The best way to learn is the one that fits you
There is probably as many ways of learning as they are individuals. Each of us will have preferences for the type of Activities. To craft an effective employee development plan, it is always a good idea to vary learning activities and diversify the learning experience.
You will need to blend several activity types. How to do so? We would recommend a healthy 10% of Active Learning, where you really engage with the theory of the skill.
Some people prefer to have the theory placed upfront, as we learned this way at school. For most people though, alternating theory with projects and social feedback may produce results even faster, while reducing the frustration of being engaged only with theoretical material. Repeating activities in a pattern is also an option to make sure new competencies are remembered and retained over time.
Huneety doesn’t provide the perfect training plan, we provide you with options to design your own employee development plans.
Learning is a journey
As you may have noticed, Huneety uses a scoring system for the competencies attached to a job position. It is not required to have 100 at all competencies to be good at your job, it’s about having the right level for that position.
For example, as you start your career, junior position may require you to have 20 or 40 scores on certain skills. It means that you are most likely to be involved in execution tasks. As you climb the corporate ladder and access new positions, you will notice a particular can get higher scores, maybe a 60, which mean you are rather strong in that competency. In some “specislists” jobs, you may even have to reach 80 or 100, as you will be involved with higher-value tasks, such as developing systems or training others on that skill.
If you are planning to create your own employee development plans, it may be a good idea to check the “Career development” positions suggested and see which skills will be expected there. It’s also possible that a particular skill is not seen as essential in your “next step” job and will not be listed. Fear not, it’s not that it is not used anymore, it is just not seen as a core skill anymore.
Amount recommended: 10%
What is an Active Learning activity?
Activities which require to be actively engaged with a source material intended to pass knowledge to you directly. Active learning activities are good to pass concepts and teach theory.
Example of Active Learning activities?
The activities designed to pass knowledge directly to you are for example a formal classroom training, an e-learning session provided by your company, or the reading of handbook or manual.
Should Active Learning activities come first?
It’s about being comfortable and retaining the content taught. Some individuals prefer to know all the theory before starting to put in practice. Others need to practice or discuss concepts with others to retain information.
In all cases, remember that knowing and doing are two vary different things. Any Active Learning will require a lot of Social Learning and Stretch Assignment to become a habit you perform without even thinking about it. Practice makes perfect!
Amount recommended: 20%
What is a Social Learning activity?
Human being are social animal. A lot of what we do is enhanced by the fact of doing it in groups. It’s the same about learning any competency. We need others to think better, provide new perspectives and go deeper into concepts.
Social Learning are all the activities that involved other people to strengthen your skillset.
Examples of Social Learning activities?
Social Learning activities can be one-to-one or many-to-one.
Activities include mentoring, for example from an expert in the organization or from your boss directly. This is time invested in providing you a framework and inproving your skills. You can learn from peers as well (360 feedback), or even through your subordinates (reverse mentoring).
Other activities may include mingling with other professionals from the same profession. Good places to do this are networking events or conferences for example. But this should be more than chit-chat, you should be able to build things together and exchange best practices.
Who should I go to start Social Learning activities?
Your organization’s experts are probably a good place to start to get knowledge about particular topics. You may try to start feedback sessions on particular topics, or ask your HR department to organize training sessions.
Learning doesn’t need to come from the top. For example, it can come very naturally to Junior Sales people to use social media to efficiently grow a network of potential customers. In that case, they are probably qualified to teach other members of the organization about their tactics and best practices.
Amount recommended: 70%
What is a Stretch Assignment activity?
Stretch Assignments should represent about 70% of the overall Learning Activity. This is really where you will need to think out of the box. As all companies are different, we can only suggest Stretch Assignments for your employee development plan, the one you will execute will probably look a bit different.
If you are assigning a Stretch Assignment to someone, think about ways to use a newly acquired skill. A good time to ask a Stretch Assignment is after an Active Learning session, to put skills into practice. Stretch Assignments should be outside of the usual work routine.
How is Stretch Assignment different from my normal job?
In a Stretch Assignment, you will go beyond the usual tasks performed. It may require a long amount of time to execute that task, require you to coordinate with several departments, give you exposure to upper management levels. It will likely require you to go back to your theoretical learning to use learned frameworks.
A person involved in a Stretch Assignment should know it’s being tested on a more difficult task and that this is part of the learning journey. In many companies, employees do not think of tasks as a way to learn and therefore they will not recognize they have been given the change to learn through a project. Communication by the supervisor or HR is here key to ensure employee motivation during that difficult task.