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

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

Why Boring Work is Subjective and Necessary

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Sep, 09, 2015 @ 10:09 AM

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Your employee, Jill, wants to talk. She sits you down, darts her eyes around the room nervously, and comes out with it: she finds her job boring. You’re taken aback — you thought she loved her job! You might scramble to fix the problem, but you need to realize: if your employee came to you to tell you they’re bored of their job, there’s probably a bigger problem at hand. If not, then they have to realize two things: Boring is often subjective, and almost always necessary. Here’s why.

 

Boring Work is Vague

“Bored” can mean a lot of things. Some people think it’s synonymous with “disengaged” when it comes to the workplace, and would point out that only 31.5% of U.S. employees are engaged at their jobs. That might be true, but there are a number of reasons your employees could be bored at work. They could find the work unchallenging, under-stimulating or have lost their passion for their industry.

Tweet This: What do your employees really think of their jobs? 31.5% are unengaged for the following reasons: 

What’s more, “boring” isn’t something you can fix easily. Different people find different things boring, and you have to modify your approach to fit the candidates. Some people find organizing paperwork relaxing, while others find it dreadfully monotonous. Saying a job is “boring” isn’t helpful, because it doesn’t properly identify the problem. Why is the job boring? Ask your employees more about their issue. Don’t assume “boring” is bad and leave it at that.

 

Boring is Necessary

Boring isn’t always mandatory to working in certain fields — it can often be just as beneficial as the work we’re passionate about. In fact, some of the most important parts of our working lives can be the most boring. As Sharlyn Lauby (@sharlyn_lauby) explains, we still need to dedicate ourselves to whatever we might find the least exciting.

"Some of the things we need to know in our careers and lives we won’t consider fun. But we have to learn them anyway. At least if we want to be successful, we need to be capable. Here’s an example. Driving is not my favorite thing to do. But I need to know how to drive in order to go to work and school, take vacation, and run personal errands. So, I drive and give it my 100%."

Tweet This: @sharlyn_lauby gives insight about the need for staying motivated at work. Read more: 

So no matter what part of your work your employees find boring, you need to encourage your employees to do it well.

 

What to Do About Boredom

Sometimes the best way for employees to deal with boring work is to buck up and find ways to make it exciting. No matter what career they choose, work won’t be a cavalcade of fun events one after the other. The same goes for your employees. You can’t fix every issue with their job because people have to file expense reports, and those usually aren’t very fun.

However, there are times when you can take steps to fix an employee’s boredom with their job. If your employee doesn’t find their work fulfilling, and you see signs that they might be better suited for another department, don’t hesitate to ask them what they’d rather be doing. At work, 25% of employees would feel more motivated if they were doing what they did best. Take this into account when talking to an unmotivated employee. Are they burnt out, or simply looking for another outlet to apply themselves?

Tweet This: Keep your employees motivated by simply allowing them to do what they love. Read about how this works:

Like we said, curing boredom doesn’t come easily. Not every employee can be reassigned into being motivated. You may have to put up with a certain amount of disengagement at your company, because it tends to come with the territory. But this isn’t always a bad thing, and while not everyone likes boring work, “boring” means different things to different people, and it’s often necessary and vital to the workplace.

Need to find the optimal fit for every employee? For that, there’s Visibility Software’s learning management system, Cyber Train, which can track every employee’s progress in their role. Sign up for a demo today!

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Tags: training, Leadership