Maksim Kabakou/

6 Really Simple Ways to Boost Learning and Development

Training doesn't have to require so much time away from the work.

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/

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