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According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, two-thirds of the workers in this generation plan to leave their work organizations by the year 2020. With Millennials expected to make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, businesses cannot ignore the potential impact of this influential group. While 66 percent of Millennials are ready to change jobs, a similar percentage believe that their leadership skills are not being developed. Tackling this specific issue within your organization can help increase loyalty and build a robust leadership pipeline, especially as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age.

Leadership Development for MillennialsLeadership Development for Millennials

In order to be successful in the long term, employers must evolve with the changing needs of the generations that flow through the organization. A company’s largest asset is its workforce. Ignoring leadership development for Millennials could result in a dearth of talent down the road. Consider the following tips as you create your leadership development strategy.

PRESENT A CLEAR GOAL PATH

Having the opportunity to advance in their careers is important to Millennials when making decisions about where to work. Presenting a clear path to leadership with milestones along the way will demonstrate that your organization offers career advancement. A structured training program that culminates in leadership development demonstrates a commitment to young up-and-coming employees and has the potential to increase loyalty among Millennials as they plan for their future career.

Practical tip: Present the path to leadership in the recruitment stage to attract top talent. Use milestones to benchmark stages of career growth and set clear goals for attaining the next level.

INCORPORATE TECHNOLOGY INTO TRAINING AND RETENTION

As the first whole generation to grow up with computers, Millennials have a strong connection with technology. Incorporating technology into your leadership development program will help keep these individuals more engaged and increase the likelihood of participation.

Practical tip: Use digital measurement and reinforcement tools to keep training concepts top of mind and promote ongoing engagement.

EMBRACE THEIR SOCIAL SIDE

In the age of social media and constant connectedness, Millennials expect to interact with others frequently and in short bursts, even in the workplace. Open communication is also important for this group, and internal social media platforms can be used to quickly disseminate information and solicit real-time feedback.

Practical tip: Tap into this desire to be social and collaborative by creating online forums, discussion groups, and social platforms to support leadership training initiatives.

GIVE POTENTIAL LEADER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Investing the time and resources into one-on-one coaching and mentoring will go a long way with the Millennial generation. Monthly meetings with mentors provide continual reinforcement that employees are not being overlooked for leadership positions. Millennials also tend to have strong positive reactions to praise and personal attention, especially from senior leaders.

Practical tip: Implement a coaching program to develop skills in potential leaders. Two-way mentorship programs among younger employees will also support the social and collaborative tendencies of Millennials.

Although every generation might have different goals and ideals, people of all ages can benefit from experiential learning for leaders. Having the ability to test new leadership skills in a safe environment allows participants to try new behaviors without the risk of failure. Following up experiential learning with digital reinforcement tools and one-on-one coaching will support Millennial preferences for using technology and gaining personal connections at the same time.

EF authorABOUT THE AUTHOR

As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s extensive senior leadership experience and facilitation skills have established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert. She has a proven track record of successfully leading culture transformation in Fortune 500 companies and has established herself as an authority on training and development. Sue has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed solutions for Eagle’s Flight.

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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More and more businesses are adding experiential learning to their corporate training strategies for one important reason: It works. It only takes one successful training event to convince both decision-makers and participants that this valuable learning approach results in higher levels of engagement, a deeper understanding of the concepts being taught, and, most important, better performance on the job.

A successful experiential learning event has eight key elements:

  1. An immersive experience that takes participants to another world
  2. A theme that is deliberately far removed from the reality of the workplace
  3. A challenge that is captivating and fun
  4. An experience that poses an exact metaphor for a real-world problem
  5. Results that are a direct reflection of the team’s behavior
  6. Compression of time to demonstrate how behavioral change impacts results
  7. A debrief that highlights the principles learned during the experience
  8. Conviction among participants to change behavior and improve performance

The #1 Element You Can't Miss in Training with Experiential LearningAlthough it is not the first item in this list, a highly relevant debrief is the single most important element in achieving the goals of experiential learning. Without it, participants enjoyed a fun and engaging experience, and they probably learned something new, but they won’t necessarily understand how the experience is relevant to their job.

Watch the video: Understanding & Integrating Experiential Learning Into Your Existing Initiatives

THE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING DEBRIEF: CONNECTING THE DOTS

Without clearly linking the experience to the reality of the workplace, it’s not fair to expect participants to change their behavior when they return to their jobs. They might have mastered the art of problem-solving in the context of a spy game, but that doesn’t mean they will know how to apply that new knowledge to improving processes at work. The key is to make this connection while participants are still excited about the experience.

An experienced facilitator will guide the group through a discussion that links two important concepts:

  • How to win in the game
  • How to win at work

Having just tried to win a challenge or solve a puzzle, they will desperately want to know how they performed compared to other teams and what they could have done differently to achieve the best possible results. This is the facilitator’s chance to spark a discussion about the various behaviors that lead to a win in the game and to clearly outline the key learning concepts.

After the group understands all of the elements that are critical to success in the game, it’s time to link the experience to reality by discussing how the key concepts that it just outlined will also help it win at work. This is the most important component of experiential learning, because it enables participants to translate their excitement about winning the game into conviction about improving performance at work.

The facilitator guides the conversation and allows participants to connect these dots on their own. In order to do this, the facilitator must have a deep understanding of the daily challenges that participants face, the dynamics between team members, and the common processes in the organization.

Although it is one of the last steps of an experiential learning training session, the debrief is arguably the most critical. Of course, the debrief relies on all of the steps that happen before it, so the experience itself must also be well-executed. Working with a seasoned experiential learning provider will ensure that all elements of the experience, from creating the theme through facilitating a meaningful debrief, will provide the necessary level of expertise and positively impact the participants when they return to their jobs.

Dave_RootABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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Experiential-Learning-vs-Standard-Training-Whats-the-Difference-e1488260735469

The primary goal of corporate training is typically to improve performance on an individual, team, or company-wide level. There are multiple ways to achieve this goal, including both a variety of standard training approaches and experiential learning. In many cases, a combination of training methods employed on an ongoing basis provides the most advantages, so it’s useful to understand the benefits of each.

Standard Training-Learning by Reading, Listening or Watching.

Traditional training approaches have been used for decades with varying degrees of success. One of the main advantages of standard training is that once the materials or curriculum has been developed, it is relatively affordable to implement. Some of the tools used for standard training are:

  • Slide-based presentations
  • Videos
  • Digital training platforms
  • Training manuals
  • Classroom lectures
  • Case studies
  • Role-play scenarios
  • Group discussions
  • Exercises and activities

Although all of these standard training methods can be useful, they also come with limitations. In many cases, it is easy for participants to tune out, especially if they have no reason to actively participate. Following up a training session with a quiz can help increase engagement, but the forgetting curve tells us that much of the information that participants learned is forgotten within days or weeks of the training.

Experiential Learning—Learning by Doing

In contrast to standard training, experiential learning requires participants to actively engage in an immersive challenge that mirrors problems they face in the real world. The themed activity creates a metaphor for these real-world challenges and allows participants to solve them in a safe space, often without realizing that they are learning something new. By working together to find the best solution, trainees can test, learn, and hone new skills that can then be applied in the workplace.

The key to a successful experiential learning event is a skillful debrief that connects the lessons learned in the activity to the real world. Therefore, it is crucial for a facilitator to highlight the metaphor, as it enables the participants to see the parallels between the experience and the real world and also how they can improve performance on the job.

Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to combat learning decay and create lasting change in an organization. Participants leave the training not only with new skills that they can practice on the job, but with a strong desire to improve performance. Because they just experienced how successful they can be, they are eager to make a positive change in the workplace.

Combine Training Methods for Maximum Effect

Fortunately, you don’t have to decide between these two corporate training approaches. Combining standard training with experiential learning offers the best of both worlds. Starting the day with experiential learning will spark enthusiasm and encourage participants to continue to stay engaged. They will also be better able to connect with the training content after viscerally experiencing how their actions can have an impact, especially if other training sessions reference the skills obtained during the experiential learning event.
Organizations that take a multi-faceted training approach get the benefits of affordable training methods that are relatively easy to deploy, along with powerful experiential learning events that have the potential to create lasting performance improvement.

IanABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

Re-blogged by Eagle’s Flight

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In recent years, there seems to have been a widening gap in the corporate training world between expectations and reality. According to a Deloitte survey published in 2015, managers claimed that the area of learning and development was more important than ever and yet, at the same time, they admit that they’ve become even less prepared to meet learning and development needs.
Let’s make 2017 the year to turn things around. Here are four promising trends surrounding the measurement and assessment of corporate training programs that can help get your company on the right track:

1. Focus on Real Needs, First

Forget the bells and whistles of fancy corporate training programs for a moment, because it’s time to get back to basics which means deciding what your training needs really are. This seems like a crucial step in training development, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. Companies may chase after vendor-supplied corporate training programs that will claim to solve all of their problems (without understanding what those problems are), or they rely on the outdated in-house training they’ve always used—even if needs have shifted.

2017 will see a renewed effort to match up corporate training programs with real, demonstrated needs, rather than just going through the motions. This means taking stock of the company’s current realities by meeting with key leadership one on one and identifying what’s enabling your current level of success and what’s blocking you from going even higher.

2. Defining a Baseline for Measurement

In the same vein as the above, corporate training programs need to shift focus from what goes on during training to what happens before it begins. When it comes to measurement, that means clearly defining what you will measure as a result of the training. And, obviously, to measure improvement, you must first measure where you are.

In 2017, it’s time to get granular. Once you’ve established an understanding of your company’s “big picture” current reality, use measurement tools—like organizational surveys—to develop tangible numbers and specifics that speak to that reality. Developing a clear, specific baseline results in well-designed, responsive corporate training programs that make measuring ROI a whole lot easier.

3. Develop On-Demand Learning—and Measurement

The use of cutting-edge technology in corporate training programs has been on the rise for years. While nothing can replace immersive, experiential learning, there is most definitely a place for technology in training, especially as a learning retention tool.

Today’s workers—which is now composed of more than 53 million Millennials—crave on-demand learning at their fingertips. To meet this craving, companies should look into developing retention programs that take the form of apps, which can work on computers and mobile phones and are fun, short, and effective. With up to 70 percent of training being lost to learning decay within just one week, easy-to-use and addictively engaging retention activities should help stop up the learning leak.

Plus, it’s easier and faster to track learning gains through technology. While employees are engaging in learning and retention games on their phones, companies are able to collect real-time data on learning improvements to measure progress. This allows them to make quicker decisions about changes to their corporate training programs or retention strategies. Watch for more of a focus not just on tech and learning but also on tech and measurement in 2017.

4. Bringing Training and Business Strategy Together

Perhaps the biggest trend in 2017 will be a continuation of the recent push to marry HR direction and business strategy—and measurement will play a huge role. As competition for highly skilled employees remains high, training and retaining top talent become just as much a strategic initiative as an HR one. Thus, determining ROI becomes more important than ever, as it’s an indication of whether your training is working or not, yes, but it’s also an indication of whether or not a company is retaining its competitive edge.

2017 can also be the year that companies dig deeper with assessments. In addition to more traditional assessment and measurement tactics like surveys and tests, companies should also explore how assessments can help prime the leadership pipeline—which should be a major strategic initiative for any forward-thinking organization. Companies can use post-training assessments to discover those employees who have made the largest learning gains, which is an impressive feat which higher-ups should take notice of. Plus, assessments of high performers before training can be used to identify the common competencies that a company’s highest performers share. Then, training can be designed to deliver those competencies, thus ensuring a pipeline of top talent ready to step into leadership roles when they are needed.

A clear strategy for measuring results is crucial to any successful corporate training program. What trends in measurement do you think we’ll see—or need to see—in 2017?

 

MichaelAbout the author

Michael’s singular focus is rooted in staying connected to learners the moment they step out of the classroom and back into their busy jobs. As SVP of Learning Performance, Michael brings business savvy depth to ensuring learning is reinforced, applied and is optimally aligned to delivering on strategic objectives. His proven track record in creating measurement frameworks and reinforcement solutions that add value to the learner, leaders and executive sponsors is highly valued across the spectrum of our client engagements.

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You want to get the most from your company training programs, both in terms of organizational results and economically. It’s just good business. Failure to choose a program that aligns with employee and company needs often means the organization will not see a return on investment. If you have determined that your organizational training initiative isn’t delivering the desired results, it’s time to figure out why. As you evaluate your existing company training programs, consider these five common reasons why they might not be providing ROI.five-reasons-your-companys-training-programs-arent-providing-roi

1. You’re All Over the Map

In general, executives and human resources personnel should implement the specific types of training that best address organizational needs. When this doesn’t happen, the corporate training program lacks direction and cohesion. You can identify this problem when you hear comments such as “That training was interesting, but I don’t understand how it applies to my job” or, even worse, “Why are we even doing this?” If individuals can’t relate the training to practical solutions, or if they don’t feel that it’s relevant to their jobs, you won’t see results, and your ROI will suffer.

How to fix it: Clearly define your organizational goals and identify the company training programs that will help you achieve them. For example, if you’re striving to develop high-performance teams, look for a training program that focuses specifically on the key elements of teamwork.

2. You Haven’t Connected the Dots

It’s a change in behavior after the training that increases performance, not the training itself. Whether you seek process improvement or increased customer service from your employees, make sure you tie the training to reality and clearly articulate the behavior change you expect to see. Your employees need clearly defined outcomes of the training in order to change their performance effectively and for your training to have an impact on results.

How to fix it: Every training session should include a discussion about how to apply the newly learned skills in real-life work situations. Make it clear that change is expected and ensure that individuals have the resources and knowledge they need to implement the desired behaviors. It’s key to revisit the training afterwards to ensure participants remember what was taught and they continually apply it to their jobs. Some organizations find it helpful to run a quick activity learned during training in meetings to reinforce the training importance and application.

3. Your Train(ing) Is on the Wrong Track

Not every training is the right fit for every individual. If your company training programs don’t match the skill levels or job functions of the people in the room, you could be wasting valuable training dollars. You can diagnose this problem when you hear things like “That training was way over my head” or “I already knew all of that stuff; what a waste of time.”

How to fix it: Perform a skills assessment to identify knowledge gaps in various roles and at different levels within the organization. Then select the programs that are most appropriate for certain groups of individuals. For example, if your organization wants to develop a pipeline of future leaders through a leadership development training initiative, focus on developing front-line employees with leadership potential, mid-level managers, and supervisors. Select courses that are suitable for each job level and build from there.

4. You Don’t Have a Retention Plan in Place

For company training programs to be truly effective, individuals need to remember what they learned.  Some learning decay is normal, but if you aren’t proactive about reinforcing new knowledge, you are contributing to a lower training ROI. Participants will lose 70% of what they learned in the first week after training.  The impact of training fades before the learning can become ingrained in the organization.

How to fix it: Organizations that focus on support, follow-up, and real-world application get the greatest return on training investment. Develop a retention strategy that includes periodic refreshers, quizzes, and discussion groups to keep the new knowledge and skills in the forefront.

5. You Aren’t Measuring Performance

Measuring performance after training is critical for improving ROI. If individuals lag in some areas that training content addressed, you can immediately confront the issue. However, you may have forgotten about this key step when initiating your training. You won’t know where the gaps are unless you measure results.

How to fix it: You can’t fix what you don’t measure. Knowledge retention and behavior change should be measured before your initiative is kicked off and at various points after the training ends. Measurement can be performed through feedback, surveys, testing, or other methods. You can also use internal milestones such as fewer customer service complaints or more repeat sales to identify training ROI.

Finding the best program to train staff members does not have to be difficult. Keep these five tips in mind as you evaluate company training programs and a good ROI will naturally follow.

 

SUEAbout the author

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Introducing new concepts, systems, or processes in a work environment is rarely as simple as sending an email and immediately getting the desired results. Successfully convincing individuals to change their behavior in the workplace requires:

  • Clear communication about expectations
  • An organizational training program that provides the necessary skills
  • Consistent reinforcement and measurement 5-change-management-activities-to-add-to-your-meeting-agenda

This might seem like a tall order, and indeed it does require a comprehensive overall strategy, but there are some simple change management activities you can do on a daily basis.

Meetings are the most logical place for change management activities because you have the attention of the entire group at the same time. You can ensure that people be hear the message and create a greater likelihood of understanding what you say. Consider adding these change management activities to your next meeting agenda:

1. Status Updates

Have an agenda item for status updates about  initiatives occurring in your organization. For example, if your organization is shifting to a customer-centric culture, a sales staff meeting might include an update about the new sales process that is under development. This is also a great opportunity to gather input from the sales team about how to be more customer centric and get the team to start thinking in that mindset.

Status updates should include:

  • What initiatives are currently happening
  • The status of each initiative
  • The next steps for each initiative

The individuals providing the updates will have to stay on top of their assigned tasks, and others will feel more involved in the process, especially if they have the opportunity to provide feedback during status updates.

2. Reinforcement Exercises

If your strategy includes organizational training, one of the most important change management activities you can do is reinforcement exercises. The human brain will only retain so much information (10-30%) after a training session, unless you actively recall the lessons learned. Adding a quick reinforcement exercise such as a quiz, game, or discussion about how to apply the new knowledge in the workplace will keep the information fresh in the minds of participants and encourage them to apply and use their new skills.

3. Introduce the Next Initiative

Make time to discuss the next change that is on the horizon, even if you don’t plan to roll it out for several months. Communicating early about changes to come will allow individuals to mentally prepare in advance. Providing regular updates about the plans in the pipeline will reduce the inevitable anxiety that people feel about change. Giving individuals an opportunity to provide feedback will make them feel more invested in the process and increase the likelihood that they will embrace the new systems. Clear communication about upcoming initiatives also demonstrates that leadership has a strategy in place and a plan for executing it.

4. Recognize Successes

Create an agenda item that prompts you to identify all of the successful milestones or accomplishments since the previous meeting. These could be as simple as an individual who exhibited one of the desirable behaviors identified in a recent training, or as significant as a team who measurably improved their sales numbers. When individuals know that leadership is paying attention and that they will be rewarded for their efforts, they are more likely to adopt the changes you are introducing. and more likely to perform at their peak. Many leaders don’t realize how impactful recognition can be, especially in a public form like a team meeting.

5. Action Items

Every productive meeting should include action items that are assigned to individuals and have clear deadlines. Action items go hand-in-hand with status updates on your agenda. Everybody knows that they will be expected to report back to the group, increasing the likelihood that they will complete their assigned tasks. Action items also provide the benefit of keeping a project moving forward.

It’s unrealistic to expect individuals to change their behavior without some motivation. Including these change management activities in your meetings helps maintain momentum, gives leadership a forum for introducing new changes to come, and increases accountability. What agenda items did you include in your last meeting?

 

sueAbout the author

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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Creating a Leadership Culture at Every Level of an OrganizationA culture of leadership in your organization has many great benefits, especially if it exists in every level of your company. A leadership culture will make all your staff feel like valued stakeholders thus striving to deliver results and exceed expectations. Best of all, they feel valued and empowered. Individuals tend to rise through the leadership ranks, which means your organization retains staff and the on-the-job knowledge they’ve accumulated. This is no small accomplishment. Although few metrics can truly quantify the loss of knowledge when staff members move on, costs do add up in terms of recruitment, lost opportunities, and replacement.
By creating a leadership culture at every level of the organization, you’re also creating a culture of accountability, boosting overall productivity, and raising organizational outcomes. How can you get started? Below we’ve outlined five methods to create the leadership culture.
1. Provide the Right Foundation

Prepare newer and junior-level staff to be leaders in waiting by giving them skills to increase focus, improve efficiency, and maximize their individual impact within a team. They need to be able to be accountable and lead themselves and their own projects before they translate those skills to leading a team. These foundational tools include time management, communication, and listening skills. By acquiring these skills trainees learn to:
Communicate effectively, recognize and work around barriers that break down communication
Practice active listening which helps avoid communication conflicts and misunderstandings
Manage their time effectively which will set them up to have the time to learn and take on more responsibility

2. Build Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is very important; it allows individuals to learn how to build relationships with their personal style and understand how to best interact with others. Behavior profiles are simple to complete and will allow your staff to analyze their style of interaction. Team members will learn their specific attributes, strengths, and opportunities for growth and improvement. Because there is a direct connection between relationship building and leadership, these self-assessment tools can be powerful for everyone assessed. Staff at all levels of the organization learn how to leverage the differences and the talents of other people on their teams and within the organization.
How do you create a thriving culture? Learn more in Phil Geldart’s book. Get a free copy!

3. Offer Targeted Leadership Training

Leadership skills training is often most applicable for frontline employees with leadership potential and mid-level managers. This type of training offers them the skills, techniques, and methods to actually lead a team or department. They’ll learn to put their decisions into action. Through training, participants are able to:

  • Understand their role in the organization
  • Plan, organize, and manage in a productive manner
  • Work more closely with direct reports, colleagues, and senior management
  • Encourage team performance
  • Make and implement decisions

4. Ensure Fluid Teams

Supervisors and managers should understand how their actions impact their immediate team and the environment around them. This is a practical leadership skill. This knowledge allows for:

  • Strong leaders that are the crux of high performing and focused teams
  • Team leaders who are confident in giving and receiving feedback
  • Leaders willing and able to coach their direct reports
  • Leaders that take an active role in their personal and professional development

5. Don’t Leave Out Executives

Encourage executives to attend leadership programs to polish and improve their skills. All great leaders continue to learn and improve. These programs help those within an organization’s top ranks:
Define a common organizational language and ensure its consistent use

  • Create accountability at all levels
  • Encourage self-esteem to unleash human potential
  • Increase the importance of teamwork throughout the organization
  • Creating a leadership culture at all levels of the organization leads to an empowered workforce with limitless potential. Put these tactics in place and see the dividends pay off within your own organization.

About the author

sue

 

Sue, an authority on training and development, has over 20 years of experience in the creation and delivery of programs and custom designed training solutions for Eagle’s Flight. As Chief Operating Officer, Sue’s vast senior leadership experience and facilitation has established her as a trusted partner and organizational development expert for numerous Fortune 500 companies.

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