Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

6 Really Simple Ways to Boost Learning and Development

Maksim Kabakou/

How do your employees secure the training they require to remain effective? Are needs identified, with content readily available, or do significant lags exist between skill gap identification and supportive training? Does your training directive align with the current path of your organization? Or does content support a vision of the past?

The world of work is ever-changing. This dynamic affects every aspect of how we train and support our team. It is frustrating for employees to seek methods to improve performance -- only to find that relevant offerings are unavailable.

A few things to consider:

Align with vision. Ultimately training should support the vision of your organization, address key industry shifts and help employees fulfill development goals. What skill sets are critical to prepare your team members going forward? Have these been addressed?

Watch for the evolution of required competencies. Roles have a way of evolving before our very eyes. This affects needed training in a variety of ways. For example, consider sales professionals. Customers clearly intersect with a sales team much later in the sales funnel than in the past, due to the changing sales ecosystem. Ensure that training supports this type of shift.

Think desk ready. Stop thinking of training that requires an inordinate amount of time away from the work. (No one enjoys being sequestered for training and returning to a mountain of emails). Training should be fluid and on-demand -- allowing professionals to access content as they require guidance.

Tap into a new territory. Consider innovative ways to develop, curate and deliver content. For example, tap the "best of the best" within your organization to share knowledge and help develop your team. Gather best practice scenarios from top performers, then let them explain the method behind their success. Utilize a library of short videos to deliver that content. (See Gloopt's video platform). On the flip side, explore client/customer failures and strategies to adjust.

Target transferable content. Be specific about content deemed worthy and transferable -- and content that would be characterized as "filler." Create a viable feedback loop to ascertain what works and what doesn't. Jettison content that does not add real value.

Be brutally current. Never rest on your laurels where course materials are concerned. Reproduced slides and handouts from 2005, won't prepare your team for the 21st century.

Marla Gottschalk, an industrial/organizational psychologist, is the director of Thought Leadership at Kilberry Leadership Advisors, Toronto.

(Image via Maksim Kabakou/

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.