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Grow Your Organization, Grow Your Talent

Monday, December 10, 2018
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Key to building successful and effective organizations is to get the entire employee population on a learning journey. Every individual, regardless of role and responsibilities, must continue to enhance their knowledge, abilities, and skills. All employees need to make self-discoveries and find ways to enrich their personal competencies on a constant and continuous basis. And developing human talent and capabilities will absolutely add tremendous value to the evolving organization as well as each individual employee.

A lifelong learning workplace atmosphere along with a continuous development culture can and will drive marketing successes and outstanding business outcomes. Clearly, the current workforce is evolving rapidly in their expectations and requirements. Each individual learner is becoming more involved with their personal growth and development, taking greater control and ownership in their needed skills as well as the actual application of newly acquired expertise. And this utilization-oriented practice will enhance organizational performance and goal achievement, and also boost employee morale and internal company connections.

The Four Growth Process Components—Four Vs

As part of the continuous learning journey and the building of a growth mindset culture, four steps are needed to help drive the development flow over many, many months and even years. This long-term focus is always on creating a future-ready workforce with the required skills and knowledge to be effective and successful.

Phase One: The View—Corporate Commitment to Learning and Desire for Growth
There is a critical need to recognize the desires and wants of employees as learners and to understand the importance of a clear commitment of corporate leadership to meet these learning needs. This company involvement must fully define the financial and time investments as well as demonstrate complete support that can even drive cross-functional connections. It is important to get the values and goals of the organization in sync with the workforce growth expectations. There is a required balancing of traditionally formal learning approaches with informal activities, along with a big push for the application of new skills and knowledge. The corporate commitment must connect the “long view” of the optimistic growth approaches to the needs of the business to be truly transformational over time. The employees need to become more innovative and engaged with each other. These collaborative, team-oriented activities must utilize flexibility and adaptability so there can be stronger ownership of the more modernized and self-directed drivers by the learner.

Phase Two: The Viability—Assessment of Needs and Verification of Direction
Gaining complete and detailed understanding of all learner needs, desires, and wants is an important second step in building priorities and strategies for both the company and the individual growth and development targets. Communicating this long-term, well-defined direction and focus on transformational learning will require insight into competency gaps as well as identification of organizational challenges. This establishes the viability of the tremendous and lengthy development initiative specific to the opportunities of building on current employee strengths. Again, critical is the assessment of the audience needs, the learner growth potential areas. And, the enhancement of soft skills, such as teamwork, emotional intelligence, and complex reasoning, can drive business successes and lead to outstanding accomplishments.

Phase Three: The Vision—Structured Learning Approaches and Development Methodologies
To build a business of the future requires everyone to be involved in creative growth experiences as well as organizational transformations, and to be active participants in the well-defined learning journey. Behaviors are changed. Relationships and partnerships are created. Collaboration and innovation become the norm. All types of programs (such as micro and mobile learning), events (such as gamification and workshops), and learning interactions must drive engagement and a focus on development. Coaching and mentoring at all company levels enhances the willingness to support others and demonstrate the value of agility as well as flexibility.

The dynamic implementation activities need to successfully connect several types of development methodologies, tools, and customized learning techniques with the requirements of the empowered work population. Through extensive interactions, learners are driven to utilize, execute, and apply the new skills and gained knowledge. As part of the transforming organization, this investment can be further realized based on the use of the newly acquired competencies and practices in all business actions and critical decisions.

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Phase Four: The Value—Measuring Company Impact and Acknowledging Outcomes
The adaptation and utilization of new learnings will add value to the enhancement of a growth mindset, for every individual employee as well as for the organization as a total group of contributors and performers. Gaining new managerial and leadership skills and the handling of organizational changes are measurable outcomes. The continuous growth mindset, along with the full support of senior leaders, will drive the sustainability of this company strategy and initiative over time. The real day-to-day experiences as part of the evolving learning culture can lead to more tenacious appreciation of the development activities. The long-term goals are more likely to be achieved. The enhanced innovation and utilization of new learning technologies can drive job satisfaction, enthusiasm, and happiness, and even result in promotions and improved retention. Rewarding successes, showing appreciation, and recognizing contributions are all acknowledgement of a transformational and growing organization.

The Potential Learning and Growth Barriers for Change

Organizations are always undergoing significant changes and are on paths of continuous improvement. There must be a focus on enhancing skills of all employees and driving higher levels of productivity. There is a need to creatively innovate, recognize contributions, and reward successes. Although there is always a need to connect with people and their abilities to contribute to building the business’s future and an energetic organization, there are always barriers in forming more open and linked learning relationships.

Some learning strategy barriers can be:

  • Accepting the needs and desires for change.
  • Handling and jumping the issues of time constraints.
  • Lacking the funding for the investment in development activities.
  • Accepting the importance of growth and learning priorities.
  • Being flexible and adaptable with the selection of learning approaches.

Closing Thoughts and Insights

Today, organizations and the workforce are evolving more rapidly as well as adjusting to changes for the future. Developing and applying new skills, capabilities, and key knowledge can impact competencies throughout the workforce population. Learning has become a desirable experience based on cutting-edge technologies and successful development approaches. Everyone—employees, managers, and leaders—has learned to manage themselves and to find new breakthrough analytical thinking activities and strategic value-oriented actions. Raising the standard levels of expectations for all employees can grow a stronger, innovative, and interpersonal organization.

Utilizing and applying new skills and knowledge makes long-term change stick.

The growth and development learning journey:

  • Drives a willingness to utilize different behaviors.
  • Builds leaders into being more supportive of change.
  • Provides value in all learning commitments and implementation activities.
  • Enhances the connections and partnerships in learning.
  • Utilizes the strategic team collaboration and new skills.
  • Accomplishes an increase in self-awareness.
  • Inspires a motivated work population.
  • Cultivates a positive and engaging work environment.

And remember, leadership is critical in driving a learning and growth-oriented mindset. It is all built on truthfulness and trust, authentic and accurate facts, teamwork and partnerships, ownership and accountability, high levels of integrity and respect, courage and accepting consequences, and active listening and having focus.

About the Author

Paul Fein is an organizational development consultant and certified life coach. As the the managing leader and director of The IDD Leadership Group, he a develops custom-created management development programs. Connect with Paul on LinkedIn. 

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