Employee training and development is a very organic thing, and whether you realize it or not, if you’re in any kind of leadership position or group dynamic, you’re initiating and undergoing it at the same time. It’s easy to think of training as something that only happens when an actual, deliberated training session is discovered to be needed, and then conducted. This isn’t true. Yet, as a result of this line of thinking, a lot of people disregard advice on this topic as being far more circumstantial and irrelevant than it actually is. While a lot of times, people scrape by with this mindset, it can actually be catastrophic.
See, employees training and development is a direct result of your guidance as a leader. Your influence taking effect is a result of training your employees, and encouraging them to develop in a direction that follows your guidance and help.
As a leader, you’re also always training yourself to learn from your mistakes. A good leader listens to their subordinates, which means that your employees teach you as much as you teach them in a good relationship.
So, let’s look at five tips about training and development that both leaders, followers and team players can actually take to heart for every day work dynamics, as well as higher training sessions.
First, encourage bonds between employees, and between them and leaders. Traditional work environment philosophies encourage a sterile, overly reserved rapport between coworkers and between students. This actually is counterproductive to work and to learning. With stronger (but not inappropriate) banter and rapport between all involved, there will be a greater dynamic, a more positive environment, and a willingness to grow together.
In this same vein, a sense of team, of community is important. A self-centered worldview is counterproductive to training and development. It results in uneven progress and a lack of the dynamic needed for everyone to work together to learn, and for you as a leader to manage the whole affair.
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Demeanor is also important. Remember it is easier to lead with an open hand than a closed fist, and when it comes to training or everyday leadership, this always rings true. Having an unintimidating open office, and forgiving standards for mistakes is important. Employees who feel incompetent or pressured will not learn well.
Engagement is also very important. Techniques like gamification are so popular because they approach solutions to engagement. If work or learning becomes a tedious chore, people will eventually become disenchanted with it, and will put minimal effort into it. It needs to remain rewarding, and the bars need to be continually raised in a way that stimulates interest and effort.
Sense of Agency
Finally, a sense of agency must always be instilled in all employees during training. If employees feel like equipment being programmed, then they will often become disenchanted, lose their morale, or just fail to take in the new learning altogether. Making sure that they are aware of their ability to advance their careers and their quality of work life through this learning, at their own benefit, by their own effort, is important. We cannot erase free will, and if we could, it’d not be terribly ethical.
Employees training and development is an omnipresent phenomenon, so I hope that this advice makes life at work a little easier during real training times, or during daily work life.