The stores are full of back-to-school wares and in some states, the kids are already hitting the books. It’s a great time to buckle down and make sure you’re on target for what you need to do between now and the end of the year.

So how’s business? Is the organization on track to meet all of its top strategic goals? Have those goals been communicated well throughout the organization?

How are people trained and supported to meet those goals? Are your employee development efforts aligned closely with the organization’s strategic priorities?

Are you having a hard time answering any of these questions? Read on.

Over the next few months, we’ll be exploring the critical alignment of training & employee development activities with the organization’s strategic priorities. We’ll look at strategic assessments, strategic planning for learning, pragmatic and creative development approaches, and the Competence/Confidence matrix.

For now, we’ll start looking where many organizations find skill gaps: the first 24 months of employment, the last 24 months on the job, and all throughout the sales channel.

First 24 months: First impressions last, right? First learnings last, too. Effective employee onboarding helps employees hit the ground running, resulting in stronger performance, less costly mistakes and longer retention. Most new employees leave in the first six months to a year of being employed. It costs as much as 150% of a departing employee’s salary to replace them (taking into account lost productivity, recruiting fees, retraining, and other outlays). Do the math. Once you’ve found those great employees, you’ve got to keep them – and onboarding is the first step.

You know you have an onboarding problem if:

  • You have high turnover in the first 12 months on the job
  • New hires are slow to reach full productivity
  • You can’t fill your open postings with qualified candidates

Last 24 months: Chew on this one: 30 – 40% of healthcare workers are expected to retire in the next 10 years. Now imagine of all the training & development you’ve invested in those employees … and imagine it walking right out your door. How do you capture that precious experience and share it with the next generation of employees? How do you avoid constantly reinventing the wheel? We call this “offboarding.”

You know you have an offboarding problem if:

  • Your experienced employees have a wealth of knowledge that is gained over time
  • You have high turnover or expect to have high turnover through layoffs, retirements, and natural attrition
  • You have no way of capturing and then retrieving the experience of your departing employees

Training through the Channel: When dealers or brokers – even your own retail operations — are selling your products and services, how can you be sure they really get the message? One of our clients sells a substantial portion of their product through a dealership network. We worked together to create a curriculum, support materials, and an incentive program to be rolled out across North America. One dealer’s employee sold two units the same day she took the training – when she’d never sold a single one before!

You know you have a channel education problem if:

  • Sales people can’t effectively identify customer problems, or the solutions that your product or service provides
  • You’re losing market share despite your product’s superiority
  • Your sales team or store managers are not trainers (or could be spending their time more effectively)

Interested in finding out more? On September 6th Megan will lead an interactive Take Your Learning Strategy Back to School session at the Ann Arbor ASTD (non-members welcome) click here for more info.

Can’t wait? Click here to request a consultation.