Identifying Training Needs
The toughest part of developing your team is the starting point. Start by getting to understand your team members’ skills and strengths. Review and update their roles, talk to them, and watch them working. Often, just asking the right questions can reveal what we feel are skill gaps in your team. For example, what is the core competency of a person? How does this competency, skill add value to the team? And what is your team’s most urgent performance issue?
This is useful if your workplace does not implement performance management, that is a system of regularly testing and improving people’s performance. If your team members are not used to having their performance tested and developed in this way, they may view it as a negative judgment of their competency. Just gathering specific information about what they require to succeed in their roles will help them positively develop themselves.
You can use a Training Needs Assessment to help you to identify who needs to develop their skills, and what kind of training is right for them. This will allow you to select training in a targeted way for the people who really need it.
Choosing the Right Training Methods
Now that you’ve marked out the areas where your teammates can improve, you can start choose training to suit their needs. However, finding the right balance between different ways of learning that will suit everyone can be a real challenge.
Some suggest that 70 percent of learning happens through real-life work experience, such as daily tasks; 20 percent through conversations with other people, such as coaching from leaders; and 10 percent through training programs. Here, you need to design a good training program to give people the opportunity to use the skills they need to develop, discuss them with more experienced practitioners, and then train appropriately.
Using professional musicians as a parallel example, musical and performance skills need to be constantly practiced, applied, polished and perfected. Musicians know that a great training coach makes a big difference in their music. Also, working with other musicians in variety of settings, playing different genres of music helps them grow in their creative expression. They tend to be the ones in higher market demand as well.