How Leaders Maximize the ROI From Development Investments
Leaders who provide development opportunities for others in the form of coaching, training, stretch assignments, reading, benchmarking, mentoring, schooling, etc. have an opportunity to improve and encourage retention and application of the learning through their pre-, during and post-behaviors of support.
When providing training, articles, books, benchmarking, schooling and any other form of development that takes place away from the performance environment; try the following:
- Before the development event (approximately one week ahead of it) meet with the participant and discuss what he expects to receive from the training and how he intends to apply it to his work. Support him with ideas, options, and thoughts in an open exploration of possibilities. Capture commitments for re-visitation after the event and schedule a time to meet upon his return.
- Before and during the development event meet with the provider or instructor and volunteer your time to participate and deliver portions of the session that relate directly to work. Be the model, exemplar and teacher.
- Immediately after the event meet with the participant and review what she learned, if it met her expectations and how she intends to apply the learning on the job. Schedule a follow-up session to determine how the work applications fared; what worked well and what she could do differently to assure the next application of the learning works better? Assure the participant that application failure is expected when applying new knowledge and skills on the job and that you expect it or she isn’t stretching enough.
- Daily, (as frequent as possible) provide feedback through recognition of work applications, expressing interest in work applications, demonstrations of caring about his work applications, etc.
- Weekly follow-up to determine the impact the development event had on the participants’ performance is necessary. Provide feedback, reinforcement and coaching as needed to demonstrate you care about her successful application of the learning.
- After a few weeks of application and honing of the new learning, ask the participant to prepare a brief lunch session where she will present the learning and application options to others in your group. Ask that it be designed with a clean, succinct presentation, an open dialogue focused on what was easy to implement and what some of the limiters and barriers were to application. Coach her to share the impact and benefit derived from the application of the new learning.
Leaders who deliver coaching and stretch assignments as on-the-job development could follow a similar approach to pre-, during and post-development support for improving the return-on-Investment from their investment of budget, time and mindshare.