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3 Training and Development Trends to Embrace in 2017

By Sue Wigston on January 13, 2017

3 Training and Development Trends to Embrace in 2017.jpgThe end of the year is typically a time for businesses to reflect on the past 12 months and plan for the next cycle. This is a time when managers finalize budgets, propose new learning initiatives, and sketch the outline for the year’s corporate training strategy. Staying with the status quo is always an option, but the best training managers observe emerging trends to act on them and ensure that the organization is taking advantage of all the available tools.

3 Training and Development Trends to Consider for 2017

As you develop your training strategy for the coming year, think about how incorporating these emerging trends could help boost your business.

1. Leadership Training Gets Focused

According to Inc. magazine, organizations are starting to spend more resources on harnessing natural leadership skills, rather than trying to fit round pegs into square holes. This means that not every individual in the same position necessarily needs the same training and development. Putting managers on different leadership development tracks to enhance existing skills will yield better results than trying to develop everybody at the same pace. This type of targeted training results in a well-rounded team composed of individuals with deep knowledge in certain areas, rather than a mediocre team that strives to keep pace with each other in all areas.   

How can you capitalize on the trend? Start with a leadership assessment to determine how each shines and then place managers in the leadership development programs that make the most sense for their natural skill sets.

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2. Training Programs for Remote Employees

The same Inc. article predicts a rise in training programs for remote employees. As business models have shifted from centrally located offices to scattered employees, training programs have not evolved as effectively to support them. Whether remote employees are located across town or across the country, they may have different training needs from those of their office-based counterparts. As the hiring of remote employees continues and grows, this will lead to a greater focus on training these needs of these remote individuals.  

How can you capitalize on the trend? If you have remote employees, be sure your training program can appropriately accommodate them. Periodic in-person experiential training is a great place to start, but remote employees need more support after training because they are not exposed to a consistent office culture. Consider using digital reinforcement and measurement tools that the entire team can access from any location to stay connected after training initiatives.  

3. Feedback Goes Live

A recent Deloitte report about the HR software market predicts a shift toward real-time feedback systems for employees. What does this mean for training and development? Organizations have an opportunity to identify and fix problems faster than ever before. Managers will be able to quickly see learning gaps and determine which training programs are most effective, giving them the ability to make time efficient course corrections rather than waiting for monthly or annual feedback surveys.  

How can you capitalize on the trend? Incorporate real-time feedback into your measurement and reinforcement strategy to get the most from your training investment. Look for software that helps you identify trends and outliers so that you can quickly act on the data rather than waiting for manual analysis.

A new year calls for a fresh approach to organizational training and development. Determine which trends are a good fit for your business and ride the wave. Training trends tend to build on each other year after year, so the faster and more openly you embrace them, the more advanced your program will be when it comes time to do the same evaluation process next year.

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Sue Wigston

About 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.

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