People are unique and have varying needs. I think we can all agree on this statement. But training programs do not always take this into account. We understand the concept on a broad level, but the important step is making a concerted effort to actually do it. One size fits all training simply don’t work as well as personalized learning. The programs aren’t as relevant to the participant, and many times are based more on theory than real world applications.
Add to that the need to prove the business impact of a training program. Your challenge is now to make training as tailored and personalized as possible with a limited budget, numerous logistical challenges, and a dozen other programs to think about. How do you do that? The answer is a lot of work but it can be broken down into clear categories.
Let’s look at the work we’ve done with Western Union. We experienced incredible success – 95% of participants reported increased skills via Emergenetics and 99% of participants cited value in the Emergenetics training.
Those are some amazing numbers! And yet when Emergenetics first partnered with Western Union to develop their global Employee Development Program, the logistical challenges we faced were staggering. On the surface, it seemed like the task was impossible.
- They had an extremely large and dispersed global participant base.
- There were competing demands for time and attention in that participants could not be away from their desk, and were expected to complete the training while still doing their job at the same time.
- In many cases, there was only one computer available in the work environment- and it was expected to be used for training in addition to serving customers.
- There was no existing content upon which to build.
- There was no measurement tool in place that could establish a clear linkage from training to business needs.
And yet in the end, skills were developed. Value was found. So we go back to the HOW question. Just HOW does one make tailor their training programs to provide a personalized learning experience and be more relevant to the audience?
THE FIRST STEP
Start with the end goal of what you need your employees to accomplish. Western Union broke up content based on 3 fundamentals that aligned with their business needs and what the needs of their employees are: building interpersonal skills, optimizing team success, and providing shared value for the customer and client.
Once the fundamental skills were determined, we were able to work together to back into the content. Everything that was produced needed to touch on those three skills.
THE NEXT STEP
Once the overall objectives were determined, it was necessary to then think about the challenges. This step could be as simple as asking your managers what are the inherent challenges of their group in communicating/training/building/developing skills. Or it may come down from the top leaders.
In the case of Western Union it was time, environment, and technology. These challenges will dictate how you can move forward to rollout the material. And luckily through technology, training platforms can be pretty creative and meet challenges in untraditional methods.
THE FINAL STEP
Finally, we need to think about what blended learning solutions will fit your challenges. Participants will need to learn, practice, reflect, and recalibrate on the training content in order to grow and apply these skills over a period of time. Especially in an untraditional learning environment, a “one and done” experience will not yield long-term impact.
We made it work with Western Union by immediately deploying the Emergenetics Profile and Tip Sheets for immediate feedback, and then through very short eLearning modules, work tools, web-ex seminars, and an online social hub where they could discuss what they were learning in a safe and encouraging environment.
Understanding and collaboration are the starting point. Then tie learning it into the objective and company vision of how employees should perform, respond, or change as a result of the program. And then no matter the competency or challenge, ground everything in the Emergenetics framework so that it adhere’s to each individual’s thinking and behaving preferences and is the ultimate personalized learning experience.
In the words of Diane Lujan- the entire program was a big win! The employee development program actually did change behavior and business results for Western Union employees around the globe.