How relevant is your training? It’s a question we should be asking more often in learning and development (L&D). One of the surest ways to sabotage your own training is to focus only on the outcome, and not give any thought to how it will resonate with learners. Regardless of how much planning goes into our programs, they will not have the desired impact if they don’t connect with learners. To ensure that training efforts align not only with the interests of management, but also with those of learners, we must improve or at least develop our diagnostics capabilities. Understanding the needs of your workforce will allow you to develop programs that speak to each learner.

The structure of our programs needs to evolve to maintain relevancy for every participant — employees are expecting it. That means designing programs that take into consideration not only the skill gap or purpose for the program, but also the learner’s preference in terms of how and when they want to develop the needed skill. That can mean introducing everything from printed materials to mentoring sessions to practice the new skills. Providing the employee with some degree of choice in the learning path will result in a more engaged learner and better outcomes for the organization.

In this edition of Training Industry Magazine, we’re exploring the ways that L&D can foster performance improvement throughout organizations. You’ll find a breakdown of what makes great employees (and how to help learners at all levels get there). Learn why it’s important for L&D to be involved in organizational design, as well as how we can use brain science to understand and mitigate the stress that corporate change can bring about in employees.

This edition will also examine how L&D can focus on the individual with articles on fostering mentor/mentee relationships, as well as using artificial intelligence and machine learning to replicate the benefits of the one-on-one attention that learners used to receive under apprenticeship programs. You’ll gain tips on ensuring the relevance of your training, so that it inspires real engagement from learners across the organization, as well as ways to break training down into digestible (and memorable) portions.

At Training Industry, we strive to provide you with the information and tools you need to improve learner performance within your organization. This issue should offer you some unique perspectives and techniques toward that end. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts on the perspectives shared in this edition, as well as any topics you would like us to engage with in the future.