talent development, download our article “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

Tags: training, employee engagement, Employee Training, learning & development, talent development

3 Business Imperatives for Successful Talent Development

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Wed, Oct, 26, 2016 @ 08:10 AM

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Surveys show that employers are increasing their training budgets in order to meet their talent needs. But money alone isn’t enough to achieve quality talent development results: increased employee retention, productivity and engagement, as well improved succession planning. 

In particular, as an employer, you must meet the three talent development imperatives listed below to get quality results. 

1. You must have significant organizational commitment

Succeeding at talent development requires more than acquiring the right tools and providing quality learning materials.  Many companies fail to create a culture of learning. The consequence is engagement in the talent development process is poor, and so are the outcomes. 

How do you create a culture of learning? Take concrete actions that demonstrate the great value your organization places in talent development. These include:

  • Make training and development for all employees
  • Recognize employees who learn new skills and improve their performance
  • Hire internally
  • Give employees input in the process, and offer and encourage self-learning

 2. You must have patience with training and learning

There’s no getting around it—talent development takes time, and must be ongoing. It’s easy for more immediate priorities to take precedence, and derail training and learning activities. Prevent this by showing your organizational commitment, by insisting that training development activities move forward.

3. You must effectively manage the training process

Employees, supervisors and training managers are all involved in training, and all need to be on the same page about the training process—the current status, next steps, etc. 

This can be terribly difficult for HR and training managers to manage. Management difficulties cause delays and confusion in the process that slow talent development efforts to a crawl, and cause frustration among all involved. These problems are common among organizations that are trying to manage training with paper or Excel. As a result, it’s critical to have the proper training management tools. 

Want to get better talent development results? Read our new article, “3 Steps To Achieve Talent Development That Drives Organizational Success.”

 

Tags: training, employee engagement, Employee Training, learning & development, talent development