Does development add value?

If, as an organisation, you are monitoring your costs closely, but still recognise the need to invest in your people, how can you make sure you get the best return on your training and development?

One of the key factors is spending time up front understanding what it is you really need. Ask the questions - “what is the problem we are trying to solve?” or “what is the change we want to happen”? Whatever the development need it should meet your requirements but also recognise the current situation for the individual. It’s also worth thinking about alternative solutions - sometimes a one off workshop won’t necessarily deliver the learning in a way that can be put into practice back in the work place.

There is a huge variety of learning options available and again, depending on the individual’s preference, you can adapt the learning to suit their preferred learning style. Clarity on your needs ensures that the training delivery is more relevant and value can be added by putting in place a process to evaluate the results. If you’ve already set out your expectations then you can start see if they are being met!

We recently undertook a programme of development for managers, and by taking time up front to understand the needs and challenges of the organisation, we were able to design a process that was relevant to the team and the organisation, could be adapted as time went on to reflect changing circumstances and create a learning journey where the managers could take their learning back to the workplace and make practical, effective changes.

If you’re not sure that your training spend is delivering the results you expected, then it may be time to stop and revisit your approach to development and put in place some clear objectives and outcomes plus a clear evaluation approach.


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