This post was originally published on lessonly.com.
During my first year out of undergrad, I had to work to develop many new professional skills. However, what they don’t remember to warn new grads about is the other stuff. How many sets of sheets should you keep in your new apartment? What on Earth is an HSA, and what are you supposed to be doing with it? How does one learn to cook?
That last one, though seemingly innocent, has kept me up at night. My parents are both wonderful cooks, but it’s therein that lies the problem: They can’t stand to see any of their kids make bad food. Many of my childhood stories involve them hovering at the edge of the kitchen awaiting the moment I inevitably messed up the recipe so they could swoop in like superheroes and take over. It’s literally in their DNA that they can’t risk a bad attempt at a family dish and, as silly as it sounds, I love them for it.
Feeding myself became a genuine concern when moving out on my own for the first time. But, I’m proud to report that I’m not half bad at it. Do I often deviate from the recipes I know I love or just “experiment”? Of course not — baby steps, people! What I’ve found, however, is that many of the lessons I’ve learned whilst cooking can also be applied to the business side of my life. They’ve become particularly relevant in the world of training and development, especially as a learning management system has become the primary tool for many companies’ employee training software needs.
Many of us still remain outside of our offices with a newfound reliance on virtual training platforms and the use of remote training software in order to keep our employees sharp and engaged. While most companies acknowledge that the continued development of their employees is of the utmost importance, many struggle with knowing how to create a development program solely utilizing web based training. Never fear: I’ve compiled the recipe for developing successful training programs for employees that will grow your team and individual employees to the fullest potential.
1. Gather your ingredients
It is imperative that you’re well prepared before cooking. Even an amateur chef knows that! Without having all of the necessary ingredients present it’s likely the recipe will be a flop. Just as gathering the right ingredients is important in cooking, it’s crucial that you have several key pieces of knowledge before creating a development program. Have you identified the overarching business goals your leadership is trying to achieve with training? What competencies are you attempting to foster within your organization? Where are your employees at today, and where is that in contrast to where you would like them to be? If you cannot answer these questions, you aren’t ready to step into the kitchen.
2. Know who you’re cooking for
Though he is an excellent chef, many of my dad’s experimental recipe attempts are not particularly well-received by the rest of my family. Why, you ask? The fact is, my dad oftentimes gets so excited to try out a new recipe that he doesn’t step back and acknowledge it may require ingredients that the rest of us hate.
In the same vein, some companies fail to take the time to actually talk to their employees and listen to what they’re asking for. It’s important to understand what employees’ goals are within your workplace, how they prefer to learn, and what their insights might be with regard to your analysis of their gaps. Without buy-in from your workforce, no e-learning software you serve them will be met with much success.
3. Don’t forget the garnish
There’s a reason people are drawn to beautifully presented food. Development programs, especially those that heavily utilize virtual training platforms, must go the extra mile to be successful. A friend of mine who recently completed a virtual leadership training at her company said she appreciated that even though they had to train remotely, her company still made a point to have video discussions amongst the participants. They had the opportunity to talk to facilitators about the importance of the training, as well as share insights on what each of them had taken from it. The importance of engaging, interactive training software cannot be overstated. The opportunities for continued coaching, mentorship, and camaraderie after a development program concludes ensure that your employees maintain the momentum to continue their advancement on their own.
Employee development has never tasted sweeter
If even I can learn to cook, then I’m more than confident you can learn how to build a development program that will enable your employees to soar to new heights. As long as you follow the recipe to do so, I have no doubt that your training program will only be met with 5-star reviews! Want to see how we can help? Get a demo, and let’s chat!