How Informal Talent Development Programs Can Produce Impactful Leadership for Organizations

Frontline Leaders Infographic

ASTD infographic on growing frontline leaders through informal learning programs.

Most employees evaluate several factors before starting a new position at a company: Will the work be relevant to career aspirations? Does the company provide a competitive salary? Are there opportunities for growth? In order to successfully recruit and retain these employees for development into future leaders, it’s important to adopt a “hire to retire” approach to talent development.

Early attention toward developing your talent pool provides a head start for an employee’s growth and training as they seek to transition into managerial or leadership roles. For today’s organizations, informal learning is playing an increasingly key role in successful talent development strategies. In a recent ASTD study, learning leaders named the top processes for successful leadership learning as coaching/mentoring (68%), and informal training (66%). Traditional, formal training came in as the third most effective learning method.

Developing your frontline leaders with coaching, mentoring, and informal learning opportunities will create a strong, sustainable organizational pipeline. According to ASTD, doing so impacts your entire organization in terms of “employee engagement, productivity, turnover, ROI, and implementation of change initiatives.” In a study from Sun Microsystems, companies that offered mentoring programs are 25% more likely to retain employees than companies that have yet to implement a clear training objective.

A dedication to building future leaders from the recruitment stage can produce favorable results for your organization and the employee’s career development. Our team at Chronus is among the first talent development advocates to carry forth this new wave of informal training and learning practices with a suite of software to run mentoring, coaching, and training programs. Organizations use our software to start, manage, and measure programs – sometimes multiple tracks of programs – while reducing administrator time and cost. Programs harness the informal learning power through matching mentors and mentees, coaches and coachees, and trainers and trainees in guided learning programs that are tailored to individual learning goals. These all-encompassing learning experiences can be tailored to the interests of your organization while leaving nobody behind, whether it’s new hire training, employee career development, new manager training, or executive coaching.

Probably the most rewarding aspect to what we offer is the value of our software products being translated into real-world results. One of our customers, an aerospace firm, managed to engage over 10,000 employees on a global scale with a career development mentoring program powered by Chronus. In turn, the firm was met with a happier, more satisfied workforce, increased their participation rates, and expanded their mentoring program in the process.

The Predictions for 2014 from Bersin By Deloitte reported over two thirds of surveyed companies as currently reforming their HR practices from a standard service provider to one that engages and retains talent. Talent development for workers and frontline leaders through effective learning and training programs are more than indicators of an organization’s success; it’s changing the way we think, train, and plan for the future. We’re giving employees a new reason to love their jobs and commit to their careers by providing security through training, applicable skills, and knowledge within their preferred job fields.

In this day and age of talent development, keeping your leaders engaged and learning will work wonders on the rest of your organization. We suggest you read the ASTD report “Frontline Leaders: Developing Tomorrow’s Executives,” for further insights and then talk to us about how an informal mentoring, coaching, or training program can help you achieve easy, effective, and measurable results through frontline leadership learning.

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