Do you care for people and want to make a serious contribution to your organization’s success this year? Welcome, dear HRD professional! We’ve got you. The impact and success levers of human resource departments experienced a serious rise in the past few years. Here’s what you can do in 2022 to make the most of your role as HRD manager and become a serious business partner within the organization.

What is the role of human resource development?

Human Resource Development means the conscious efforts to create a corporate environment in which the organization as a whole can prosper by individuals that are enabled to excel with joy. Topics like leadership, motivation, productivity, and purpose, for example, are deeply anchored in that field. But also innovation, agility, and cooperation.

For you as an HRD professional, that means that you have an extremely powerful lever for success at your hands. If you’re curious about how you can multiply your impact and success, read on:

Here are 5 things to start doing TODAY to succeed in HRD + 5 reflection questions to help you get on the right track immediately.

  1. Think in processes, not single measures 
  2. Avoid over digitization 
  3. Ask the right questions + ask a lot of them
  4. Make constant evaluation a habit 
  5. Think & work in loops 
  6. Here’s to your best HRD success

1. Think in processes, not single measures

Not only is the world more connected than ever, but our organizations are as well and HRD does good to keep up with that change!

Gone are the times in which we could afford to think and act in silos. Out-of-the-box thinking and connecting the dots is more essential than ever. Luckily, more and more companies see themselves as whole entities rather than a compilation of departments doing different things. Agile cooperation is fostering this, which is great.

As an HRD manager, you need to respond to that development by detaching people’s development efforts from the habit of rolling out programs and workshops. You don’t need a bouquet of cool measures at first. What you need is an infrastructure that supports the growth of people at any time: Immediate support to master daily challenges, impulse to change behavior in order to reach corporate goals, and long-term contribution to people development goals.

Cool workshops and programs are still important. But for effective people development, they are not the whole answer.

Reflection question to start right now: Which connection points do our development measures have throughout the whole organization?

2. Avoid over digitization

There are many reasons advocating for investing in e-learning measures for your people.

For example:

  • E-learning is easily accessible for everyone, without travel costs and time.
  • Virtual learning impulses can be cheap(er) when compared to complex face2face events
  • E-learning is a perfect fit for today’s learners’ expectations: Entertaining, bite-sized and consumable everywhere we have internet access.
  • E-learning reaches many people at once: no matter if you opt for live masterclasses, pre-recorded videos, or interactive learning nuggets, you reach as many people as you want. Without the struggle, effort, and budget you need for large-group events. Therewith, moving organizations as a whole becomes easier.

While the advantages of digital learning impulses are numerous, there is also one big risk: Overburdening e-learning offers can re-create just the challenges people have already in their private life. Which are information overload, constant stimulus, and a certain pressure that comes with possibility and access. A huge offer can be just too much to process. Or it’s entertaining but not contributing to a special goal. Very much like our Social Media consumption.

So, what can you do?

To avoid the negative effects of over-digitization while at the same time benefitting from the vast opportunities of the virtual learning world: Embed it! Embed your vast e-learning universe in a carefully crafted structure of strategic input and guidance for your people. This can be as simple as:

  • Take care that people exchange with their line manager about what is most urgent and helpful for current challenges
  • Or what about a development letter in the form of an e-mail/intranet message/chat stream that lists strategically relevant nuggets on a monthly base?
  • Another idea that boosts motivation: Let your CEO send a video message to the whole staff explaining current challenges and needs in terms of development.
  • You can also use any ongoing programs as touchpoints to give advice and frame your people about what to choose when.

Get creative and find what suits your organization and people!

The reflection question starts right now: How could we help our people to choose what serves both them and business impact right now?

3. Ask the right questions + ask a lot of them!

Want to roll out a leadership development program soon? Great. But before you jump into content and design, ask yourself first: What are the core challenges we’re facing right now as an organization? And how can we build a learning and development system that supports us in overcoming these challenges? An infrastructure that helps us support our most pressing business goals at any given point in time?

Asking the right questions is key to any kind of success. Here are even more questions to boost your HRD success in 2022:

  • How do we engage and inform relevant stakeholders?
  • How do we make sure that learning content is relevant for our participants?
  • How do we measure if people really change behavior?
  • How do we make sure that people have the resources they need to be able to learn and develop?
  • How do you value the learning and development successes of individuals?

Reflection question to start right now: Which questions do I ask myself on a regular basis? And which do we ask as a team and organization?

Human Resource Development Training

Do you want to be the most successful version of yourself in your role as HRD or also L&D manager? Working in the field of people development for more than 25 years now, we identified one key ingredient for HRD measures to create just the impact you want: transfer! Transfer means precise action steps and strategies in order to help people actually apply what they learned in a corporate development measure.

One hands-on and highly effective approach to do so is the 12 Levers of Transfer Effectiveness. Based on top-notch science, backed up with experience with thousands of leaders worldwide.

Sounds good?

Get a freebie right NOW & join a course that suits your current needs.

Get the 12 Levers of Transfer Effectiveness

4. Make constant evaluation a habit

Contrary to common belief, evaluation is nothing to be done in the end. At least not if you want to reach full force with the impact of your people development measures. Instead of using happy sheets at the end of a learning event like a workshop, go for a constant, hybrid, and learner-centered evaluation.

What is the difference?

Happy sheets are these kinds of evaluation sheets we all know very well: Was the content well presented? Was the trainer engaging? Was the seminar location chosen well? If people answer these kinds of questions, you learn if they felt good. But that’s it. No information about the relevance of the training or change of behavior.

Learner-centered feedback sheets switch the focus to questions like:

  • Did the presentation style of the facilitator contribute to my learning?
  • I can apply the tools/content back in the job on a scale from 1 to 10
  • I contributed to the workshop to get the most out of it (scale) 
  • The case studies and examples supported my learning (scale)
  • How able are you to put what you’ve learned into practice on the job? Ask for different grades of ability levels.
    For instance, I am:
  • Not at all able to put the concepts into practice
  • Having General awareness of the concepts taught
  • Able to Work on actual job tasks but need more experience
  • Able to Perform actual job tasks at a fully competent level
  • Able to Perform actual job tasks at an expert level

And hybrid means you evaluate immediately after any learning measure (like at the end of a workshop) as well as some time after in order to be able to evaluate the impact a measure had. If you get answers to these kinds of questions you know if a measure was relevant for the participants and if you had the results you intended in the beginning.

Reflection question to start right now: What significance does evaluation have in our programs? And how could we increase it?

Need some hybrid evaluation example questions? Click here!

5. Think and work in loops

When you know something is changing again and again, would you try to make a fool-proof long-term plan? Most probably not and since we are leaving in a fast and everchanging world, the business theory is already reacting to this concept. Short planning cycles let us react and adapt very quickly. We already know that from SCRUM, ORK, Design Thinking, and similar approaches.

In people’s development, however, the idea is rather new. And therewith your chance to be ahead! Many development programs are still designed for 6+ months and when evaluated in the end, targets are already outdated. To avoid this happening to you and your measures, make the loop approach your own!

How does this look like? Every three months, organize a quick exchange between all relevant stakeholders of your development measures: board, sponsors, and HR. In this loop meeting, you take a look at the feedback and in-between evaluation results and you cross-check: Do development targets still fit our business goals? Does training content meet the real-life challenges of our people? And then you adapt accordingly, if necessary.

Goodbye dreadful blind fights, hello sustainable impact!

Reflection question to start right now: How do I take care of continuous improvement, even during running projects?

Here’s to your best HRD success

Remember: The lever of people development is more powerful than ever when it comes to a successful organization. It’s time to take action now! Claim and own the powerful role you have and advance your company like you never did before!

If you are looking for ways to increase the transfer effectiveness of your measures or create holistic and highly effective development infrastructures right from where you are right now, we’ve got your back: The Dynamic Loop Method is a functional 5-phase method to establish highly effective HRD measures that contribute to individual and business success. And if you need a powerful ally on your side, check out what our Loop Managers can do for you or get in touch! We’re looking forward to growing with you!