Your single most important asset on the road to innovation is the quality and the talent of your tech team. It has never been more important to ensure that learning and development programs are providing your with the return on investment needed to innovate, stay ahead of your competitors, and meet your growth objectives.
Today, competition in recruiting and hiring for technical positions is at an all-time high.
Organizations large and small are being forced to reevaluate how they develop and retain talented teams through L&D programs. Nurturing, training, and developing talent is essential to a company’s growth and it’s vital that the correct training provider is chosen to meet these objectives. To help breakdown the process of finding an L&D partner, we’ve built a roadmap to help you through this dynamic decision making process. These factors will help you identify the training partner, which will transform your learning initiatives and your talent into a winning team.
You must ensure that your training partner is providing leading edge content that is unique, innovative, and unrivaled; not generic, out-of-date, uninspired 3rd party content that will do little to move your needle…
The content of an L&D program is instrumental to its success. Your team could be learning Android app development from Google or data science from the gurus at Facebook. Or it could be learning out-of-date, irrelevant material from a 3rd party course developer. So how can you know if its L&D program is getting its content from the leading subject matter experts?
Many training providers rely on content developed by outside resources and have limited quality control when it comes to exploring new courses for their programs. And, often those creating the curriculum haven’t been out in the field and aren’t up to date on the latest and greatest trends. It’s critical to have a curriculum created by the experts at companies that are leaders in their fields, so that the training program is relevant and will truly enhance your talent.
Tools for Success, Engagement, and Retention
You need to track the performance of your employees during L&D initiatives. The partner you choose will have a large impact on how your team’s success is measured. You should opt for a provider that offers a hands-on approach to learning. The curriculum should include projects that are evaluated and graded by real people, who provide real feedback. An L&D program structured in this manner produces demonstrable and measurable evidence of skill development and subject mastery.
Another advantage of project based L&D programs is that they facilitate active learning in which talent can learn from their triumphs and from their mistakes. The most important benefits of training cannot be evaluated by using only static metrics like engagement and completion rates. You will know they’ve got it, when you can see the results. What apps has your talent built by the end of the program? What websites did they design? These projects will grant a you the insight you need to assess your team’s new skills. Many learning experiences are are nothing more than time spent in front of a computer screen: listening to hours of lecture, watching hours of videos, but there’s very little doing. You must make sure to choose a program that promotes doing instead of apathy.
Mentoring, coaching, and project review are proven to enhance learning, so the L&D program you choose needs to incorporate these features if you want results.
In a rigorous program, a team is bound to encounter challenges and it might need assistance to conquer them. It’s important for your team to have access to coaches who can guide them. These coaches should be available for 1:1 sessions so that they can have in depth discussions about their projects and receive advice on how to eliminate errors and optimize efficiency. It’s also helpful if the program fosters a community where students can help each other, whether that’s in smaller study groups, peer code reviews, or student forums.
Agility is critical to modern innovation. An L&D program must be able to meet the pace and the passion of your organization head-on.
You must be sure that your L&D training program can adequately accommodate the scope of your training needs. The program must be able to realistically provide quality training to your talent, no matter the talent’s region or department, in a cost and time efficient way. You should also take into consideration the pros and cons of physical and virtual training. Which is a better model for you and for your talent?
For the majority of large enterprise organizations, instructor-led programs are too difficult to scale and to coordinate with a global workforce. Companies like General Electric are transitioning to online programs because they scale easily and they are better able to support the diverse needs of teams across the world and in different parts of the organization. You should take some time to reflect on the specific programs you need to offer and which training provider can appropriately deliver those skills at scale.
An L&D program must be flexible for both your company and for your talent. Today’s employee expects learning to be accessible anytime and anywhere.
In this fast paced tech environment, talent needs to remain productive throughout the training program. When employees can access training from any device, it empowers them to accomplish their learning at any time: during the morning commute, after the kids go to bed, during lunch hour. Additionally, a training provider should offer an experience that promotes learning at any pace. Successful training tools focus on accommodating the individual learner, regardless of whether they master new material on the first try or on the third.
A flexible program will enable talent to both remain productive at work and maintain work life balance. You should make sure that the flexibility of the program does not negatively impact its quality or its engagement.
Positive Training Record
You need a way to measure a program’s past success to gauge whether or not it is a good fit for your company and for your talent. No company should shop blindly for its L&D program. You should ask L&D programs for case studies and you should also take into consideration the endorsements of other companies that have trained their teams through the program. Are the companies on their past clients list respectable? Has the L&D group worked with companies similar in size and scope to your company? You must do its homework to make sure that your team gets only the best from your L&D training initiatives.
Now that you are prepared, you can begin searching for your L&D provider. Be sure to explore all that Udacity has to offer your talent. Udacity’s courses are built by the top tech talent for the development of top tech talent, which ensures that your workforce will receive the training they need to innovate and propel your company forward.