Learning and Development (L&D) programs are one of the best ways to culture and develop an engaged workforce that stays loyal to your organization - seven out of 10 employees say L&D opportunities influence their decision to stay with a company. These programs help employees develop new skills, excel in their current role and advance their careers.
But the number of L&D programs to choose from can seem overwhelming. Conferences. Online course. Mentorship programs. Training sessions. How do you prioritize the training and development programs that will have the most impact on your employees from the start?
This blog suggests that you start by offering training and development programs that impact three basic levels within your business: freelance contributor, frontline manager, and director or more. Your offers will thus improve the development of employees in your organization.
Skills development for independent contributors
Independent contributors (CIs) are the boots on the ground to keep your business running. Keeping these employees motivated, productive and engaged will ensure that your business is steadily progressing towards its goals.
So focus on development programs that equip these employees with the resources and skills they need to be successful. CIs often fit into two desired career paths: developing as an individual contributor or moving to a management path. Aim to have your training sessions cover both, in order to best support all CIs in your organization.
To further develop skills, consider offering:
- A team library filled with professional books (to get you started, we've created a list of some great books on culture here)
- Opportunities to attend conferences and events
- Lunch 'n learns led by internal experts on certain skill sets
- Budget for seminars, certifications and other educational initiatives
To develop managerial skills, offer training sessions that improve tactical leadership skills such as:
- How to run effective meetings
- Time management 101
- Project management 101
- Give constructive feedback
- Make tough decisions
Support systems for frontline managers
Your frontline managers play a direct role in the impact of your teams. We know that all leaders play a critical role in shaping the corporate culture - and the role of immediate supervisors can make a crucial difference in whether culture is helping your business move forward. A recent Gallup poll showed that managers represent 70% difference in employee engagement scores. According to Gallup, only one in 10 people have full managerial talent to engage employees, retain high-performing employees and maintain productivity.
Why this gap? In fast-paced work environments, managers are too often caught between executing their own deliverables and supporting their teams. Balancing the two without the right resources can result in inefficient (and stressful) use of managers' time.
Accelerate from manager to leader
For these frontline managers, offer a training and development program that helps them move from managers to leaders. To get started, open up the tactical training programs mentioned above. Add to that more strategic sessions focused on empowering teams, such as:
- Support your employees towards success
- How to engage in active listening
- The power to delegate intelligently
- Organize effective performance reviews
- Conflict resolution management
Then, most importantly, organize support systems for your managers and their peers. They will serve as a sounding board for your managers to share challenges, ask questions and collect ideas ... promoting the development of their leadership in a safe space.
These support systems could take the form of:
- Cohorts of managers who go through training sessions together. Allow time after each training session for the cohorts to meet and discuss their learnings. Keep groups small - five to eight people in each, if you can - so that each cohort can build relationships and create a safe space.
- The coaches which are assigned to managers and act as confidential sounding boards. These coaches should not be in the manager's line of command. Rather, it should be a leader of another team or completely external to your organization. This way, they will provide a fresh perspective and no judgment in helping your manager develop.
- Communication channels for managers to look to each other for advice when needed. This could include private Slack channels, a group messaging alias, or a monthly company sponsored lunch. To show creativity!
We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul. ” DEEP. And it is.
Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what I think often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work ? ” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the introuvable person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. Often gossip occurs for one of four reasons :
1 ) People fear the unknown. If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed door conversations are so detrimental.
2 ) People want to belong and be included. If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle. ” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know. ”
3 ) People crave intimacy and a sense of connection. I would suggest that because of the rampant pace we real at and the lack of real deal authentic communication with one another, many people crave a sense of genuine human connection and intimacy. Gossip is one of the quickest and easiest ways to connect with another human being. The secrecy, forbidden and exclusive nature of confiding in someone something that’s a bit subversive or judgmental is social super glue. Through the veneer of momentary vulnerability and trust, the two are bonded. Unfortunately gossip is a very sloppy second to real, meaningful connection.
4 ) People want to work with people they think of as peers. Meaning, if someone isn’t carrying their own weight, isn’t competent or capable enough to do their emploi or simply isn’t a good culture fit, then there will be gossip. Rather than being a “narc, ” employees will talk both about said individual and leadership’s lack of awareness/action. And they will talk often. The longer said individual goes unaddressed, the louder and more embedded the gossip becomes.
When it comes to gossip, these four reasons : fear, belonging, intimacy and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight, are all things that can be handled with some focused time and attention.
How do you want your employees to talk about your company ? How do you want them to feel when they walk in the door ? While this touchy-feely stuff may make you feel a little light-headed, when it comes down to it, company culture matters.
Many owners are taking a deuxième look at their company culture to make sure it’s the one they envision – one that supports their company’s tâche, vision and values.
Insperity has spent the past 30 years building a human resources company committed to helping businesses succeed so communities prosper. In that vein, our leadership team offers these tips on having a great company culture.
You might think that trying to cultivate a positive workplace as an elusive, time-consuming waste of important resources, but studies show that the opposite is true. Creating a positive company culture begins with fostering happy employees.
Happy employees are 85 percent more efficace, experience a 60 percent drop in absenteeism and stay twice as long in their jobs as their less happy colleagues, creating a measurable impact on engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals, according to the study, The Science of Happiness, conducted by Globoforce.
Happiness is a habit that needs to be modeled. As a manager or business leader, your demeanor and attitude in the office has an impact on your employees. When you demonstrate happiness you’re training your employees to follow suit.
Get in the habit of being grateful and showing gratitude for what you have. It can be a small thing – I am thankful for this cup of coffee, for the sun coming out today. When you make an effort to find things to be grateful for, you’re training your brain to be on the watch for more of what is good in your world. By making gratitude a habit, you will set the example for others and create a positive work environment. Focus on the positive when interacting with your employees. Point out their accomplishments and abilities. Remind them that they are a positive force within your company and that they have much to offer. This is a powerful motivation tool and it will help to create a “can-do” attitude in your workforce.
As a leader you’re influential – your opinion matters, especially to your employees. Make it a goal to compliment people. Recognizing even small accomplishments and praising your team members in meetings or in an mail can make a big effet. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture.
We all know that sometimes work can get monotonous and overwhelming. Say for example that Mike is feeling a bit underappreciated and is frustrated with his current project. He comes to a meeting feeling defeated and unmotivated. Then you, as his directeur, compliment his exercices and praise him for a emploi well done. The effet is immediate – he feels valued. His demeanor changes, he becomes engaged and leaves the meeting with a newfound energy to tackle his project.
People need to have a sense of purpose at work. Their happiness is directly connected to knowing that they make a difference. It’s not enough for a directeur to dole out tasks. Take the time to explain why the individual task is important to the company as a whole. This will give your employees a sense of purpose and belonging that will motivate them to strive for more. Engaged employees are efficient, enthusiastic and are willing to do what it takes to help your organization succeed. Creating a sense of purpose for your employees is an investment in developing a positive workplace.