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Employees in the workplace today care a lot about having access to learning and development opportunities. In fact, the level to which a company invests in talent development plays a big role in an employee’s decision to stay with a company or not. If you’re going to invest in it- which you should- you want to make sure the resources you are allocating to it go a long way. Here are 6 strategies for an effective talent development plan.

Map talent development goals to the organization’s mission and values.

Many companies have established a list of company values, but are not doing the work to ensure that those values become integral to the ethos of the company culture, and consequently, to how employees are engaged and developed. In fact, in 2016,  Gallup reported that only 23% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they can apply their organization’s values to their work every day.  A successful talent development plan is built on the core foundation of the company’s values. It maps learning initiatives to specific company values, helps employees have a deep understanding of why those values are important, and creates opportunities for employees to put those values into practice.

Conduct a skills assessment and identify gaps.

Developing a talent development plan cannot simply consist of throwing initiatives at the wall and seeing what sticks. An effective plan begins first and foremost with an assessment of the current skills that employees possess. From there, employers must consider what skills are needed, and what gaps exist. Those gaps determine the content and objectives of the talent development process.

Measure effectiveness.

Building a robust talent development program is an investment. Because of that, there needs to be a proven ROI. In order to prove ROI, there must be a way to measure the effectiveness and impact of the program. This is an area that employers tend to struggle with- nearly 70% of learning and development teams state that they feel pressure to measure the impact for learning from leadership- but in one survey, 96% of respondents said they want to measure learning, but only 50% are evaluating learning based on ROI, organizational impact, and job performance. It is crucial to incorporate methods of impact measurement and evaluation into the program- ideally, you can find a learning software that can provide metrics around program success.

Ensure executive buy-in.

In order for a talent development program to be successful, there must be buy-in from the top down.  According to the 2020 Linkedin Learning Report, only 27% of learning and development professionals report that their CEOs are active top-down champions of learning across the organization itself. Executives must show enthusiasm and commitment to the program. They should be the champions, conveying why talent development is important, and getting all employees excited about participating. Furthermore, executives should adopt and spread the mindset that even though time spent on talent development may seem to draw time away from the operational day-to-day business operations, it can still have a huge positive impact in many ways.

Diversify program components.

The modern workplace has moved beyond solely offering one-off corporate seminars for talent development. In-person workshops certainly have value- but they are most effective when supplemented with other types of learning opportunities. Employers should look towards solutions that provide a combination of online and in-person learning experiences that reinforce one another.

Build in coaching and collaboration.

Talent development is a crucial component of boosting employee engagement and morale. It is important to make sure that there are built in opportunities for employees to collaborate and connect in their talent development journey. Employers should consider adding a mentorship component to their plan, and facilitating group activities to give employees a chance to work together towards a common goal.

Are you ready to build or improve your talent development plan? Verb can help. Schedule time to talk to one of our experts to learn more.

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