Learning And Development Plan: What Is It And Why Is It Important?
One of the most important points of growth in a professional career is the capacity to stay learned. While there are several avenues to achieve this, most professionals who wish to grow or are starting out search for this in a company. To show such an importance, you do so by creating a learning and development plan for them.
“What is a learning and development plan?” you may ask. It refers to a physical copy of how you want your employees to grow with you and with the company. This is where you put the necessary skills training and lessons your employee needs to enhance their knowledge on their scope of work and beyond.
“But they already learn enough on the job as it is,” you may reason out. So with this we ask, “Why is learning and development important in one's professional career?”
What is the purpose of learning and development programs?
We have talked at length about The Great Resignation and the turmoil it put several companies under. There were many causes that resulted in such an effect. Terrible relationships with superiors, toxic company culture, and poor resolve for conflict are just some of them. But did you know that a lack of learning and development is also a just and crucial cause?
Our Decoding Global Talent report states that one of the top job preferences jobseekers and current professionals look out for is learning and skills training. This means that they are in search of a purposeful job. A Philippine Institute for Development Studies study supports this with a plea to the Philippine government to create more skills training for workers to meet job demands.
In the same report, it urges the government to take into account the ways learning online can help workers thrive and keep up with the new normal. Communication improvement skills, IT and software development, and mathematics are just some of the highlights to focus on.
In the office, employees may leave because they think they may no longer have anything more to learn in their current position. They may have been turned off by employers especially who keep them constantly grinding but with no end in sight. Postponed learning seminars and half-hearted plans have these employees (yes, even your star talent) keep their feet out the door.
Putting down a plan for your employees can help them see their importance and relevance in your work space. Moreover, they can see themselves lasting longer and therefore reducing turnovers in your company.
How do you create a learning and development program?
There are several ways to go about it and different methods to apply these. But in order to get the basics down, you can keep these five steps in mind to help you out better.
Evaluate the current job scope. Before you have your employee set out and learn, you also have to ask yourself what change needs to be done here. If your employee has shared with you previously about what they want to learn about, you have to take that into account as well. It begins with knowing what the current job scope of your employee entails. Understanding the present role of the employee you wish to have undergo L&D will help you identify what needs tweaking. Whether it be expanding the roles and responsibilities of your employee or increasing their knowledge basket, having the current job scope in your arsenal can work wonders for your L&D plan.
Create a clear learning objective A clear plan always starts with a clear purpose. What do you want your employees to learn? More importantly, what do you want your employees to achieve from learning all of these? It is best to have a sit down with your chosen employee to understand both sides. Ask them how they are currently feeling in their position. Open up about the job scope, the responsibilities they are undertaking, and the projects they are taking on. Ask them about their expectations for the future. Have them open up about a rough plan they have for themselves in their career. Listen to what they have to say. Once you have put together a clear learning objective, you can begin to create the plan based on your discussion. Keep in mind that the objective you have must be clear, concise, and have a time frame.
Define the learning objective. After you lay down the foundation, it is time to move upwards. Define the learning objective through short term goals and key items to note and apply for your employee. Doing so can help you see how best to achieve the objective over a certain period of time. You can have a list of KPIs or key performance indicators to see how the progress is from start to finish. You can also do a company gap analysis where you can see how your employee’s L&D plan can fit in. This is so you can address any missing factors your company needs.
Make the training plan. This is where you get down to brass tax. Find out what training is offered within and outside your company and put them together into a plan. Set certain dates and times to fill your employee’s calendar with productive sessions and set timelines for certain goals to be reached. You can either do this alone or with the help of your employee so you can reach an agreed decision. Remember, the best way to apply your training plan is to get started right away, so that yours and your employee’s goals can be achieved in a timely manner. Keep in mind that the training plan should not only have specialized sessions to succeed on the job. It should encapsulate the employee’s entire journey, and that also embraces general skills training and other improvements to the current employee’s professional life.
Follow through on the training plan The biggest mistake most employers make is not pushing a follow through. This refers to getting a progress update on a certain project. This is totally different from being a micromanager breathing down someone’s back. Following through means that you care enough for your employee to succeed with the plan you made. You can schedule a certain session weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, or every three months. Whatever you choose, you have to be there for them every step of the week. What you can also do is have a Performance Development Review (the time of which is up to you). This is a session you can use to double check on your employee and see their journey push forward within the set timeline.
Learning and development programs will always be an important part of an employee’s professional life. You can best apply this by having a training plan.
Having one is the perfect way for you to show your employee that you care.
Nurture their talents by providing world-class training with Jobstreet Learning and Development, powered by Go1. Our L&D solutions can help you retain and upskill talent as well as manage your onboarding process with ease.