Investing in the development of your employees is critical to staying competitive in the current globalized marketplace. Yet, research suggests that up to half of the investment your organization is making in development is being wasted. Employees lose up to 75% of the information they receive through traditional approaches to learning and development (including learning management systems, episodic trainings, and workshops) — an effect known as the training transfer problem.

Research has shown that employees are frustrated with this learning structure, and only 35% of employees agree that formal training is effective in building important skills, knowledge and behaviors. However, despite the losses incurred when investing in training and development, research shows that when training and development programs are designed well, they can create a positive impact that ripples through an organization, and that allows employees to adapt, innovate and perform in ways that serve a company’s goals. In sum, we know both that episodic, generalized trainings have failed to drive the sustainable behavior change organizations need to achieve and that there are research-based insights that can facilitate a much more effective delivery of training and development initiatives in order to effect change.

Just as science has helped us uncover the problem, it can also point us toward solutions. At BetterUp Labs we’ve whittled down the research on sustainable behavior change into a simple model that describes three progressive phases where people transition from learning to doing to being to effect behavior change. In the learning phase, learners expose themselves to new learning and information. In the doing phase, learners start practicing the new learned behaviors. In the being phase, learners make the final transition into a new state of being in which they have embodied the new behaviors, making them effortless. In this article, we will describe these five critical requirements for effective behavior change and leadership development:

  1. ... A committed learner,
  2. ... A supportive context,
  3. ... Growth experiences,
  4. ... A careful design, and
  5. ... A long-tail.

We will explain why each component is critical and how BetterUp coaching incorporates these principles to help organizations effectively develop their leaders, achieve a 5x return-on-investment (ROI) and ultimately transform their organizations to meet the needs of a complex and changing marketplace. 

 Human Resources (HR)

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