Several studies have highlighted how learning and development programs help enterprises to improve employee performance and engagement along with preventing high employee turnover.
According to the Corporate Finance Institute (CFI),
“In the past few years, training and development have emerged as a crucial element of strategy. More company owners have realized that investing in employee training and development not only serves as a motivation, but it also enables the organization to create a highly skilled workforce.”
But no organization can boost its financial performance consistently without creating effective learning and development programs.
According to Harvard Business Review,
“Not only is the majority of training in today’s companies ineffective, but the purpose, timing, and content of training is flawed.”
While creating a learning and development program for your organization, you must focus on personalizing the learning experience and boosting learner engagement. However, it is always important to focus on some important factors and adopt several best practices to make the employee learning and development (EL&D) programs more effective.
10 Best Practices You Must Adopt to Create an Effective Learning and Development Program
Identify and Measure Knowledge Gap
Every EL&D program created by you must focus on bridging the knowledge gap.
A Research Gate post describes knowledge gap as
“a discrepancy between what is known and what should be known”.
You must identify and assess the knowledge gap by conducting interviews, surveys, and assessments. Also, you must involve both managers and workers in these assessments and surveys. The information and suggestions collected from employees will help you to understand the skilling and training required to boost employee performance and motivation.
Target Onsite, Remote, and Virtual Employees
In the post-pandemic world, work from home has become the new normal. There are always chances that your organization will protect workers from coronavirus by allowing them to work from home. Also, your business may work with remote employees and freelancers to curtail operational costs. That is why; you cannot make the EL&D program successful without targeting employees regardless of their current location.
Opt for Lean Learning
Unlike conventional EL&D approaches, learn learning emphasizes on application of knowledge instead of the acquisition of knowledge. You can adopt a lean learning approach to ensure that every employee acquires, retains, and applies knowledge and skills. The approach will help you to deliver the right learning or training to the right employee at the right time. Hence, you can easily bridge the knowledge gap by reskilling and upskilling employees. However, it is also important to focus extensively on learning experience personalization.
Focus on Soft Skill Development
You can boost an employee’s performance and productivity only when he evolves both personally and professionally. In addition to encouraging employees to acquire and hone professional skills, the EL&D program must focus on soft skill development. You must create EL&D programs that help employees to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with others in the work environment by acquiring important soft skills.
Provide Multiple Learning Options
While creating EL&D programs, you need to ensure that every employee can acquire knowledge and skill at his own convenience. At the same time, it is important to allow employees to choose from multiple learning choices, including self-paced learning, instructor-led training, on-job training, individual training, and group training. The learning choices will help every employee to retain and transfer knowledge by acquiring knowledge through his preferred training method.
Invest in a Customized LMS Solution
You can create and manage EL&D programs efficiently by investing in a cloud-based learning management system (LMS). The cloud-hosted LMS solutions can be customized according to your organization’s precise EL&D strategies. Also, you can choose the right LMS to enable employees to acquire knowledge and skills by accessing a variety of digital content. Also, you can leverage the features provided by new-age LMS solutions to motivate employees to learn after working hours through gamification of the learning experience.
Leverage Ready-to-Use Digital Libraries
Most organizations lack the resources and expertise required to create a wide range of content and materials. Your organization can leverage the ready-to-use digital libraries to enable employees to access a wide range of content and materials over the internet. Also, you can make the EL&D program more effective by integrating the cloud-based digital libraries with the LMS solution. The digital libraries will help you to eliminate the need to rely on external training bodies.
Integrate Textual and Visual Materials
Several studies have highlighted the effectiveness of visual materials in making learners understand complex concepts and retain knowledge. That is why; your EL&D program must focus on integrating textual and visual materials. The new-age learning management systems (LMS systems) allow you to integrate a variety of digital content – ebooks, documents, videos, audio clips, infographics, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
Motive and Engage Employees
Your EL&D programs cannot accomplish preset objectives without keeping the employees engaged and motivated. In addition to personalizing the learning experience, your EL&D programs must focus on learning experience gamification. You can easily gamify the learning experience by adding badges, features, and other gamification options provided by LMS platforms. The gamification features will help employees to retain and transfer knowledge, along with acquired new skills and knowledge regularly.
Measure EL&D Results
In addition to creating new EL&D programs regularly, you must focus on measuring the performance of individual EL&D programs. You can measure the performance of an EL&D program using a slew of metrics. But you can make an EL&D program successful when it boosts the performance and efficiency of learners. That is why; you must assess the performance of an EL&D program accurately only by interviewing the learners and conducting surveys. Also, you must monitor the positive changes in employee behavior and performance after getting training.
While creating learning and development programs, you must focus on creating a culture of learning and making workplace training an ongoing process. Also, you must keep the programs flexible enough to adopt the emerging trends in employee learning and development early. At the same time, it is also important to measure the performance of every employee learning and development program using a slew of metrics.