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3 Surprising Resolutions That Will Transform Your L&D Program in 2017

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Written by Julie Gora

Every year on January 1st, millions of people around the world make lofty resolutions. Every year by February 1st, 43% of those resolutions have already been forgotten. Don’t let the same fate fall on your L&D program this year. Whether you’re resolving to finally kick that habit or pick up new ones, the first step on the path to success is to move beyond cliches and set a specific, realistic goal. We’ve rounded up a few game-changing L&D goals to strive for in 2017—and tips on how to achieve them— that have the potential to transform your organization before next year’s resolution season rolls around.

Commit to Thinking Small

We all know dropping bad habits cold turkey rarely sticks, and the same is true for lofty workplace goals. In order to reach the outcome that you seek, focus on a few small behaviors you can change bit by bit on the path to a larger, overall shift. Want to improve company communication this year? Rather than focusing on the end product, think smaller—like equipping and encouraging managers and direct reports to give and seek constructive feedback in effective, weekly one-to-one meetings. Thinking smaller applies to your training content, too. A series of small, focused microlearning lessons breaks down the big topics into more engaging, easy-to-apply trainings that stick. Change won’t happen overnight, but like any New Year’s resolution, the small wins add up.

Unleash your Inner Marketer

Talk of self improvement is in the air, so why not capitalize on the chatter? Your people are already motivated by their own personal goals, which is why now is the exact time to remind them to invest in their professional development, too. One way to build excitement is to introduce new training initiatives by creating a “highlight reel” that includes each new program you’ll be running throughout the year. It may seem like a hodge podge of content, but you’re sure to build excitement, motivate your learners, and keep them looking forward to the training and development ahead.

Embrace a New Definition of Culture & Engagement

Company culture and workplace development opportunities will remain powerful incentives for attracting and retaining top talent in 2017, so it’s no wonder improving culture and engagement is the ultimate goal of so many L&D leaders. Making a measurable impact starts with a clear definition of these notoriously fuzzy concepts: Bersin by Deloitte defines culture as “the way things work around here”. Engagement is “how people feel about the way things work around here”.

So how do you transform “the way things work”? By making continuous adjustments to actions, habits, and behaviors. Instead of focusing on what you want your people to know, think about the things you want them to do every day. To create a culture of kindness, it can be as simple as greeting guests, saying please and thank you, and offering a helping hand. To create a culture of performance, you may want your team to assess their work against specific priorities each week. These specific behaviors can serve as guideposts for your 2017 learning programs. Be consistent and creative and you’ll see individual learning moments turn into cultural wins in the coming months.

Setting goals is just the first step to achieving the transformation you seek in your workplace. If you already have a learning strategy in place, now is a great time to reevaluate what is and isn’t working. And if you don’t, there’s no better time than the present to get started on the right path. While at first the changes may seem unnoticeable, by the end of the year, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.

What are some of your business goals will you be addressing with L+D this year? Let us know in the comments!

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