Developing Leaders Through Longitudinal Learning

Developing Leaders Through Longitudinal Learning

Building Blocks: How Learning in Small Bursts Over Time Increases Retention

The Great Resignation revealed a crack in the foundation of the traditional workplace. Employees found the new agencies to voice their needs and wants, and many now expect their work to be meaningful and fulfilling. As a result, organizations are struggling to retain top talent.

Investing in professional development programs and providing employees with training, education, and meaningful work are some of the most effective strategies for retaining talent. In fact, 93% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it contributed to furthering their careers. 

With that imperative in mind, how do organizations create impactful training programs that help augment skills development, expand employees’ mindsets, and build sustained behavioral habits? 
The answer lies in building skills over time.

Building Better Leaders Can’t Be Rushed

The average age people are promoted to manager roles is 30, while the average age for individuals who are given leadership education and development is 42, according to research. Let that sink in for a minute. Managers are often leading people without any training. They haven’t had access to the tools to truly succeed in their roles and effectively lead their team members (a.k.a. future managers), such as best practices, strategies, and frameworks. 

Successful leadership development programs are an essential component of talent management strategies, but many companies are missing out on maximizing these initiatives. Traditional corporate training typically doesn’t allow for dedicated follow-up and reinforcement of newly acquired leadership skills. Research shows that participants in typical workshop-style training forget 90% of what they learn within 48 hours. 

One of the best ways to bolster retention of any type of skills development is to deliver learning in small bursts, consistently, and over time.

Building Blocks: Small Doses of Learning Go a Long Way

Cultivating leadership skills is an incremental process, not a discrete event; the results are realized gradually. A powerful way to introduce new ideas, build team chemistry, and enhance employee collaboration is through experiential workshop-based training using longitudinal design—presented over an extended period of time and presented via different learning modalities.

People learn and retain information best through creativity, play, and experiential learning, delivered in easy-to-digest chunks, which is the foundation of our signature Leadership Canvas™ leadership training program.

Our Building Blocks approach is designed to be experienced over 12 months and includes:

  1. A mix of delivery types that appeals to different learning styles. We begin with six topic-based workshops facilitated by subject matter experts every other month, add in six roundtable coaching sessions to reinforce what we’ve learned, and offer session follow-up materials including exercises, workbooks, and Creativity Kits. We build in breaks between workshop delivery and roundtable discussions to allow for the time needed for actual skills application.
  2. The power of creativity as a learning tool. worksmart’s Creative Integration (think: spoken word artists, DJs, improv performers, and LEGO® bricks) is a proven method to get ideas and imagination flowing. The use of creative modalities activates bilateral, hands-on thinking so you can approach challenges and opportunities from diverse perspectives.
      • Regular assessment and adjustment. We conduct quarterly participant and employee surveys to gauge the impact of the program and adjust accordingly to optimize building skills over time.

      These shared experiences and the use of creativity and constructive play delivered in small doses over time turn learned skills into sustained behavior. It can help convert those with fixed mindsets to embrace a growth mindset.

      Curious to Learn More?

      Here’s an added incentive for investing in employee training: It will feed your bottom line. Research has shown that businesses that spend at least $1,500 per employee annually on training activities realize 24% more profit than those with lower training budgets.

      worksmart’s Leadership Canvas program is specially designed to develop current and aspiring leaders to minimize turnover caused by mismanagement and poor leadership. It’s a dynamic tool that will not only help your teams build skills over time, but can help cultivate a growth mindset and bolster long-lasting behavioral change for organizational transformation.