Today’s fast paced economy demands that we work at peak performance or fall behind. That also requires that all your employees are working at peak performance. It is no secret that more organizations are doing more with less. That is certainly a good thing if we learn to work smart. This means that we should engage smart development of our staff members.
One of the problems I have noticed in many organizations is their lack of clear training and development objectives. Furthermore, many do not tie training and development initiatives to measurable outcomes. Here is an example.
I recently had a credit union call me. They had found me online and saw that I was doing leadership development sessions. They asked if I could do the same thing at their premises. Naturally, I asked about their business objectives for the training. In other words, what business outcome did they want to reach? They did not have a clear picture of their desired outcome. Why do you want to do this? If you don’t know where you want to go you won’t know if you get there.
Here is the first training and development rule to remember: Before you decide to do training and development make sure that you have a goal for a desired business outcome.
The second rule: once you have established your development goal make sure people are learning what you are teaching. Here is an example.
Suppose you want your team to develop better time management skills. Your team will need to learn some new skills, but they will also need to develop new habits. If you were to offer a presentation with a dynamic speaker with a great delivery would expect to see results? The statistics say no. In fact, if you have just one exposure to a topic your retention after 24 hours will only be 50%. To make matters worse, a half month later you will have retained less than 2%. Yes, I do presentations at conferences. This is a start and provides food for thought. But people must internalize what they learn before dramatic changes will occur.
The key to increasing performance is transformational change. If you want to affect this type of change in your team you need to employ the process of spaced repetition. Let me illustrate.
Here are a few questions:
How much is 4 x 5? You quickly answered 20, right?
How much is 14 x 17? Not so fast. Let me get my calculator.
Now, how long has it been since you learned your multiplication tables and how did you learn them? I am sure it was quite a while, but you still remember because you learned them through a process called spaced repetition.
Your learning and development processes will not be retained unless you utilize spaced sessions with repetition and exercises to test their grasp. But once they learn they have it. In short, development your business case with outcomes, design your training, and see that it is internalized through spaced repetition.
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