Companies that put knowledge development at the top of the strategic agenda and continuously learn to embrace them are demonstrably more successful. But then you also have to put it into practice.
What does it take to make sure that your paper plan is so good that it results in really tough action?
1. Where do the training needs of the employee lie?
Of course you can give each employee a certain training budget and wish them good luck. It is better to come to a good plan in consultation with your employees before you start talking about budgets.
First determine where the training needs of your employees lie.
Competences or talents?
First of all, think about your approach. Do you talk about competencies or talents?
When you talk about competences, you look for which competences are missing and you focus your curriculum on that.
If you start from talents, you emphasize what is already present with your employee and you build on that in your curriculum. Or do you follow Lou van Beirendonck's approach and combine these two into a ‘purple model'?
Have a conversation
Talk to your employees about their learning needs, about their competencies and talents and how they can further develop those talents. You can of course link this to the annual performance review, but it might be better to disconnect this topic in the first instance.
If knowledge development is fully embedded in your organization, it is early enough to integrate continuous learning into the performance appraisal. Of course, reports of performance or evaluation interviews can provide good input for determining learning needs.
Something to think about
Before you start a conversation, it is good to encourage your employees to think. Send them questions in advance, such as: What makes you proud? What gives you energy in your work?
You can also ask to make and submit a personal SWOT analysis in advance. In this way, both of you have already been able to think concretely about the personal curriculum and you can go deeper into the matters.
Learning style preference
It is also important to find out which learning style someone prefers. For example, have employees take the Kolb test prior to your interview. This way you know whether you have a doer, a contemplator, a thinker or a decision maker in front of you.
This knowledge is helpful in determining the type of training someone will take. For some an online training is very suitable, others feel better with a classroom training.
Have a conversation
Use the LSD principle in your conversations: Listening, Summarizing, Questioning. Make sure you ask open questions, so that you can really find out where someone's needs lie. Open questions start with how, where, why, what and who.
By always summarizing, you check whether you are correctly interpreting what your conversation partner has said. Ultimately, after each conversation, you determine what the employee's learning needs are.
2. Where does the organization want to go?
As a company you stand for something. This is reflected in your mission and your vision. Based on that mission and vision, you can map out the current situation: which competencies do we have sufficient in-house and which competencies do we need to develop in order to – continue – to fulfill our mission?
As a company you can also prepare a SWOT analysis. This gives you insight into internal weaknesses and strengths and external opportunities and threats. In this way you discover which trends or new technologies require a change in policy. You can also deduce training needs from this analysis.
Exchange rate changes
There may be some course changes on your company's strategic agenda. Take this into account in your training plan. Which new competencies are needed in the future and how quickly will that future present itself?
Are there employees who have a talent with which you can meet the new need, or is thorough training required?
Make sure you have a good tool with which you can plan training courses, create learning paths and register progress. With a platform like that of HR Consultant UK you have all the tools you need in your hands. Because continuous learning does not stop after one training of course. HR Consultancy requires constant attention.
Ready, set, go
You know where you stand as a company, you know where you want to go, you know which talents and competencies are required and you have a good monitoring tool. Now you need to match this with the learning needs of your people.
3. How do you match this with each other?
It is important to look for a good match between the needs of your employees and the needs of the organization.
Let's go back to Van Beirendonck's purple model. In this model, the combination of the organizational perspective (thinking in terms of competencies) and the employee perspective (thinking in terms of talents) is central.
Or, as Van Beirendonck puts it himself: “The challenge is to integrate those two aspects: the mission of an organization and the passion of the employees. How do you get the best out of a person, in such a way that you get results in the most efficient way possible? ”
If you start from an employee's talent, from someone's passion, then it takes little persuasion to get him or her undergoing training.
If this matches the mission of the organization at the same time, then you rightly speak of a win-win situation.
To speak to the American actress Mae West: ‘I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.'
We are happy to help put continuous learning on the agenda and ensure that IT knowledge development takes an even more strategic role.