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7 Ways to Transform Your Emerging Talent Programme

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Before setting up Acacia Coaching and Development, I was a Learning and Development Manager.  I felt that my time was constantly stretched between understanding the business and it’s needs, managing a team, and designing or sourcing really engaging training that delivered results.

There was always the risk that we might invest in something that delivered great theory but no practical results; or a dull programme that didn’t engage participants; or something that just completely missed the mark!  But, having the time to develop a really great internal programme felt like a luxury.  

That’s why we’re unashamedly proud to have just delivered our most successful Emerging Talent programme so far, and are delighted to share our approach with you.  We’ve loved facilitating it and there have been successes for every single participant. It’s also been shortlisted for two national awards!

So if you are considering developing your own Emerging Talent / Aspiring Managers programme, here are a few ideas that might speed you on your way! 

  1. Engage with leadership. Create clear goals and buy in for the programme.  Every HR / L&D professional knows how tricky this one is, but ‘top down’ support with a clear sponsor and active engagement demonstrates the value of the programme for the organisation, and increases motivation for participants.
  2. Have an application process with a clear selection criteria.  This also places a value on the programme and encourages participants to carefully consider what they want from this investment in their development.  It’s also a great reference point for measuring the outcomes of the programme. You may even consider doing this using video entries.
  3. Co- create the programme.  A ‘design day’ is a great way to do this, talk to participants and different levels of management about what’s important to them about this programme.  You might be surprised, we’ve had groups asking for more role play! 
  4. Include a genuine business project.  This should be an opportunity to deliver real business results within the timescale of the programme.  It’s a great way for participants’ to apply their learning at a time when they may not have day to day responsibility for managing people or resources etc. 
  5. Give participants the opportunity to experience coaching and mentoring.   This helps participants to develop a coaching approach in their own management style.  We also saw huge shifts in personal development, supported by an excellent team of external mentors (thank you!). 
  6. Make the content engaging, challenging, and fun. Create a buzz around the programme.  We use accelerated learning techniques to engage participants and make learning stick, after all no-one learns effectively when they’re bored.  (To the CEO and Board, we apologise for all the laughing and singing coming from the room!).
  7. Showcase participants’ talent and celebrate success.  Create an ‘end of programme event’ to give participants the opportunity to showcase their skills, receive a certificate, celebrate and network.  Be prepared for an emotional finish to an excellent programme! 

‘Growing your own’ is an excellent way to motivate staff and develop your talent pipeline.  If you’re thinking about running a programme for your emerging talent or aspiring managers:

There are also lots of FREE resources on our website to get you started.

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