Did you know that flipping a coin repeatedly rarely comes out even? In 100 flips, there’s less than an 8% chance that you’ll have 50 heads and 50 tails. So don’t flip a coin with your training dollars.
Mid-February already and it is this time of year again when you start thinking about learning plans and the kind of training or development you will be looking for in 2017. I know for a fact that not everybody takes the time to plan their learning much in advance because I get many last minute requests for training.
And I also know that many managers at this time of year are in a rush to get all their projects finished before the end of fiscal year; that is if you have a fiscal year ending in March of course. That can cause you to sometimes rush into training options that may or may not be your best options. For you to get the best training options here are considerations that could help make the best decisions regarding professional development for you and your team.
1. Training is an investment – Think of training as an investment rather than as an expense. It’s an investment because the dollars you allocate to professional development are dollars you are investing both in your employees and in your organization as an entity. You invest in the future of your staff by developing their skills, and their leadership attitude and capacities. You are also investing in your organization as a whole because better trained are your employees, more satisfied customers (internal and external) you will have and the more your results will shine.
2. Organizational blind spots do exist – Do you know what areas of improvement would benefit the organization most? Have you looked beyond the individuals’ training needs and see if the organization could benefit from getting stronger in one area? For example, how is customer service? Financial reporting? Research based document publishing? Partnerships? Leadership? Team relationships? And so on. Without going so deep and developing a full talent management plan, simply reflect and consider the areas in which you feel your organization, and your team, would benefit the most and where it could make a bigger difference.
3. Staff learning plans are dynamic – One other element to look at are the individual learning plans of your staff and their motivation in developing certain skills. What do they want to learn or improve this year? Where are their interests and needs? Is it related to their work priorities? Is it related to their career development? Is it related to what you think they would benefit most? How is their learning plan being developed? How do they match organization’s needs? Do you discuss it together? I see so many managers not realizing how powerful a learning plan is when it is aligned with both the employee’s and the organization’s needs. I think those two should complement each other. That’s why I suggest that learning plans have a dynamic dimension so that you can adjust when necessary.
Training is a valuable investment. There are so many training and development options that don’t take a whole lot of time anymore. You can dedicate the amount of time you choose, big or small, for professional development; there are many webinars and other short learning events that are available today. So there are no reasons you should hold back and not have something interesting and valuable in your 2017 learning plan.
So before you submit your learning plans or approve those of your team, determine if your investment is aligned with your and the organization’s priorities and needs. Remember also to look closely at your staff learning plans and see what motivates them. And most of all make it fun.
When you have questions or would like to discuss options, please let me know and I will help you design the best learning plan for yourself and for your team.
Remember to look at our 2017 Team Development programs! Have an awesome week!
Oh… and remember “flipping the coin” is not the best decision-making tool… 😉