How do you prepare an internal development program – part 2

In the first part of our article we talked about how to develop programs that are based on the company’s overall objectives. In the second part of our story we will look at how you can promote this program effectively in order to reach the critical tipping point.

In the first part of our article we talked about how to develop programs that are based on the company’s overall objectives. In the second part of our story we will look at how you can promote this program effectively in order to reach the critical tipping point.

Your major focus after developing the strategy is the way in which it will inspire employees. This means that every member of the organization has to know about it, believe in it and understand what benefits it brings from a professional and personal perspective.

So any programs, with or without a concept, visual identity, principles or structure should have at least the following: kick off, transparent communication, objectives, roadmap and an enthusiastic estimation of the main benefits for the individual, group and organization.

At the same time you have to anticipate potential resistance and work on techniques for handling them starting with the Kick Off phase. Launching a Development Journey without any sort of philosophy, principles and rules means that your project will not garner enough interest from a sufficient number of employees to ensure it has a long lasting impact.

Sometimes companies only focus on managers. There are plenty of cases where programs failed because of this. Other times the approach is very limited and only focused on a select few – equally ineffective.

If a development program is only focused on a specific group a good way to sell it efficiently and prevent a high attrition rate is to launch a selection procedure with some minimal criteria. The competition will help tackle the resistance and will fuel the desire to belong to a group. This competition will also create a lot of value when the purpose is to develop a pool of potential successors, specialists or future managers.

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Effective approaches require using Training Needs Analysis in order to select development needs at a group or individual level. The first option leads to a limited number of programs that only focus on certain abilities considered to be essential for the effectiveness of a group. The second option involves a Personal Development Plan for each individual.

For both options there is a major risk that there won’t be any correlation between annual objectives and KPI’s. Why? Because the annual objectives are based on the organizational objectives.

So the most complex programs are also the most efficient provided that they are coherent and the information is transmitted in such a way that it stays with employees. Successful programs aren’t one off interventions. A simple training won’t solve problems.

And this is why you need a mix of learning activities – soft skill mixed with mentoring, practice, on the job training, coaching and so on.

Iulian Ionita
Communication and personal effectiveness specialist

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