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5 steps to better training and development

Posted on 23rd May 2022

The current sea-change in employee expectations is forcing companies to rethink their approach to talent attraction and retention. According to the GETI 2021 report, the best way to build resilience in the talent crisis is to improve your training and development. Here are five steps to do just that.

  1. Communicate to learn about your employees

Providing relevant learning opportunities means learning about your people and their needs and goals. The best way to do this is to ask them questions in an informal, relaxed 1:1. Break the ice by asking some non-work questions and revealing some info about yourself before getting into questions like these:

What motivates you to come in to work every day?

What’s something you feel you’ve accomplished recently?

What do you like most about your job?

What are some challenges you’re facing?

What resources do you need to succeed?

Do you feel like you’re advancing and learning new things?

Are there any projects, roles, or responsibilities in the organisation that interest you?

Are there any new things you’d be interested in working on?

Are there any new skills you’d like to learn?

Are there any existing skills you’d like to develop?

Is there anything you’d like to talk about that we haven’t covered yet?

Remember to listen actively rather than just waiting for your turn to speak–and when you’ve found out what your employees are looking for, act on it.

  1. Use on-the-job training

Classroom-style training is a good place to start, but to be really effective, it needs to be paired with on-the-job learning. Create teachable moments out of daily encounters and responsibilities. For example, if someone is anxious about giving a presentation, take some time to go over it with them and help them practise.

  1. Match learning to your employees’ needs

Different employees have different learning needs depending on their age, experience, goals and motivations. For instance, your younger employees might thrive on an e-learning platform, while your older employees might struggle with it and need more guidance.

  1. Give regular, constructive feedback

Feedback is so important during training and development that you can’t just wing it. Create a strategy to make sure feedback is delivered regularly and constructively, making suggestions for improvement instead of just highlighting what’s wrong. Use data and figures wherever possible to help employees track their progress accurately. It’s also worth considering implementing 360-degree feedback, rather than just handing feedback down from above.

  1. Evaluate your capacity

Improving your training and development is a complex, time-consuming process, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. Before embarking on a training programme, think about how much capacity you realistically have to provide training internally and how much you want to outsource.