Engagement Rich Training Model = Culture Differentiator

learning model pic engagemnt

By, Cari Desiderio

The Engagement Rich Model

As the field of talent management evolves, it is becoming clearer that a critical formula to make this stick is a rich layer of engagement and values mindset in the process. This is because the brand of the company and the value sell of the environment need to be deeply woven into the human resource development model. True learning organizations have a mixture of values + purpose + environments of growth and stretch. This is a lynchpin in engaging and retaining the high potentials who can easy wander if there is not something dynamic and exciting to capture their attention.

The Five Sections

The five sections of this learning pyramid tie to culture, development in one’s current role, development into one’s future role and simply growing as a person and as a leader (with an “everyone leads” philosophy which suits our flatter organizations and builds self worth). More and more research are proving that the very act of feeling one is growing and improving is the key here. Certainly career paths need to have positional direction overall. But if some development activities just “grow me as a person” so to speak, I see that the company cares about my whole self. This act of attention is a key differentiator in the overall engagement equation. And, so, it is super important to show visually that the company is setting out to grow a whole person, not just their future XYZ position. It’s all the difference in the world. Either we develop people we care about. Or we just see people as objects to fill jobs. The former creates loyalty and respect. The latter creates high turnover and bad culture.

Getting Granular – Bringing Development To Life

Where the rubber meets the road is where pie in the sky ideas become tangible, practice, workable plans. This is one reason it is important to have a simple, visual and printable action plan for your team members’ development. Software can be very useful too of course. But make sure that every person on your team has a simple and workable map of their learning activities. Some years back my team installed a dynamic HRIS system with an extensive Learning Management and Performance Management arm to it. We hired a consultant and had her map about 70-80 competencies for each job at the company. We then built this into our reviews and succession planning in the HRIS system, so it was visual and automated. This was overall a success in terms of evolving us to a higher level of performance ownership and learning culture. However, one critique I walked away with was that it was too complicated. To hand a team member a print out with 80 things to learn for their current role, paired with a second printout with 80 more things to learn for their succession role, was just too complex. In this overwhelming data, real learning was curtailed.

A Few Examples

So, let’s break this down. In the spirit of simplicity, a workable and engagement rich training model might have about 3-5 core activities going on in each of the five areas. That means no more than 15-25 activities on the development plan heat map at one time. This should map directly to performance reviews and manager communication touch points.

Below is a very simple map of some examples. Identify what the Competency or KSA being grown is. Tie is to the pyramid and show linkage to how it develops the individual as a person, or into a future career path. Then the action items should blend interactive and classroom like training. For example, to build spreadsheets certainly an Excel class could be a simple assigned activity. But to learn how to really bring voice of the customer to life, the team member might lead a larger scale VOC project involving customer interface and internal team interface. Or, to learn to conduct an investigation well the junior HR associate might shadow and learn directly from a senior HR manager.

Make each task meaningful, and tie it to making a person a better them. Remember that development tied to culture and caring, are game changers!

Section of the Pyramid Current Role Role that Assignment Ties To: KSA (Knowledge/Skill/Ability) or Competency that Assignment Ties To:
Core Values Base Marketing Manager All Roles – Core Values are Universal Putting Customers First
Functional Field Knowledge Base Financial Analyst Current Role (Financial Analyst) Building Spreadsheets with Advanced Excel
Stretch Assignments Base HR Associate All Roles – The Act of Stetching (Doing Somethiing Hard for Us) is a Universal Goal Solving Complex Problems
The Future Assignments Base Manufacturing Manager Future Desired Role – Plant Manager Managing a P&L
The Leadership Base IT Supervisor Current Role and Future Desired Role (IT Supervisor, IT Manager) Developing Others

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