Developing a Successful Learning Program
A leading company, working across several continents in the cruise industry, knew they needed an enhanced learning program. This particular company provides outstanding services to their customers through innovation and leadership. Even so, they discovered the need for a partner to design, develop, and implement new, customized training. The requested training focused on equipping the senior leadership team with a unique deliverable while driving business results. Senior leadership included directors leading and developing professional teams and executive managers directly overseeing the operation of the organization.
To avoid a knowledge and experience gap or a sharp learning curve, the Synergistx team identified key goals of the learning program. The program had to provide consistency in delivery while testing comprehension and knowledge transfer. Further, it had to incorporate coaching and mentoring components in a blended approach. Finally, it had to implement a structured procedure that provided effective learning with accountability.
The established program objectives included the following:
- Enhance the effectiveness of the current leadership team
- Onboard, educate, and orientate newly hired members of the leadership team
- Educate and orientate newly promoted members of the leadership team
- Develop high-performing employees for future roles within the leadership team
The development of the program incorporated the following strategic stages: a discovery stage, content development stage, eLearning development stage; and an educational, hand-off stage.
During the discovery stage, Synergistx assessed aspects of the learning needs of the team, starting with the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. We continued to investigate barriers in the team’s training process and included a comparison of actual performance with desired performance. We further mapped the current state of the team’s learning process while identifying any available documentation that could be repurposed or bridged to the new program. Additionally, Synergistx analyzed learning gaps to determine where to place new emphasis while keeping the vision of the future state of the program at the forefront. Through problem-solving conferences, appraisal reviews, questionnaires and surveys, material reviews, difficulty analysis, and drive pattern identities, key themes emerged relating to approach, deployment, learning, and integration.
The key themes captured the shared understanding of the operation. These helped focus the development and design of the learning program itself. Applying this understanding, Synergistx determined the best, most effective means of training delivery in order to accurately align a solution to the business need. A blended approach utilizing Synergistx’s Prescriptive Performance Model necessitated creation of the following content/ knowledge components:
- Targeted eLearning modules
- Company glossary of terms
- Quick reference cards/job aids
- Interactive reviews testing comprehension
- Case study exercises
- Knowledge check exercises
- Key activities to complete with a mentor or coach
To drive business results for the leadership team and provide accelerated adoption of process and strategies, the learning program focused on specific policies and procedures managed by the job role. Concentrated training included key areas of focus, responsibilities and guidelines, best practices, common challenges, and job function tips. Designed to assess learning, validation exercises integrated activities and practice exercises, coaching and mentoring activities, case studies, learning objectives, and self-assessment exercises.
The online eLearning modules targeted learning for the key responsibilities and management roles of the team members. Each module incorporated various forms of interactive media such as video, photos, PDFs, and hyperlinks. These interactions included simulations, topical driven narrative, and online resources tools. Quick reference cards and exercises culminated the experience. Members of the team then applied what they learned from the e-learning components in case studies and knowledge check exercises. Finally, an involved, in-depth examination over multiple learning components compiled the results. These results evaluated organizational and individual performance improvement.
Additionally, to effectively manage the program components, Synergistx designed a web-based infrastructure to house the program components. This provided access to the learning components via a web browser from anywhere, at any time.
The learning components not only refreshed and re-educated existing members of the team, training removed any experience gaps and refocused the team on critical aspects of their roles.
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