Greetings from Allegro Learning Solutions. I joke with my students and clients that I’m successful at teaching entrepreneurship because I’ve made all the mistakes. It’s not hard to teach a subject when you simply teach learners how not to fail like you did! There’s certainly some truth to this humor. At Allegro, we’re proud of a culture that acknowledges failure and turns it into incremental success. If you’re going to try to disrupt learning and development, not everything is going to work!
This doesn’t mean the Allegro team is insensitive to the implications of failure. Organizations are allocating more resources to learning and development to create agile workforce solutions. These learning initiatives need strong partnerships, clear processes, and effective educational outcomes. Most of the failures that I see in workforce development are due to problems with partners, processes, or outcomes.
The COVID Pandemic has certainly taught us that employees form the foundation of an organization’s ability to adapt. These employees exhibit broad knowledge, learn continuously, and demonstrate a curiousness that helps them creatively solve problems. So how can you build the partnerships, processes, and outcomes to identify and develop these kinds of employees? Here are five suggestions:
- Be proactive versus reactive. So much of human capacity building is reactive instead of proactive. Build clear and proactive processes to help your organization satisfy today’s needs while identifying and preparing employees for tomorrow.
- Establish career ladders on aptitude. Are your career pathways based on aptitude or function? Very few companies evaluate an employee’s quantitative capacity to start her in Finance, move her to Business Intelligence in the Marketing Department, and then upskill her for a Management role in Operations Data Science.
- Be prepared to learn, yourself. It’s amazing how many organizations say they are open and curious but are actually closed to new learning and development approaches. Lean on your partners for best practices and new ways of solving workforce problems.
- Learning is more than content. Project Management is a great example, here. There’s no shortage of good PM content. But companies still struggle with employees who need experiential learning to truly understand how to manage projects. Acknowledge that the learning approach is often as important as the content.
- Embrace diversity. DEI initiatives are a natural fit with workforce development efforts. One place to focus is residency and apprenticeship opportunities that identify and develop entry-level employees from diverse backgrounds. Both partners and processes can ensure your efforts are effective in this critical area.
Building the processes, partnerships, and learning outcomes for your workforce will increase success and reduce failure in human capacity initiatives. These three elements, when done well, will provide a pathway to build your agile and adaptable workforce of tomorrow.
Good luck and let us know if Allegro can help!