Can your organization’s managers achieve the ‘Multiplier Effect’?

by on March 28, 2011 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe
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In most companies, accountability for employee training and talent development lies with managers. Here’s how it generally plays out.

High-performing employee Jane gets promoted into a leadership role. She has no talent development experience at all, but we say, “Okay, Jane is an exceptional salesperson, accountant or engineer, so we’re going to place a bet that she’ll be able to transfer her knowledge and skills to others.”

When it works, something magical happens. Managers with a core competency achieve a “Multiplier Effect.” That is, they replicate their own core competency, creating an entire team of individuals who perform at high levels.

Problem is, most managers never achieve the “Multiplier Effect.” Some don’t know how to create effective training. Some aren’t comfortable delivering training. Most don’t think they have the time.

Bottom line: Most managers do what people do when they think they’ll fail at a task. They avoid it.

What’s a manager to do?
The solution can be found in what research says about how adults learn. Studies show that adults learn far better when training is delivered in small “chunks.” When you send a manager to a day-long leadership seminar, or bring in a high-powered trainer for an intensive workshop, you often end up with what researchers call “cognitive overload.” Adults struggle to absorb a high volume of information at one time and they quickly forget what they heard. But adults CAN take in and retain focused learning concepts.

The concept of “chunked learning” is great for employees. But it’s also a powerful tool for busy managers. The “chunking” approach allows managers to completely reframe their training role. They no longer have to worry about coming up with comprehensive training program. Instead, they can deal with teaching one narrow concept at a time. It’s about achieving small victories. When they accumulate multiple small victories, they start feeling like a real success in their talent development roles.

Part of the solution
The Rapid Learning Institute (the company that brings you the HR Café blog) is all about providing tools that allow managers to achieve these “small victories.” Our training approach is built around six- to 10-minute programs that are laser focused on a single learning concept.

Armed with these kinds of tools, managers see talent development as a manageable task that they have both the time and skill to accomplish. So training rises on their priority list. They start teaching people discrete concepts, one at a time. They see knowledge transfer happening. They see behavior changes. They see evidence of measurable results.

As managers accumulate more and more of these small victories, they build a core competency as talent developers. They achieve the Multiplier Effect with their team, which reaches performance levels it only dreamed about before.

Chunked learning. Small victories. Two powerful concepts with the potential to transform your organization. The Rapid Learning Institute can help you make it happen.

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