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The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development in 2 minutes. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Tuesday 21 Apr 20

The Takeaway3 Foolproof Steps to Ensure The Right People Are Learning The Right Things

Follow These Easy Steps to Ensure That your Development Programme is Tailored Accurately

Without question, great organisations need a killer learning and development strategy and well thought through development programmes. 

There are three big reasons why it is essential to tailor these killer development programmes: money, time and experience. Gauging the individual starting points for each candidate and training them on specific competencies:

  • Saves money through unneeded repeated training
  • Saves time that the learner could have used fulfilling their role. 
  • Provides a far more engaging experience to them if they are only learning new skills

Failing to tailor the learning means throwing your learners through your development programme and applying a blanket learning strategy to everyone selected, which reduces the chance of its effectiveness significantly.

Nowadays it has never been as vital as it is now to demonstrate to the learner that they are with a forward-thinking company that invests in them, that they are developing in their role and they must feel valued. Each learning journey they enter directly and positively influences these aspects.

Usually, when an organisation creates an all singing and all dancing development programme, all the candidates earmarked to go through it have to attend every module. For the most part, it doesn't take into account whether they already have the expected competencies of that module or not. They are usually in or out.

The better thing to do here is to tailor an individual's experience of that programme; thus developing only the competency gaps that need improving.

As the saying goes, everyone is different

These three steps are a foolproof way to change this:

  • Self-assessments. On selection for the programme, the candidate should fill out a self-assessment and judge themselves against the competencies that the development programme aims to develop. Ask them to record any prior learning or qualifications that they may have done previously.
  • Interview and probe. Before starting the programme, set up interviews to probe and question candidates assessment results. As a subject expert, you will begin to understand the level to which each employee is at with regards to their competencies. You will also develop a feel for how much of their previous learning has stuck. People may score themselves highly on their knowledge of, say, 'leadership styles', but they may not be at the outputted level that you expect after your programme.
  • Tailor the content. Using the now validated assessment results, develop an individual learning plan for the employee. The plan should be clear in identifying the suitable modules that they need to build on their missing competencies and exclude the modules in which they already have the competencies. 

Very frequently, organisations miss these simple steps when selecting people to go through their development programmes. Adding in an initial assessment is a straightforward tweak which increases the effectiveness of the programme that you worked so hard to budget, develop and implement.

Each learner journey is just as important as another. A proficient training provider should be talking about this aspect with you and building this into your selection strategy for your programme to make sure you are getting the most out of your strategy.

What are you doing to make sure that your development programmes are working as well as they can be?

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