A business cannot afford to stand still, so neither can its people. They need to go the extra mile day in, day out, continually look for better ways of doing things and respond well to change.
All businesses need an internal leadership pipeline – talented individuals who are capable of moving up the ladder. Without the right learning and development support at each transition stage, from supervisor to manager, for example, they risk failure. They will keep doing what made them good at their previous level instead of taking on a new way of managing and leading.
Access to the right learning and development opportunities helps all this to happen.
The majority of adult learning comes from hands-on experience and experimentation, so it does not have to be costly.
Encouraging a culture in which employees have the chance to share knowledge and experience, and are able to learn from their mistakes without fear of blame is a good first step to developing a positive learning environment. Managers should have the capability to coach others and transfer their knowledge to less experienced employees.
Performance appraisal discussions should be used to identify learning opportunities for all employees to support their continuous development in their current role or to take on greater accountabilities.
Apart from mandatory training, the bulk of training investment should focus on the profit drivers in the company, line managers and high potentials. Think creatively when it comes to training design – an employee’s behaviour is unlikely to change after a one-off course.
Collaboration is one of the key factors necessary for effective learning. A mix of instructor-led training, followed up by facilitated discussions between course participants, generates a dynamic learning environment, and leads to business improvement and higher engagement.
Line managers have a key role to play in ensuring that the company sees a return on its investment by coaching their team members to reinforce the learning and ensure it is applied in the workplace.