Developing employees is not like it used to be. That’s sort of a “duh” statement considering the challenges of the day:
⇒ Attention spans have dropped to a negative balance.
⇒ Information-overload-itis has become the all-encompassing oxymoronic disease of which we can’t seem to get enough.
⇒ A growing portion of the pie chart section labeled, “number of employees who don’t give a f_ _ _.”
Yes, people certainly have changed, and businesses constantly change too. So, why then do most companies still utilize the same ‘ole learning and development strategies that no longer work? Partly because most are unaware of the recent (yet ancient) alternatives.
Here’s how to enter the Awareness Generation and begin evolving your strategies. Implement the following 4 Keys to Igniting Human Brilliance in the Workplace:
- Upgrade your people first. People are your company’s # 1 asset. So, even though keeping up with advancing technology may be important…people need upgrades too. In fact, people drive technology, so upgrade your people first! Gracefully and constantly remind the budget approvers that when your people are malfunctioning, installing all the cutting-edge technology in the world won’t help your business. Set your priority as people before technology.
- Engage a root-cause learning philosophy. It’s the “Information Age” when, in a just a few clicks, all the info we could ever need appears—literally before our eyes. In the Training & Development space, it may seem counter-intuitive to say this, but it’s completely true…people don’t need more information—they need personal transformation. Everything, everything, everything in workplace performance starts from inside a person’s mind and ripples out from there. So, why not employ a root-cause solution by engaging a ‘personal transformation foundation’ under your entire Training & Development structure? Then, enjoy a domino effect—when people learn to upgrade themselves, subsequent skill development flows more smoothly and is retained more fruitfully.
- Recognize and release ‘insane’ behaviors. You can’t fix the mind using the mind. What? I repeat, you can’t fix the mind using your mind. Have you tried? Of course you have—we all have—over, and over, and over. It won’t work, it can’t work—that’s an inconvenient and universal law. So, why do companies keep employing the same methods to develop their people’s minds and expect a different result? Actually, the ‘why’ doesn’t really matter. Just rejoice in the fact that unconventional, yet easy to employ, vehicles for professional development do exist. Mindfulness, meditation, sound therapy, physical body/yogic movements and vocal tuning work effectively to get people out of their typical minds and into an altered mind space for real learning. If you still resist this fact, research the boatload of recent, scientific studies proving effectiveness. Let’s invoke En Vogue and sing it out, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.”
- Start, don’t think. Thinking about whether or not this will work for your company or your people won’t bring results (see #3 above). Plan instead to start, to jump in—even if it doesn’t make perfect sense yet (see #3 above). Some things simply can’t be put into linear, logical boxes—Igniting Human Brilliance in the Workplace is one of those things. If your Training & Development goals include the phrases ‘absorption’, ‘retention’, and ‘learning effectiveness’ then your company needs to start the evolution process by plugging in some ancient human transformation delivery tools. Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, etc. are tried and true learning delivery vehicles, based on over 5,000 years of success and continuously growing popularity. Can you even fathom the possibilities when content is delivered with no PowerPoints, no devices, no screens, no desks, no conference tables? Does that potential exist? By releasing these customary confines, people catch, absorb, retain the learnings in a more natural and effective way. Start, and the benefits will spring forward.
These 4 keys do more than offer unique perspective. When these 4 keys are implemented, the benefits ripple well beyond the T&D department. Your company will soon witness and appreciate the benefits of natural collaboration, voluntary engagement, effective communication, reduced health costs, increased productivity, higher profits and greater overall effectiveness. To take that deal, you gotta take the leap….EVOLVE.