March 25, 2014

Four Key Ingredients in Implementing Successful Training and Development

In our last post, we discussed the value of implementing workplace training initiatives.

Today, we focus on how to implement a successful training and development program in your organization. The tips we offer focus on implementing learning initiatives that deliver positive outcomes, and boost employee engagement.

Here are 4 tips to consider:

1. Managers and executives need to play a key role
Leaders and managers should encourage employees to seek training and to continually develop their skills. By taking part in training programs, managers can lead by example. Managers can also take the initiative to start training programs to introduce new initiatives that promote learning, collaboration, and development.

There are many approaches out there that involve leaders and managers in the learning process. Training firms like CoachingOurselves offer training and development programs designed specifically for managers and leaders. What better place to start than with leadership?

2Implement learning initiatives and activities in phases by establishing an environment conducive to continuous learning
Workplace training and development programs can often seem overwhelming to employees if presented all at once. “Bursts” of learning have the potential to fall by the wayside and lose momentum quickly.

One way to ensure that your training and development programs maintain momentum is to implement learning activities in phases. Introducing one activity at a time can give your employees a chance to try aspects of the program and give feedback for improvement before full implementation. This also saves you time and money as issues that may discourage employee involvement can be resolved quickly and give your employees a sense of ownership in the development of the program.

3. Understand your audience
It is critical that you understand the learning needs of your people before you develop or implement any learning materials. Conducting some research into the learning needs of staff members is a good place to start! You can survey staff, conduct interviews, or have employees complete self assessments to identify where they would like to improve. Perhaps your team needs some support in communication skills, time management, or decision-making?   Once you understand this, you can start to develop learning materials that are tailored to the specific needs of your employees.

4. Make workplace learning flexible and convenient
Creating a flexible learning program that recognizes and accommodates the unique needs of your staff is one way to promote employee engagement.  Perhaps the varied schedules of your staff prevent them from attending existing professional development sessions? Offering access to on-site, off-site, or online training is one way to meet the diverse needs of employees.  Also, offering differentiated training options that appeal to various types of learners (i.e. visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners) can boost employee engagement and ensure lasting results.

It is also important to remember that not all workplace learning needs to be formal. Encourage reflection, collaboration, knowledge building, and resource sharing. Learning and development opportunities come in many shapes and sizes!

Implementing successful training and development programs in the workplace can be challenging; however, identifying the needs of your staff, creating an environment that is conducive to learning, and creating flexible and convenient learning opportunities are all ways to boost employee engagement and make positive change happen!

The Learning Nut would love to hear about your tips for implementing successful training and development! Comment here or find us on twitter @FocusFit2007

Guest contributors for this post: Jenny Papadakis and Lisel Douglas.

Works Cited
Hughes, P. D., Stuckey, J., The Conference Board of Canada. (2011). Investing in Skills: Effective Work-Related Learning in SMEs. Retrieved from