In a previous article, I detailed the ins and outs of what an industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologist does for organizations. The article explained the profession and the business impact of the work that I/O psychologists perform. It also gave a small peek behind the curtain as to what specialists in this field contend with. In this article, I want to explain this a bit further and dive into some of the day-to-day operations within the MJH Training Academy and what we do as training specialists.
Learning and development projects
Whether it is coordinating the next training day or helping execute corporate rocks, there’s always something going on at the MJH Training Academy. For example, in Q4, we are working on building enterprise systems training in conjunction with the enterprise systems team. Specifically, the training will cover Workfront, Workday Finance and Salesforce (for now). Other rocks that the MJH Training Academy has worked on include: the enhancement of the leadership development program; the revitalization of our Lunch & Learn Program (now called The Grub Club); the creation of career ladders within the organization; and the launch of the refreshed individual development plans.
Career development projects
Everything we do related to training is aimed at improving the tactical and behavioral skills of our associates so they can progress within the organization. Two recent projects are the updating of our individual development plans and the creation of career ladders. Individual development plans are designed to identify the short-term and long-term career aspirations and the development needs of each associate. These plans offer associates a trajectory for growth. The career ladders provide a roadmap for what that growth could look like. Career development also extends into the enterprise LinkedIn Learning program we run, where we encourage associates to engage in training to enhance their skills.
Organizational development projects
One of our bigger undertakings was conducting action-planning meetings with each of the subgroups within the organization. The purpose was to brainstorm ways we could increase associate engagement within teams and the company at large. A variety of positive outcomes came from these meetings. For example, the circulation team has had informal get-togethers with the different points within the business cycle, which is an opportunity to explain what the team does and how it fits within the company.
Leadership development program
I have been tasked with the creation and refinement of our organization’s leadership development program, which is really four separate programs, one for each of the different points of leadership. From high-potential associates to management training, to team leadership, and concluding with executive leadership, the program brings together peers from across the company to collaborate. Fun fact: there are over 170 associates active in the Leadership Development Program for 2022-2023!
One of the cool parts about being a training specialist is that we can be highly creative about all aspects of the job. From using video editing software to developing intranet sites to creating learning opportunities that incorporate gaming via Kahoot, there are so many ways to make training more effective. As you can see in the video accompanying this article, I can get “animated” sometimes with these tasks!
Overall, a day in the life of a training specialist is never identical to any other day in the best possible way. Providing professional development opportunities to over 900 individuals in our organization is incredibly rewarding. Getting to see the progress happen in real time makes all our efforts worth it. I look forward to enhancing our efforts into 2023 and beyond!