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company need to know to keep up with the changing market? Here are five key steps to building a successful talent development program within your company. 1. Understand the Importance of Learning & Development Why is talent development an increasingly critical strategy for retaining top talent and positively impacting employee engagement? Consider that two common reasons great employees leave an organization are lack of development opportunities and the sense that their work is not meaningful. Employees are much more likely to stay with an organization if they feel their development is encouraged and supported. Any organization that doesn’t invest in its talent through development is placing additional pressure on the talent acquisition team to ultimately find more talent. Certainly, you can bring in new talent, especially for specific skills and competencies. If that is your primary talent strategy, it creates unnecessary and costly risk. 2. Do Your Homework Before you launch your organization’s journey to enhanced talent development, be sure to understand the scope of your organization’s existing talent development capabilities. Make sure that you consider: • Does the content of your development programs focus on the right talent? • What are the current costs vs. future costs of development programs by delivery methods? • Which outcome-focused metrics – such as retention, engagement, coaching, business impact and ROI – are associated with your organization’s talent development? • What tools and technology are required to support your talent development initiatives? Once you understand the full scope of your current program, you can then plan for how best to effect positive change. 3. Leave the Old Way Behind The traditional strategy for learning programs was – and for many, continues to be – instructor-led training. However, in this post-recession era, employees simply don’t have time to leave the office, or step away from billable work for multi-day classes, and budgets are limited. When planning the format for your talent development programs, the most important consideration should be the effectiveness of the training. How best do employees learn? Studies have shown that participants learn best if they can apply what they have learned, practice and engage in a discussion. Does a particular learning experience help the employees’ performance improve? Does it have a positive business impact? Is there ultimately a positive return on investment? These are the key questions. 4. Prepare Learning Programs for Specific Outcomes Before you roll out a learning program, you must determine how you intend to measure its success. Too often organizations wait until a program is complete determine whether it was successful; however, you can only determine how well employees achieved targeted outcomes if you establish a baseline in advance. A baseline enables you to measure your program’s business and financial impact. When building learning and development programs for specific outcomes, it is essential to define how you will measure success, encourage and obtain corporate and business unit input, accurately determine the level of effort and investment required in all development programs and be flexible to respond to change as needed. • According to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), the best-known model of outcome-based education (OBE) was developed by Bill Spady and his associates at the High Success Network. He lists four principles that he believes should characterize OBE: Clarity of focus – having specific outcomes gives a strong sense of purpose to everything teachers and students do. • Design down, deliver up – when planning curriculum, educators start with the outcomes and work backwards; when planning instruction, teachers teach what students need to learn to demonstrate the outcomes. • High expectations – OBE departs from traditional education in its assumption that all students can learn well, although not in the same way and not necessarily on the same day. • Expanded opportunities – Students must be permitted to demonstrate their learning in different ways, and they must have numerous opportunities to demonstrate the outcomes, not just one. 5. Move to Talent Development 2.0 There will always be a need for in-classroom training, but it should be incorporated into a broader talent development strategy. Why? The way adults learn continues to evolve. Employees are doing more with less, which is why just-in-time learning now plays a bigger role than ever before. Remember that the effectiveness of classroom training, or formal learning is dwindling as other forms of learning become more prominent. The flipside is that informal learning has been adopted with more success when it comes to knowledge transfer. It offers tremendous effectiveness. Start thinking about peer-to-peer, self-paced, performance support tools, mentoring and coaching, leaders as teachers, social learning, a learning library – and yes, facilitated workshops. A blended learning solution not only offers different options for different generations, but also provides a robust library of tools to enable just-in-time learning. A well-planned talent development program an essential component of a successful overall talent management strategy. If well-executed, it can help your organization retain top performers, increase employee engagement, support your customers and attract new hires. Remember – training is an event, while learning is a journey. Do your homework beforehand embrace the next generation of talent development methods and begin your journey toward attracting and retaining the best talent. LE 5 Key Steps For Investing In Your People Michelle Cipollone helps professional services firms across the world manage clients and people, and work more efficiently and profitably with technology solutions. She does this for Herndon-based Deltek, the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for projectbased businesses. Connect Michelle Cipollone Would like to Comment? Please Click Here. 8 Submit your Articles Leadership Excellence Essentials presented by HR.com | 09.2016


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