learning and development

Involving Managers In Learning & Development Initiatives: 23 Ways To Go!

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Were you aware that according to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workforce Learning Report, 94 percent of employees would be willing to stay at a company longer if it provided them opportunities to grow and develop? While the significance of L&D measures cannot be understated, a Gallup survey reported that over two-thirds of the variance in employee engagement is explained by the nature of leadership. This prompts the question – Are you using your leadership right to engage effectively with your employees? 

23 Ways How Managers Can be Included in L&D Initiatives!

Managers are crucial in driving employee engagement and retention and may thus be needed more actively for training and development purposes as well. Here are 23 ways you can engage them in L&D initiatives to ensure better outcomes for the organization. 

l & D#1 Involving Managers in Need Assessment

2. Managers have an on-ground understanding of the abilities and requirements of the team and can initiate better-suited programs.
3. Frequent discussions and surveys can be initiated with managers to gauge training needs, and measures to quantify and standardize their responses are encouraged.
4. It has been seen that conducting thorough investigations has often revealed issues that were addressed through training and impact studies confirmed that having managers involved at multiple points was critical to success.

#5 Setting Targets for Training

6. Overworked employees with pre-existing deadlines may not be interested in L&D initiatives. Managers can aid in creating designated time and space for learning, and encourage team members to engage effectively.
7. Collaborative goals can be set to decide the target number of hours of learning for the employees in a year.
8. Transparent and organized structure, helmed by managers, helps employees be more invested in the program.
9. Employees may prefer guided learning experiences with schedules and clear milestones instead of self-paced learning, where all the content is available at once. Cohort-based courses with a sense of community help employees are motivated throughout.

#10 Assign Roles for the Managers     

11. L&D programs need to create explicit roles for managers and leaving them out may be detrimental.
12. Managers understand their employees better and have much more influence on their members, as  opposed to an HR or L&D team.
13. This power could be utilized to achieve better participation rates, even with minor involvement like the L&D programs being announced by the managers as opposed to any external team.
14. The managers also stress the importance of sharing the skills that the employees gained with their co-workers once they finish the program.

# 15 Implement Learning into Action with Managers 

16. Managers should be asked to aid their team members in applying what they learn to their job in    real-time.
17. The managers may be asked to ‘own the ideas’, such as with Aegon where they are expected to play an active role in the implementation of those ideas across verticals.
18. Follow-ups can be done with managers to assess the work and seek regular reports on the tangible changes coming through post the training.

# 19 Feedback from Managers is Crucial for L&D Programs

20. Seeking feedback from employees and participants is a norm, however, it should be extended to the participants’ managers as well for a more holistic output.
21. The time schedule of this collection may be different and it may be sought for a specific duration post the training, such as a gap of a few months.
22. The prompts can also be altered, and questions focusing on the impact of the training should be encouraged – 

Were the team members able to apply what they learned? What were the areas where the implementation of learning was weak? Are there any barriers to the application? What changes should be made to the program to make it more effective for real-time change? 

23. AstraZeneca reports using this approach and concludes that managers’ feedback is crucial in helping the L&D team understand real impact and progress.

Thus, with the changing work systems and culture, L&D initiatives need not operate in silos from the managers and the leadership. Making them an effective part of your program helps in better employee engagement and retention. Headsup Corporation implements L&D initiatives involving the managers to ensure greater outputs for your organization!

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