Linking L&D initiatives to employee strengths

Nancy Tavares, senior director at Paladin Security, to provide tips at HRD's Learning & Development Canada event

Linking L&D initiatives to employee strengths

“Taking a look at the overall company values and breaking those down into the individual core competencies that help to support these values is key,” says Nancy Tavares, senior director of people and Culture at Paladin Security.

Tavares will be speaking alongside two other panellists at HRD’s Learning & Development Canada, which will be held on April 10 in Toronto. Tavares’ session is titled ‘Integrating career planning, coaching and mentoring to guide L&D initiatives.’

During the session, she will highlight key principles for employers to implement in their learning and development initiatives and mentoring programs.

“From this session, I hope people can take away a tangible action item, even if it’s just one small idea or question to ask their employees that they can execute,” says Tavares.

Linking company values to individual core competencies

A key component when it comes to integrating career planning, coaching and mentoring to guide learning and development initiatives is how employers link company values to individual core competencies, including skills and behaviours, that support those values, says Tavares.

Once these competencies have been defined and identified, employers have a framework for performance reviews and performance management, which allows for meaningful conversations between managers and team members, she says. These can also be tied into business metrics to further success.

“If you've identified some of the key business metrics alongside the key performance indicators that help support the broader goals of the business, you can link those in as well,” she says about her session at HRD’s Learning & Development Canada.   

Providing mentoring and development opportunities

When it comes to mentoring, Tavares highlights the benefits of pairing up those with strengths in certain areas with those who do not have as much experience with regards to the key skills the organization needs.

This can pave the way for mentoring opportunities as well as more formal development opportunities and initiate discussions with employees. Ultimately, this ensures everyone is headed on the right path to continually learn and develop while making sure that development is connected to key performance indicators, she says.

“Depending on where the individual lands, development opportunities could be offered through coursework, mentoring or other programs, which are great tools individuals can utilize within the organization to ensure that there is alignment.”

This goes hand in hand with linking employees’ personal strengths and passions to company and department initiatives, says Tavares. This doesn’t have to involve creating new projects or initiatives out of what every employee is passionate about but should involve linking people's existing passion projects to existing projects or initiatives that the organization is working on to find that match.

“This can be an amazing opportunity for staff members to enhance their skills, leverage their strengths and keep them engaged and excited about their work as well,” she says.

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