Personalize Employee Training with Individual Development Plans

Think back to a decade or two ago. If you were part of any employee training session, it likely involved a classroom or group setting that felt more like an information dump than anything of use.

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With these old school training sessions it was difficult, if not impossible, to individualize training. The primary reason individualized training and development programs were almost unmanageable was because of the high associated costs. Logistics also proved to be a hurdle, particularly for large companies with geographically dispersed employees. There were travel and time constraints limiting how personalized employee training could be.

Now with the introduction of e-Learning into the corporate arena that’s all changed.

Not all employees are the same and neither are their training needs, so why not recognize this when creating development plans?

When you create an individualized training and development plan paired with e-Learning, you’re likely to see benefits including:

  • Employees will be more engaged in training since it’s designed to speak to their individualities.
  • Training will be more efficient because it’s created with an eye toward personnel and strategic goals.
  • Your employees will have the opportunity to engage in a training environment tailored to their preferences, including the type of device they use to train.
  • You can start relying on more internal promotion by developing high performing employees.
  • Everyone is saving time, including your employees, because they’re only learning what’s necessary. For example, if an employee doesn’t need additional training in a certain area they’re not going to have to sit through it simply because other employees are.

These are just five of the many advantages of delivering individualized training paths.

So how do you get started?

Assess Your Employees AND Your Organization

Before you can begin building individualized development plans, you need to take a look at not just your employees, but your organization.

Conduct skills assessments of employees, consider their personal numbers and performance and then the holistic picture of your organization. This will help you see not only where employees need training or where improvements can be made, but it can also help you see how to bridge employee deficiencies with gaps in organizational performance.

A few ways, aside from structured assessment, where you can determine gaps include:

  • On the job observations
  • Employee records
  • Past performance reviews
  • Interviews with employees and managers
  • Formalized focus groups

Build It Around Business Goals

Just because you’re individualizing employee development plans doesn’t mean it’s entirely focused on the needs of employees. Link each employees’ training program with significant business goals for the most ROI.

Create plans that demonstrate to employees how their training path is going to impact organizational success.

When you’re designing metrics for success, include not only individual benchmarks but also strategic company-wide benchmarks.

Be Specific

An individualized training and development plan needs to target specific things employees need to achieve. It should also include actionable plans for reaching those goals.

Along with specificity in goals and actions that can be undertaken, be specific with an expected timeline as well. Although there is an element of freedom and flexibility in e-Learning, be clear on when you expect certain tasks to be completed and when certain results should be seen.

Monitor Progress

Along with delivering a flexible training environment, one way e-Learning is helpful when creating individualized training paths is the simplicity of monitoring progress.

Choose an online learning platform that allows you to check in with employees and receive automated updates, so all key stakeholders are always informed of what’s happening throughout the development process.

Based on the monitoring process you’re then better equipped to provide feedback, criticisms and assessments to employees, with quantifiable data to back it up.

Pair e-Learning with a Performance Management System

If you want to simplify the process of maintaining individualized training plans, consider integrating your e-Learning platform with your performance management system. You’ll be able to access quickly a comprehensive view of each employee on a singular level, which will strengthen your individualized development process.

If you’ve implemented customized training or development plans for employees, let us know your thoughts!

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