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The importance of continuous learning during digital transformation
The landscape of today’s workplace isn’t what it was twenty years ago. Today’s environment is both fast-paced and competitive, which makes it all the more important that employers find a way to keep employees energized – often with an employee development plan.
This changing nature of work requires additional training strategies focused on enhancing learning agility, transferability of skills and opportunities to explore adjacent, in-demand skills.
Digital transformation is an area of skills development that demands attention. Companies need to improve the effectiveness of their online communications now that digital channels are one of the main techniques customers use for selecting and buying products and services.
Helping your employees acquire new skills and knowledge and embedding learning into the overall transformation strategy demonstrates that your organization is serious about the development needs of employees.
It isn’t always easy for employees and managers to identify which skills are required or the best learning strategies to attain those skills. This often leads to learning initiatives that do not match employee motivation and success needs, while also failing to achieve long term results.
To support you in planning for employee development, we’ve created a template and learning modules to help you understand the principles of employee development.
The template can be used for annual development or performance reviews between managers and team members, and then reviewed during the year. Individual employees can also use it independently for their development.
Employees at every level want to see a clear development path in front of them and be supported in development through training. The more engaged and motivated an employee feels, the more useful they are to the company and the longer they’ll stay with the company.
Having a plan that clearly outlines what comes next in their career often allows employees to work through challenges rather than seeing them as blockages. This gives employees a forward-looking perspective of what’s on the horizon for both themselves and the company.
Our template uses the popular GROW model which encourages employees and managers to reflect critically on development needs from personal and organizational perspectives to find the best match overall.
The result of using the template will be a well-constructed plan that is laid out and provides sufficient information to support the achievement of development goals, giving employees something to work towards and a focus for supported action by managers.
The implementation of the plan relies on a large number of factors such as the goals to be achieved and the capacity of the person to achieve them. For this reason, how long the plan takes will be unique to each individual. For example, a goal of attaining a management position may take less time for someone with a previous team leader experience than a new starter.
The template is designed to complement existing development systems that may exist in your organization. However, we recommend the skills development plan is updated by employees and reviewed with managers at least once a year and at relevant monthly or quarterly staff development and performance reviews.
Existing Business Members have access to two digital modules from within our skills development guide and template that explain the concepts and best practices for skills development and further support the use of the template we have developed. One is aimed at individuals who are developing their plans and one for managers who will be reviewing these plans.
For employees, the module “Developing your marketing skills with Smart Insights” provides an overview of employee development generally. It then outlines how to create a plan and highlights how the Smart Insights platform can support the implementation of your plan.
For managers, the module “Developing your team members with Smart Insights” provides information additional to the individual module. It examines other facets including benefits to the organization, and different methods and approaches you can use when supporting your team members in their development journey, including the creation of actionable development plans. There is additional information on how to conduct a plan development meeting, provide feedback and support the implementation of the plan by using the different types of Smart Insights resources.
By using the skills development template you will be able to more effectively assess employee and business goal alignment. By ensuring the employee development goals in some way aligned to the overall business goals ensures the development plan can have a wide-reaching impact.
It can help to identify the technical and soft skill mix. Encouraging employees to identify both technical and soft skills can pinpoint other specific skill sets that may be beneficial for the individual or organization to focus on.
Finally, having a plan allows for a greater ambition and capacity match. Just because an employee sets a goal to become a manager doesn’t automatically imply that they have the potential to be a manager. By having solid conversations throughout the process and using a structured approach employees will be able to achieve the goals they want in a way that matches their capacity, and enable managers to support them in this process.
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