Teach employees how to learn, not just what to learn
Today, most employees recognize that constant upskilling is a part of everyone’s career, and 84% of them are satisfied with the learning and development (L&D) solutions available to them. For organizations, though, the return on L&D investment is weak. Of the estimated $145 billion spent annually on training, our research suggests less than half results in tangible returns, and nearly three in four line managers report that employees who participate in L&D initiatives still lack the right skills. Every day, managers say, employees waste about 11% of their time on unproductive learning.
“ Assess employees based on their ability, aspiration, and engagement with the firm”
Leading organizations teach employees how to learn (not just what to learn). They use learning technology to help employees develop learning behaviors and not just consume content. This approach doubles the number of employees with high learning capabilities, and makes it more likely that employees will be ready for the new work environment.
Make the HR team more valuable
HR teams still struggle to communicate effectively to employees how important they are to the business — despite attempts by senior executives to make the point continually. Less than one-fifth of line managers rate HR as an effective partner on this count.
Heads of HR have tried to improve performance but often invest too much in individual employee performance and not enough in workplace culture. HR teams should try to identify and remove organizational barriers that prevent HR business partners from doing their jobs effectively.
Don’t mistake high-performing employees for high-potential employees
Research shows that firms with more effective leaders enjoy twice the revenue and twice the profit growth. Yet high-potential (HIPO) employee programs, designed to develop future leaders in an organization, are statistically more likely to fail than succeed. Data show that 50% of HR managers lack confidence in their HIPO programs, and a staggering five out of six HR managers are dissatisfied with the results.
The trouble starts when organizations assume that a high performer is also a HIPO. In fact, only one in seven high performers are HIPOs. The reason mistakes are so often made is that there is rarely an objective selection process in place for HIPO programs. Those involved in the selection process should assess employees based on their ability, aspiration, and engagement with the firm.
This post originally appeared on CEB Global on November 3, 2014. Current Gartner research may include updated and/or alternative positions on these issues.