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4 Classic Mistakes to Avoid When Rolling Out an Employee Development Program

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You understand that your organization, team or department is experiencing a problem and is in need of a behavioral or cultural change. So now you’re in the process of choosing the right employee development plan to deliver the most impact. Whether you need to improve employee engagement, develop stronger teams, or improve communication skills, there are a few classic mistakes that companies make when choosing a training program.

If you’re looking deliver the best results from your team training, make sure you avoid these common mistakes:

1. Misdiagnosing your problem.

Before deciding which program is appropriate for your organization, it’s important to understand what your problem is. Whether you’ve got a culture disconnect, or just plain old communication issues, checking in with a few different members of your team can help you get a clearer picture of the situation. Employees can often provide useful insight on common day-to-day issues that leaders (who only see the end-result) may be missing.

While leaders and managers are often appointed for their results-oriented big-picture abilities, sometimes they lack the sensitivity, tactical insight, or are simply not close enough to the problem to fully understand it’s cause. And by the way: looking for feedback is a great way to demonstrate that you value the contributions of other team members.

Solution: Seek a 360-degree perspective to better understand what your problem is. Avoid speaking solely with managers, or relying on your own perspective. Talk with a few different teammates to find out how they perceive the problem. Once you have a clearer picture, you’ll be able to choose a workshop to help remedy this issue.

2. Believing that one program fits all.

We constantly get requests to improve sales training process, boost communication within cross-functional teams, or to create a healthier corporate culture. While these are common objectives, every organization will be in a unique situation and may require a slightly different route to achieve their objectives.

Your training programs should be tailored to fit your organization, be suited to the demographics and skill-level of your participants, and always reflect your businesses’ values. If a training company is trying to convince you that their one option will be the best fit for you, you may want to look into a few alternatives.

Solution: Avoid buying “off-the-shelf” training programs. Seek out a training partner who will go the extra mile to understand your unique requirements. At Learn2, we perform a program needs impact identifiers to help you figure out which approach will be the right fit for your staff.

3. Making learning and training optional.

If you’ve got an engagement problem, it may be difficult to motivate or convince employees to attend a program – especially if they’re senior in your organization. And, if your company is experiencing disconnect between cross-functional teams, they probably won’t want to be participate in an activity in the same room. How can you sidestep these obstacles?

Solution: Avoid open enrolment programs and make the learning mandatory. Although sometimes more challenging to coordinate, having all team members or departments in the same room at the same time means that the experience will unify the team, which will help reinforce the learning.

You should also ensure all employees understand the objective of the program, emphasizing that their contributions will be crucial to a successful outcome. At Learn2, we believe that behavioural and cultural change won’t stick unless the members of an organization have actively participated in creating that change and can truly own it.

4. Assuming that learning shouldn’t be fun.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that employee development programs require slide presentations or heavy binders full of information to have credibility and value. We’ve all lost way too many brain cells sitting in front of an endless PowerPoint presentation, staring aimlessly at bullet after bullet. Hence the saying, death by PowerPoint.

Ever wonder why this approach to learning does not work? When confronted with information in stats or bullet points, only the language portion of the brain gets activated as the listener creates meaning from the text. When we’re actually immersed in an experience, however, the memory is stored in the sensory part of the brain. Messages transmitted through narrative experience become more memorable, because emotions and senses have both been activated.

Solution: Choose a training program that offers behavioral change through immersive experiential learning. Learn2 offers engaging employee development experiences like Save the Titanic, Lead the Endurance, and Communicate Naturally , that create a lasting impact on you and your colleagues.

Still need some help choosing the right training program? Learn2 can help!

At Learn2, we work with your team to help facilitate training programs that are proven to both engage and strengthen your team. Our experiential, learning-based process pulls participants out of their normal routines and places them in simulations that break old habits, strengthen culture, develop leaders, build teams, boost engagement, and achieve big results.

Let us help you improve your corporate culture so you can start reaping the long-term business benefits.

 

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