For most, the New Year is a symbol of a new beginning; a fresh start professionally, personally or both! Many of us set out to achieve new goals and try new things in order to live happier fuller lives. It’s no surprise that getting organized, learning new things and reading more rank among the top New Year’s resolutions for 2017. In some way or another, each of these themes fit nicely within the world of learning and development.
As a learning and development pro, it’s your job to encourage, coach and train your learners – whoever they may be. In order for your teams to achieve the goals they’ve outlined for themselves this year, we’ve thought of a few New Year’s resolutions to help you jump-start 2017.
Here are our top 3 New Year’s Resolutions for L&D pros:
- Understand new trends and how they will impact your learning programs. Competing for the learner’s attention will not fizzle in the New Year. Learning pros need to think of new and innovative ways to deliver learning to distracted, picky and busy learners. In case you missed it, microlearning made great waves in 2016. The idea of giving people bite-sized, targeted courses that are interesting and engaging had everyone raising their hand asking how to get started. Additionally, over the past few years, we’ve also seen a steady rise in gamification and social learning. Leaderboards, badges and interactive sessions have not only made learning fun, but have made the content stick. These trends are here to stay and rising in demand. So it’s important to think about how to incorporate some of these concepts as you develop your leaning programs this year.
- Think about better ways to develop great managers of people. According to a recent survey, the number one thing keeping CEOs up at night is inadequate leadership characteristics among leaders. What’s the number one way to nip this in the bud? You guessed it, investing heavily in learning paths for new and seasoned managers. There’s also that famous saying that “people don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers,” which further drives home the point that manager training is essential. To be successful, you need to give your leaders and managers of people the skills and training needed to not only coach and mentor employees, but deal with the not-so-comfortable conversations and situations that come with the job. If you’re just getting started with developing leadership training, check out our recent hangout with Fistful of Talent. Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett offer up some sage advice on how to develop future leaders!
- Create a culture of learning with an emphasis on investing in your employees’ growth. There’s a meme floating around the internet where the CFO asks the CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?” and the CEO responds and says: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” It raises some very important concerns learning and development pros have been dealing with for years. What happens if I invest in their development and they leave? And, are team members wasting time on learning? Here’s the deal: job seekers are looking for organizations that offer room for growth and development, and current employees want those opportunities too. According to Glassdoor, 60% of Millennials consider the most attractive perk to be growth opportunities, meaning they want their company and leadership team to be invested in developing their skillsets. A culture of learning and development helps solve recruitment, retention and attrition problems and strengthens your organization’s innovation and success. If you choose not to invest in creating a culture of learning and development, you run the risk of not attracting talented people and losing the good folks in your organization. If you do, and they leave, there was a good chance they had one foot out the door anyway. Creating a culture of learning is essential to both short-term and long-term success. If you’re looking to make a change, contact one of the Meridian experts today.
New Year’s resolutions might seem cliché, but if your intention is to make a change in 2017, these might be three areas to start.
Cheers and Happy New Year!