Employees want to up-skill and executives want ROI


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By: Corry Robertson, PCC

8 Tips for Learning and Development Professionals who are feeling the pressure to serve both sides.

Corporate Learning has become an important tactic for winning the War for Talent because it adds to the company’s overall attractiveness of the ‘employer brand’ .

On one side, Executives are willing to invest, however, they need to see how it will yield a strong return on investment.

They are right to be cautious as many training initiatives produce little or no ROI.

On the other side, ongoing development is important to people because everyone needs to be assured that the employer will not cause them to lose their ‘employable’ edge or lose traction in their careers.

In the middle, HR and Learning and Development professionals are feeling the pressure to simultaneously implement great training that serves the employees’ demands AND tracks to the measurable results that executives are demanding.

A great course, great facilitator, and great training facility are essential but just the tip of the iceberg.

Take a look below the surface to see the 8 winning conditions that are often ignored:

1. Time: Attending the training is just getting on the plane. Runway time to get up to speed, off the ground and to full altitude is essential and often underestimated.

Tip: The amount of time needed to learn, practice and truly transform is highly underestimated. Some initiatives will take several months after the training to yield an ROI so be realistic and patient. The good news is that the ROI for good development programs is akin to earning compound interest from the bank.

2. Energy: It takes energy to try new things and people will often burn out and give up before they have succeeded.

Tip: Do not overwhelm people with several new responsibilities at one time. Also, encourage rest, good nutrition, and exercise to be able to keep people healthy.

3. Courage: Trying new things means making mistakes which can be discouraging, embarrassing or disheartening on many levels.

Tip: Anticipate setbacks and continue to encourage people. Be fair because as soon as people see that there are serious consequences associated with making mistakes, you can expect greatly reduced ROI from your training initiative.

4. Desire: People have to believe in what they are being taught and they have to want to practice it.

Tip: Tune into everyone’s favourite station ‘WII FM: What’s In It For Me’ and articulate to each participant how this course will personally benefit them. (Them, not the shareholders, not the client, or company.)

5. Authority: Employees must have the authority to implement the learning.

Tip: People must know that they have full backing to do what they are being trained to do. As soon as the boss puts an obstacle in their way, reduced ROI is assured.

6. Culture: Executives should set the example

Tip: Before embarking on a training course, ensure that the buy-in of the executive team is well in place. If they don’t care, why should anyone else?

7. Check the blind spots: Executives need to understand the source of the problem that training is meant to resolve.

Tip: As a Leadership Development Coach, participants will often tell me: “Corry, I know this stuff already. What about those guys upstairs? They are the ones who need to be in this class!” Companies often invest in training with a “Fix My People” point of view. Executives hold the perspective that if employees know better, they will do better. Yes, this is true but the ability to apply the learning may be hindered by issues that are deeper and broader than those in the class.

8. Coaching: Build professional coaching into the initiative.

Tip: People forget what was taught in the course if they are not exposed to ongoing micro-learning sessions. How many micro-learning sessions needed will vary depending on the complexity and magnitude of the course.

Bonus: Professional coaches can support you, the executives and the participants through the entire learning journey so build a strong bench of coaches who are always at-the-ready to work with you and the training facilitator.



If you want a strong bench of coaches comprised of your own managers, book a free strategy call to discuss whether The Certified Leadership Coach program is a good fit.

Corry’s availability can be found at www.TalkWithCorry.Com

Please visit the website for more information about the Coaching Academy for Leaders.

If you wish to enroll for the next Cohort, please fill out the application.


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Corry Robertson

Sought-after coaching culture expert, Corry Robertson has been helping leaders uplevel employee retention and performance for over 20 years.

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