You’d think that the modern world, and even more so, the modern enterprise, has eradicated myth. That myths went the way of the Dodo, along with the Olympian Gods, King Arthur, Thor and Loki.
You’d be surprised.
Myths today are still as prevalent as ever — they just progressed from being about water nymphs or the Yeti to covering all aspects of modern life, from dietary advice and financing to eLearning.
And that’s just as well, as it ensures that our myth-busting team will be busy for quite some time. In fact, in this very post we’re all set to squash five prevalent Talent Development myths. Put your protective helmet on, and follow us — it might get messy!
1. Talent development requires a traditional classroom based setting
Sure, we could be biased. We make eFront, a Learning and Talent Development Platform. But you don’t have to take our word for it — simply have a look at the enterprise training industry, and check out what the majority of the big enterprises and organizations already do.
It’s easy to see that software-based talent development solutions are on the rise, and that, at the same time, classroom based talent development is not exactly on the decline, but rather increasingly relegated to fewer niche training use cases that require it.
In the same way that it would be unwise to train Michelin-caliber chefs through online courses (cooking is a hands-on activity), it wouldn’t be wise to train IT workers or enterprise employees with classroom based courses (and incurring the extra costs and suffering from the rigid schedules associated with those).
2. Talent development only makes sense for new hires
While a talent development program would indeed have greater returns if you begin training new hires the moment they start working for the company, there’s nothing to suggest that it won’t benefit existing employees of any skill level and seniority.
Most of the factors and conditions that make talent development a great way to increase the productivity of new hires, are also present at any cross-roads or new development in the career of an employee.
For example, a promotion or a switch to a different position within your company are as much of a reason to have an employee go through an orientation course, as is welcoming them to your company as new hires. Of course, each case demands the appropriate onboarding material.
One thing’s sure: talent development does not concern only new hires; and if you’re not sure, the benefits of continuous training speak for themselves.
3. Talent Development will happen by itself
It’s far more likely that employees will grow complacent and inefficient than that they will just grow new skills all by themselves.
Sure, experience and the passage of time will make them somewhat better than when they started, but still nowhere near what you could achieve by actively encouraging their talent development. Besides, experience is something your competitor’s employees also get for free as time goes by — in other words, not a real differentiator.
The benefits of a talent development program is not just seeing your talent, well, develop faster: it’s also that you get to guide and steer that development towards specific organizational goals.
If you intend to enter a new market, for example, you better explicitly train and prepare your employees for it — experience, if it ever comes, will come too late: after you’ve already been in the new market for some time. And while learning from one’s mistakes is nice and all, employee mistakes when operating in a market they don’t yet understand can be costly.
4. Talent Development is costly
It’s actually the exact opposite: NOT doing talent development is what can cost you dearly.
Not just because there are perfectly capable Learning and Talent Development systems, such as eFront whose cost per employee is negligible, or because online training is already a huge cost-saver compared to traditional classroom based talent development.
But also because inadequately trained employees hurt your company’s efficiency, public profile, agility, and, eventually and inevitably, its bottom line. That’s doubly true for knowledge-intensive and rapidly changing markets which nowadays, means almost all of them.
5. Talent development success is all about the TDS or material
Yes, the TDS (Talent Development System) is important. It should be powerful and flexible enough to handle your talent development use cases, intuitive enough to be easy to use and administer, and pleasant enough so learners are not put off by it.
And, yes, your talent development courses are also important. They should be well written, fit your organizational goals, follow the right pedagogical guidelines, and avoid boring or confusing your talent.
But equally important to those things is the organization support for your Talent Development program.
Whether the program has been embraced by upper management, whether department bosses don’t see it as an annoyance, whether employees are kept motivated and engaged — all those things matter as much as your choice of LMS/TDS and the quality of your courses.
A successful talent development program is a well supported one.
So here we are, 5 Talent Development myths slain for your amusement. You might have heard some (or all) of these repeated, or you might have even believed one (or more) of them. But you know better now, don’t you?
Here is something that’s absolutely not a myth: eFront has been getting quite a following (not to mention great reviews) as a modern, powerful and intuitive Learning and Talent Development Platform.
But since you shouldn’t believe anything without verifying it first, why not take it for a test drive today and see for yourself how it can help you take your employees to the next level?