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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Why Future-Proof Employee Training Always Includes Feedback Loops

If you consider your self as having a “super hardcore work ethic, talent for building things, common sense and trustworthiness,” then very good news. You just met most of Elon Musk’s criteria for stellar career-building spaceships, proving it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to obtain a job at SpaceX.

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The outspoken entrepreneur recently posted a tweet announcing a career trip to the aerospace firm, by which he also promised that “the rest we can train.”

Source: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1224625719659110400

It’s a substantial promise plus one that ensured SpaceX career day could have candidates lining up out from the door. But the fact is that making the most of employee training is definitely an area where many businesses struggle.

A 2019 training industry report stated that 37% of businesses surveyed desired to increase the effectiveness of their training programs, in a year when training budgets had also increased by nearly 42%. But, just as that gaining a foot in the entranceway at SpaceX isn’t rocket science, neither is improving the quality of your employee training programs. Feedback loops exist everywhere.

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Future-ready business leaders who is able to learn to leverage these feedback loops in the context of employee development will discover it better to implement more agile, fit-for-purpose, and engaging training programs.

Recognize the challenges

Perhaps perhaps one of the most critical challenges facing today’s talent development teams could be the move to digital adoption.

A new employee joining your organization faces dozens of systems and tools, some of which might already be acquainted to them, while some may be used for the first time. A study from the Cloud Security Alliance survey found that the typical enterprise runs 464 applications, of which employees use around 260.

Furthermore, the shift to digital does mean organizations are increasingly leveraging automation for routine tasks, using computer software that connects platforms, robotics, and artificial intelligence. This shift ensures that employees are increasingly valued for their soft skills. So much in order that participants in a Workplace Learning report commissioned by LinkedIn cited soft skill training as the utmost critical section of focus.

Source: https://learning.linkedin.com/resources/workplace-learning-report-2018

These training demands also have to be balanced contrary to the need for employees to become productive as quickly as possible after joining.

While a structured learning program is known to be beneficial in long-term retention, there’s also the challenge of keeping employees engaged through the right balance of on-the-job versus classroom-based learning.

Feedback is just a gift

In management contexts, the concept of feedback is often limited by discussions across the annual performance review. But the traditional performance review model is outdated and doesn’t work.

According to a survey by Gallup, only 14% of employees strongly concur that their performance review inspires them to enhance. In general, the annual performance meeting is a one-directional feedback process that can be uncomfortable and draining – for managers and employees alike.

However, this regrettable outcome could be the result of the contrived way the annual performance review mandates the delivery of feedback. It doesn’t connect with the concept of feedback itself, which works successfully in many other contexts.

Feedback loops exist every-where.

For example, whenever we get cold, our bodies trigger a series of reactions, such as shivering, that tells us to maneuver somewhere warmer. Artificial intelligence algorithms are trained using feedback loops that inform them whether their output was correct, or not. So why don’t we apply the concept more to our employee communications and development?

Introducing feedback loops to employee training models

Using feedback loops in employee training doesn’t need to involve implementing new policies or learning management systems. In fact, this risks the exact same pitfalls because the dreaded performance review.

Instead, it is possible to incorporate feedback loops more holistically and naturally, making sure they become woven to the cultural fabric of your organization.

Here are a few pointers.

1. Set objectives

Every training activity should have clear objectives. What knowledge, skills, or understanding should your employees have gained at the end? How will these help them in their new roles and help achieve the goals of the business?

Use these outcomes as a way of gauging the success of the training. If the desired results aren’t there, make adjustments accordingly.

2. The structure is important – but avoid being prescriptive

Focusing on objectives and outcomes lets you take a more flexible way of employee training programs. Just because a business uses 200 different systems doesn’t mean every employee needs learning all of them. You can use a template or high-level intend to categorize various activities and keep maintaining some structure. For example, compliance-based training is generally important, but computer software training may be undertaken on a need-to-have basis.

Tailoring a structured program to an employee’s individual needs allows them to have up and running quicker. At once, the organization saves on training budgets for skills the employee may possibly already have learned elsewhere.

3. Solicit feedback on progress and engagement

Employees should be encouraged to provide feedback as an built-in part of their onboarding. Feedback could be formalized, perhaps as a survey at the end of a training exercise. But you will find always opportunities for informal, qualitative feedback. During workout sessions, whether face to face or elsewhere, take regular breaks to check on to understand, offer opportunities for questions, or ask how participants think the training is certainly going.

Feedback doesn’t have to be formalized in to performance reviews or employee satisfaction surveys to be meaningful. Creating a culture of open communication ensures that feedback loops become incorporated into the mind-set of employees and managers. In in this way, the organization becomes more resilient to feedback and more easily able to make minor adjustments on the fly.

4. Measure return on investment

There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach here. However, some metrics will help measure the effectiveness of training programs.

Retention could be the most universally popular among executives, managers, and talent developers, but performance measurements and qualitative behavior changes can also be effective.

Getting looped in on training

It’s time and energy to consign the dismal annual performance review to yesteryear. Feedback loops offer a solution to ensure that your way of training employees is agile enough to build up, along with the needs of the corporation as a whole.

Establish an open feedback culture from day among onboarding and create perfect chance for putting up with and fruitful employee relationships.

Reuben Jackson

Ruben is just a blockchain security consultant currently living in New York City. He helps organizations of necessity redesign experiences to create new sources of value also digitally reinventing company’s operations for greater efficiency.

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