I Choo-Choo-Choose You: Tips for Choosing Learning and Development Activities
An important part of any learning and development program is recognizing that learning and development can take a variety of forms. When employees and their managers discuss which learning activities to try, it is important to consider the following factors.
People have different learning styles and preferences. For example, some people may prefer to learn by observing someone else perform an activity before trying it themselves, while others may prefer to jump in and attempt the activity themselves. Learning Style surveys are a great way to discover how you learn best.
Look for learning activities that will allow you to work on more than one development goal
It is a good idea to seek out learning activities and experiences that will allow you to work on more than one development goal at a time. In other words, an activity that will allow you to develop your skills, experience, or knowledge in more than one area. For example, by taking on an assignment in which you are responsible for managing project delivery, you may develop your knowledge of project management principles as well as the competencies managing resources and planning and organizing.
Training can be a good way to build foundational skills and knowledge
Just like you can’t learn to golf without learning some basic foundational skills, such as the rules of the game or which club to use, you may need to learn some basic skills or knowledge before applying these skills to a project or assignment. Prior to a new assignment, you and your manager can discuss if you will need to develop some foundational skills or knowledge through training or another development method.
Application of learning to on-the-job activities is critical
Applying what you have learned to on-the-job activities and asking for feedback is critical. You need to transfer what you have learned to the job. You can start with more simple or basic opportunities and then work your way up to more complex applications.
Look for learning opportunities that have a high impact
It is a good idea to select learning activities that will not only allow you to grow as an individual in your role but also those activities that can lead to important outcomes for your area and/or the organization. It is also a good idea to pick learning activities in which the time frame and resources are enough for you to reach your goals.
Check out our Learning and Development Toolkit for more tips, tools, and templates!