Skip to content
    January 30, 2023

    Communication & Career Development - Managers & Employees

    Even the best development programs can fail when there isn’t a focus on communications. Most of us understand how “whisper down the alley” can end up diluting a message at best or completely bungling the message at worst. With your team investing time in better career development, knowing how and when to get information out to drive engagement and trust in these programs is vital.

    If you are working with an outside firm for your professional development training programs, evaluating how their company is presenting information and training is core to the program’s success. Any outside provider should be willing and able to align the training with your company’s culture and overall goals.  

    Your company’s internal communications should also be aligned with the outside firm's core benefits so they don’t seem disjointed.

    What do these programs promise and how does it lead to career and or personal growth for that employee?  Make sure this is clear in communications. If employees take trainings because they are required to, but don’t see how that fits into their career development, you’ll get less of a return on the time and money you put into these programs.

    If you develop and deliver these programs internally, how effective do you think they’ve been? How do you measure the success of these trainings?

    If you haven’t already, a before and after assessment for every program can very helpful. For best results, don’t include too many questions and provide at least one place where participants can add personal comments. It’s a good idea to also include demographic information to understand how effective trainings are with diverse groups of employees in your organization.

    Do you regularly communicate the why of having development training programs? Most employees are inundated with emails, deadlines, and the occasional fire to put out. Your communications need to show how this helps them and is not just one more thing they need to cram into a very busy schedule.

    One of the best ways to communicate these programs' value is through storytelling about individuals in your organization that have benefited from these programs. It’s also an opportunity to highlight how diverse people in your organization have benefited. You can view this through many different lenses – gender equity, LGBTQ+, different ages of employees at different levels, those that have gone into people leadership and those that become experts at solving for complex problems, etc. This method of communication can be particularly helpful to those employees that are highly-skilled but not people leadership oriented. It shows there is more than one way to succeed in the company. Some of the ways you can communicate success stories:

    • Short videos that can be posted on an internal site and/or on your website
    • If you have a global audience, you may want stories in different languages or with subtitles.  
    • Team leaders can take a few minutes at team meetings to share success stories and how that will help employees advance. They should also be announcing any upcoming programs relevant to their team and specifically why it will help them grow on the team and advance.
    • Top leadership should also use company-wide events to communicate and emphasize their commitment to every employee. If they have advanced through the company and benefited from development training, they should share their personal story.
    • Success stories should also be used for recruiting top talent. If you have success stories from diverse employees: women, people of color, older employees, different geographies, different areas in your business, etc. it’s a clear message to anyone considering applying to work at your organization.  
    There are times in every business when projects or dealing with a crisis has to come first. Are there better times to offer professional development training and a clear message about why for your employees? If you know when you have peak working months, you can plan around those, including communications.  

    If you’ve ever been in a place where you didn't speak the language, you already know how frustrating it can be. Targeted communication is key as well as making sure the person getting that information fully understands it.  Effective communication for your career development programs can mean more success in developing the managers and leaders you need for tomorrow.

    Related Blog Posts

    View All Blog Posts