Identify your organisational goals before choosing and dissecting skill gaps to fill with an employee development programme, suggests Nicola Wylie, writing for e-learning content and authoring software company iSpring Solutions.
“You need to prioritise filling skill gaps based on what is most pressing for the organisation. The most prejudicial skill gaps should determine the objectives of your employee development plan,” she said.
“Identify current levels of competency and pinpoint areas for growth. You can gather this data by running feedback sessions, surveys, and performance appraisals.”
Wylie said the organisation should get a high-level view of what’s needed before drilling down into required resources, budget and tools available, partner support and actually deciding who and how many staff to train.
Consider also what type of training might work best — on-the-job learning, online coursework, or something else — alongside key success metrics, how to monitor progress, and other requirements such as certifications, communications strategies, initiative promotion and so on.
“You’ll need support from leadership and key stakeholders to execute a development plan for employees successfully. From allocating the budget to raising awareness, their support is instrumental,” Wylie added.
Advantages for the organisation might include improved staff engagement, worker retention, and company growth, for example, and don’t forget to ask for the specific support that will be needed to achieve this, including realistic timelines and budgets.
Wylie said that communication with leadership should be ongoing and include regular progress updates.
After that, it can be time to look at lessons and other collateral to assist with learning.
If training is to be online or blended, you might want to consider content-authoring tools and digital learning management system (LMS) software to create and deliver digital materials, she said.
Applications sold by the likes of iSpring enable even smaller organisations to make their own e-learning content, Wylie pointed out.
“For example, iSpring Suite is a full-featured toolkit that allows you to build courses, role-plays, quizzes, interactions, and tutorial videos,” she said. “With templates, characters, and interactions at hand, you can customise your learning content to your employees’ needs and preferences.”
LMS software can help manage training activities, including enrolling employees in development programmes and sending reminders about upcoming deadlines. Analytics and reporting capabilities mean you can pull data on learning activities to measure impact, Wylie said.
You’ll likely want to evaluate performance regularly and identify areas for improvement, assessing employees’ progress; iSpring Learn now offers the ability to customise notifications sent to employees, changing both subject and text for enrolment and due-date alerts, she noted.