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 5 Top Tips for a Successful Design Day

Emerging Talent #3

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A ‘design day’ is a great way to co-create your Emerging Talent programme… which is a fancy way of saying, don’t forget to carry out an inclusive training needs analysis!

Talk to participants, key stakeholders and different levels of staff and management about what’s important to them about this programme.  You might be surprised – we’ve had groups who said they hate role-play, asking for more skills practice (a.k.a. role play!). 

  1. Talk to your Programme Sponsor up front, after all they are likely to have a clear idea of what they want to achieve (following your ‘POISED for Success’ discussion with them!).  Agree who to invite, consider who has an interest in the outcomes of this programme – staff, managers, senior leaders, customers?
  2. Make sure everyone is clear on the objectives of the design day well in advance, and brief people accordingly.  It’s important to create an environment of trust and confidentiality so that people can be honest with you. 
  3. Think about how you can make the day as interactive as possible.  We use old favourites, such as ‘what would you like managers/leaders to Stop, Start, Continue?’, as well as having group and 1:1 conversations with people.
  4. By asking people what knowledge, skills and attitudes successful managers and leaders have, you can create the basis for a self-assessment or 360 degree questionnaire later.
  5. Make sure you schedule time to present your findings and the proposed programme following the design day.  People will value a further opportunity to contribute and give feedback on your suggestions.

Remember to build in time for this process.  You may find that inviting feedback means you have to rethink your ideas to make sure that everyone gets what they need from the programme.

Some feedback may be hard to take, but getting it right at this stage will save you time and energy later!

For ideas on activities to get your design day started, see the FREE resource on our website.

‘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:

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