Developing a Learning Culture

4 Ways to Tailor Training for Creative Employees

Ah, the creative employee: Amazing when you need fresh ideas, but frustrating when it comes to compliance. That’s because creative employees aren’t built to deal with schedules, hard numbers, and facts; all of which can sometimes overtake even well-meaning talent management systems.

An employee with an eye for design might balk at the idea of a traditional training program, but might be more receptive if you tailor delivery systems and material to someone who’s more likely to spend a lunch break at the art museum than networking at a meet and greet. By looking at your training through creative-colored glasses, you can get the job done while still respecting the art. Here’s how.

Offer Options.

Creative types don’t always learn like those who think and analyze more methodically. While a typical learner might be fine with a PowerPoint presentation, it’s not going to appeal to someone who lives and breathes design. By offering the same material through a number of delivery options, you give creative types some room to roam. Maybe mobile learning is the best fit, or a creative employee would rather learn via microlessons sent to his or her inbox. Think beyond the traditional delivery methods to show flexibility and respect to creative types.

Keep Lessons Visual.

Creative thinkers will become bored by walls of text or monotonous audio and visual recordings, so try going for more visually appealing methods. Instead of a presentation, an animated video might capture the attention of a visual learner. Infographics can also be highly engaging and visually stimulating. By keeping material visually balanced, you’ll capture that notoriously short attention span attributed to creative employees.

Hype it Up.

The moment you present training and development as mandatory, you’ve conceded a battle to creatively-inclined employees. They thrive on unpredictable schedules and flexible attitudes, so “Do this or else” will definitely cause some kick back. Instead, hype learning and development in a completely different way: Show employees the personal growth benefits to be gained. Doing so can pique the interest of someone who can’t stand the idea of mandatory training.

Share and Share Alike.

Creative employees are usually the first to volunteer to work in teams and groups, since they often thrive on the ideas and inspiration of others. So why not work that into learning and development strategy? Offer a forum through which creative employees can discuss topics and share links and information together. It’s a way to crowdsource creative learning and development, resulting in better retention and workplace culture alignment.

Creative types are the catalysts for new ideas and solutions, so don’t do them a disservice by offering the same training by rote for everyone. By respecting those beautiful minds and offering plenty of options, you make the most of employees who are willing to think outside the L&D box.