Learning and Development: A Strategic Function: Stage 3
Learning and Development: A Strategic Function:
Stage 3: Implementation and Delivery
Over the past two months, we have reviewed the first two stages of the training cycle with the aim of creating a better understanding of the key aspects of an integrated and holistic approach to L&D. Following on from April’s edition of the newsletter which focused on stage 2 of the training cycle – Design and Development, we will now spend some time to discuss stage 3 ‘Implementation & Delivery’. As a reminder, the four stages of the training cycle are illustrated below:
One of the key challenges for many L&D professionals during the implementation and delivery stage is how to engage participants in a way that is meaningful and productive. Regardless of the medium used for this, albeit digital or face to face, the training environment must be such that participants feel safe, comfortable and free to express themselves openly which are all key ingredients to aid the learning process.
Planning for implementation and delivery should ideally begin during the Design stage. This starts with understanding the needs and background of the target audience which includes their previous experiences, their skills, their knowledge and their specific goals and expectations from the learning intervention which can directly impact their motivation and participation.
In an ever evolving world of L&D, more and more professionals are connecting through social interfaces to share expertise and these interfaces are now considered obvious and progressive channels for engaging learners. Learning through mediums such as e-learning, social learning platforms, on the job training, and peer learning are all becoming more and more popular compared to the traditional trainer led, classroom based approach. Some of the benefits of these evolving mediums include cost effectiveness, efficient use of time and resources, independent and self-directed learning and enhanced knowledge sharing. One of the potential pitfalls however, to watch out for when using social and digital learning platforms is to ensure the authenticity of the content and source.
Where trainer led, classroom based, training is necessary, an appropriate mix of interactive activities and methods that offer differentiated learning and complement theoretical concepts should be considered. This may include, but not be limited to, hands-on individual activities, group exercises, presentations, simulations, case study analysis etc. The table below (adapted from Calao, 2011) presents a comparative analysis of the most commonly used training methods:
For classroom based training, when it comes to trainer selection, it is important to consider where this expertise might come from. In addition to the obvious external sources, organisations should consider internal resources which can prove to be a more cost effective alternative and bring with them specific subject matter expertise and an understanding of the business context. This can also be a very good development opportunity for your employees.
The implementation and delivery aspect of the overall training cycle is the most impactful in many ways and contributes significantly to the overall participant experience and the learning process.