An employee training and development program starts with setting professional development goals, with your employees!
Sometimes, when managers share knowledge or experience, they forget how much more they know about a topic. When they assume employees understand more than what they actually know, there’s a communication gap.
After observing a day of interaction between a Vice President and his Program Manager, it appeared pretty clear to the VP that they would start the next day picking up where they left off. To the VP’s surprise, however, the program manager had not internalized the concepts from the day prior.
They spent much of the next day clarifying goals and breaking things down for clearer understanding of music before they could proceed.
How People Learn
Everyone learns differently and managers must remind themselves what it is like to learn a new task. While some of us are visual learners, others do better when listening.
Coaching is a critical part of an employee training and development program. For starters, leaders must understand communication styles, employee motivators, and decision making styles. Next, they must take into account employee abilities, so that they apply the correct leadership style.
The Value of Breaking Things Down
For example, coaches want players to grow to love the game. Imagine attempting to coach youth basketball by having the kids practice in a full 5-on-5 scenario.
Inevitably, if you attempt to introduce concepts of the game without breaking down the fundamentals, the players will focus on the fun of playing and miss learning the essentials.
Soon, their development will plateau, likely preventing them from reaching the next level.
Basketball coaches break down the game by introducing fundamentals via drills, then in smaller 1-on-1 or 2-on-2 scenarios.
Experience shows that when they break down concepts and reinforce them through repeated drills, motor memory will cause the players to internalize concepts that will transfer to the full 5-on-5, game scenario.
Then, when it is time for the team to execute during the game, coaches learn whether the players have internalized the concepts. Ideally, this approach produces the desired behavior in the least amount of time.
Employee Training Development Program
- Be a Mentor
Too often, those with experience assume others have the same level of understanding. Many times, this is not the case, but the desire to learn is there. An career development plan and requires patience to execute the program, but leaders know that this is the ideal time to educate and serve as a mentor.
First, however, review or create your employee development plan.
Leaders who take on the responsibility to coach their staff and provide feedback on an ongoing basis demonstrate concern for their employees. In turn, this instills loyalty as employees recognize that their boss is helping them become more successful and appreciate their involvement.
Coach and train your staff: break things down so that your team understands the fundamentals and accomplishes your intent. You will be surprised how much easier it will be to meet your desired goals.
Tom Crea is a leadership expert, decorated career Army Officer, and Blackhawk Helicopter pilot. Because of his proven skills, he was hand selected to run the Army’s leadership development program at two Boston colleges, where he and his team transformed college students into combat leaders.
Tom has a B.S. & M.C.S. in Computer Science and a M.A. in Political Science and loves coaching basketball and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Creating a Culture:
Tom’s proudest leadership moment came when his unit was called to war in Iraq after he had rotated out. His replacement was not able to perform, so members he developed stepped up to lead; they attribute their success to the leadership Tom instilled in each of them. Today, the Blackhawk leadership way.