Be a HILO: 7 Best Practices

Posted By: Dave Ewers, Director of Content Development, Tooling U-SME on June 20, 2017

Investing in people is as critical as investing in equipment or technology when it comes to remaining ahead of the competition.

According to a study by Bersin & Associates, high-impact learning organizations (HILO) with a strong learning foundation in place, tend to significantly outperform their peers in several areas:

  • 32% more likely to be first to market
  • 37% greater employee productivity
  • 34% better response to customer needs
  • 26% greater ability to deliver quality products
  • 58% more likely to have skills to meet future demand
  • 17% more likely to be market share leaders

Here are seven Best Practices to help you achieve HILO status:

1. Make Onboarding a Priority

Differing from orientation, which can be done in one day, onboarding is often accomplished in a 90-day period. Take time to formally teach about company culture and develop the behaviors that will be the foundation of employee performance for their tenure with your organization. Remember, many workers make a decision about whether to stay with a company long-term by the end of the first day, so make every minute count.

2. Develop a Formal Training Program

Tribal knowledge, generally shared through job shadowing, is no longer an effective training method. New generations of workers, such as millennials, desire documented expectations and plans to help them reach these expectations and beyond. Implementing a standardized learning and development program that is methodical, visible, and measurable will allow individuals to see clear career pathways, eliminating misunderstandings and dashed expectations.

3. Focus on Continual Education

Studies show that continual performance support builds proficiency so implement an ongoing learning and development program. It’s not enough to offer one training session and expect retention of the material. Additionally, performance support must be accessible: two clicks and 10 seconds is the maximum time it should take for learners to access information. Online courses available 24/7 provide welcome accessibility and flexibility. Partnering with local educators can keep the learning going and help retain and develop workers through integrated training and apprenticeship programs.

*Marc Rosenberg, At the Moment of Learning Need, A Case for Performance Support, E-learning Guild White Paper, 2013

4. Train-the-Trainer

It is critical to educate those who directly train workers. Often the best shop floor employees are promoted to supervisory roles without being given leadership training, which puts them at a disadvantage. Frontline supervisors need to be given the skills to properly train, manage, and mentor the workforce. This is a critical competency these managers need to obtain or they will contribute to attrition in high numbers. Engagement studies often declare reasons for leaving are tied to unhappiness with direct supervisors. Making sure these individuals have the knowledge and skills to develop and nurture employees is critical to building and maintaining a manufacturing workforce.

5. Adopt an 80:10:10 Learning Model

For years, the industry has been aligned to a 70:20:10 Learning Model with 10 percent of standardized training taking place in the classroom, 20 percent focused on mentoring/coaching, and 70 percent devoted to informal job experience. Based on the importance of on-the-job training (OJT), Tooling U-SME suggests a flipped viewpoint of the model, where much of the experiential learning is formalized with a structured OJT program. This new model provides standardization of both the mentoring and experiential elements, allowing for a greater percentage of the model to be dedicated to formalized training and development practices (80 percent is formalized training with performance validation, 10 percent is informal mentoring/coaching, 10 percent is experiential). This dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes to attain job competency.

6. Align to Competencies

HILOs ensure everything aligns to competency models and competency-based learning, the most efficient and effective approach to manufacturing organizational training. Tooling U-SME’s Competency Framework connects business goals to training outcomes by breaking successful performance into a specific set of related knowledge, skills and abilities, and mapping to more than 20,000 training resources.

7. Measure, Measure, Measure

Decision-makers need data to justify investments, whether in equipment or people. Departments that are able to calculate a return on investment for training dollars are the ones building a strong workplace culture, organization and, ultimately, nation.

Want to learn how to become a high-impact learning organization? Reach out to us at 866.706.8665.

Tags: "Bersin & Associates", competencies, "Competency Framework", "high-impact learning organization", HILO, "learning and development", manufacturing, OJT, onboarding, on-the-job, "Tooling U-SME", training, train-the-trainer