Are you looking for ways to retain and engage your employees while also boosting their productivity? Then L&D programs might be a good place to start. Various studies have found that today’s millennial generation of employees consider ‘Training & Development’ initiatives by an organization to be the most sought after benefit they seek from their employers. As organizations are growing and as the new normal brings a paradigm shift in the ways people work in a company, the viewpoint of L&D programs has shifted from ‘nice to have to ‘definitely need to have.’
With deadlines to meet and deals to close, it is easy for startups to make investments that yield a quick ROI and whose real return can be immediately measured in terms of metrics. You might be tempted to spend your money on something that is certain to provide you with the returns on paper and which you can show to your investors as a measure of your investment. But do not make this mistake, do not fall into this trap of investing solely on the basis of immediate ROI.
You may not realize it yet but investing in your L&D means facilitating your employees to easily move into leadership roles. Does the idea of self-managing teams fascinate you? What if you could manifest into your organization a high level of preparedness where your teams can always take on projects and challenges with ease?
Such preparedness will especially be important when your company takes off the ground and starts setting new benchmarks with every passing day. Your employee strength will grow and you will need a team of engaged people that can take control when required.
Here are a few ways to kickstart your L&D program:
1. Identify Your Problems and Objectives:
Before you begin investing in your startup’s learning and development program, think through the outcomes you’re hoping to accomplish. After all, you steer a lean ship and you need to maximize your investment. Are you hoping to reduce employee churn? Increase project turnaround? Minimize client turnover? Align these goals with the skills your team will need to develop to meet them. Keep in mind that the L&D program is not just for your team but even for you, the Founder of the Company. . You can identify your personal hindrances and get in touch with a Coach who can help you get over the roadblocks that prevent you from accessing your true potential.
2. Identify Skill Gaps & Challenges
Now that you have a clear idea of the goals you’re hoping to achieve, determine where the skill gaps are. This can be accomplished through employee surveys, assessments, or simple observation. If you are implementing L&D with the sole purpose of keeping your team engaged, asking each member what they would like to learn can allow for active participation and ownership. This can also help you identify the performance issues lying beneath the surface.
3. Engage Your Team
Whenever possible, leverage your connections to identify thought leaders, speakers, and experts to join you for brief sessions so that your team can learn from Experts. You can always connect to the coaches in your network or use online coach marketplaces that can help you get your team in touch with experienced coaches who can help them look at things from fresh perspectives.
4. Dedicate a Time of the Week for Employee Growth
Commit to one day of the week that will serve as your Startup’s official day of learning. For example, every Wednesday, bring your team together for an open discussion to share one thing each member learned that week. Or, dedicate Monday mornings to Micro-courses. You can also dedicate a specific time of the week where the team can get together with a coach who can help them strengthen their bonding as a team and promote team building across the organization.