Developing strong leaders and high performing teams should be one of your organization’s top priorities. There are a lot of options in developing people and, from the perspective of professionals and employees, training is welcomed and appreciated.

As a business leader, the key is taking steps to ensure that training aligns with the goals and objectives of your organization, your teams, individuals and performance management needs.

Consider these eight steps when determining and creating training and development opportunities for your organization:

1. Define your organization’s training goals
Establish the benefits and value that people development brings to your organization. Think return on investment (ROI) and find a way to measure it. Remember, most professionals prefer hard skilled training. As the leader, you need to consider soft skills that align with your specific business needs.

2. Identify the position’s core competencies
Identify the essential and desirable skills that affect performance and results. Establish the organization’s competency and character grid to create a development matrix. If you do not have a development matrix, speak to a human resource professional to understand the acceptable approach to developing the core competencies and people character needed for business growth. An HR on-call professional like those at Legacy Bowes Group can help.

3. Understand your trainee’s skills and style
Assess the trainee’s skills, style, attributes, situation, character and learning style. Knowing the person and team’s learning style will help in determining how to best approach training. Remember that the best development happens when people are engaged. Therefore, make sure people are involved in their development plan and explain and agree on everything with that person. This is a continuous process; ensure you have follow-ups planned.

4. Agree on learning objectives, activities and tasks
Break down each skill to be trained on. Identify and agree on the elements and standards for each part and establish measurements. Assess and agree on the trainee’s current ability to create a baseline for each area that needs development. Be creative on learning activities.

5. Design a training and development plan
Ensure you identify and agree on development priorities. Often technical professionals want to focus on their hard skills as it’s just easier to learn new ways of doing things. Ensure the training plan has a people and culture component aligned with the goals and objectives of your business. Soft skill development opportunities are needed for professionals to excel as great leaders in all businesses and organizations.

6. Implement a long-term learning process
Ensure there is a follow up and review approach in place. Depending on the learning focus, meet weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly to ensure learning and development objectives are reached.

7. Build a framework for review
Make sure to encourage, measure, record and support your people development. Be prepared to adjust the plan and priorities as requirements change. Continue positive, ongoing and recorded reviews.

8. Don’t ignore the plan or your people
Finally, remember that people need guidance on their learning and development throughout the year, not only on their annual performance review day. To achieve steady, continued growth, people require ongoing feedback and encouragement. You cannot set and forget people. Take the time to meet with your team regularly to review their progress and goals.

Don’t waste your people or team’s time trying to fix them; it doesn’t work. Use professional development tools and techniques to ensure you enhance the performance of your people. If you want to create leaders and high performance teams, start building skills that align with the goals and objectives of the organization throughout the year. Focus on training plans that rock to build leaders and high performance teams to grow your business and organization.

Richard Lannon

Richard Lannon is the Vice-President of Strategic Planning and Leadership Development at Legacy Bowes Group. He can be reached at [email protected].