With 2018 around the corner, many executives are focusing intently on driving substantive and meaningful progress into the performance of their employees and teams. The cornerstone of these efforts is typically a training calendar that they hope will breathe life into their cultural transformation efforts. But molding the content of these programs into successful change initiatives doesn’t have to be a daunting prospect. Here are 4 tips to ensure your calendar looks bright for the coming year.
Tip #1: Create a Targeted Theme
You should create a theme and title that encapsulates the overall goals for the effort. The theme should help everyone stay focused on targeted outcomes throughout the year and help build a common language that will connect employees both horizontally and vertically within the ecosystem of the company.the
Remember to be intentional in how you structure your theme. It should not be overly broad, or try to summarize all of your corporate goals in a single effort. Pick a key area of focus and keep all of the year’s training efforts relevant and targeted to the theme.
Tip #2: Define Success and Measure it
The next step is to clarify what will be considered a successful initiative, at both the individual and group levels. The hard and soft skills that you are looking to improve not only need to be defined, you also need to define what constitutes an actual improvement. Then you must put a plan in place to gather the data necessary to determine if success was achieved. At the end of the training calendar, make an honest assessment of the outcome and develop a plan to apply the lessons learned to the following year.
Tip #3: Plan Around People First, Not Budgets
Just as the theme should be built around the people you’re trying to influence, you should map out your training goals, whether at the individual or group level, based on the skill gaps you’re trying to overcome and the personal development that you want to foster in each employee. This doesn’t mean recklessly throwing money at a problem. There are many ways to train that fit a variety of budgets. The right path is to determine the needs first. Presenting a solid plan around desired outcomes and acknowledged gaps will have a much easier time getting funded!
Tip #4: Achieve Buy-in for successful execution
This last point helps to ensure the positive outcome of the previous three. If you followed step 1 through 3, this one comes naturally. Any plan is only as good as its execution. The reasons for the new training calendar must be communicated clearly, especially the gains you hope to achieve. And it must be communicated across every level of your organization. Start with an explanation with the skills and needs you are looking to fill, then work to achieve buy-in on how progress will be measured so that everyone will recognize success when it happens. Once you have wide-spread agreement in these areas, then the deployment of the program, and possibly the approval of the elusive budget for your 2018 effort, becomes much easier.
Are you working on your strategy for 2018? Call us and we can show you how to put all of these tips into practice to produce an actionable training plan that works within your budget.